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2015 Landscape Performance Education Grant Recipients Announced

As landscape architects are increasingly engaged to address complex challenges like climate change, urbanization, and public health, it is critical that they be able to communicate the measurable benefits of design solutions. Therefore, landscape architecture students need awareness and the technical skills to predict outcomes, assess alternatives, defend design proposals, and evaluate the environmental, economic, and social performance of landscape projects.

LAF’s Landscape Performance Education Grants allow select university faculty to develop and test models for integrating landscape performance into standard landscape architecture course offerings. Five $2,500 mini-grants were awarded to these faculty members for Spring 2015:

  • Kenneth Brooks, FASLA, FCELA, PLA, Arizona State University
    Advanced Landscape Architecture Studio IV (MLA Studio) and Special Topic: Design Performance (MLA Seminar)
    In the studio course, each student will develop a systematic performance assessment of their design to illustrate how the proposal accommodates a program and site. In the seminar course, students will use their studio projects as the basis for developing and demonstrating design performance assessment.
  • Ellen Burke, PLA, LEED AP, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
    Project Design and Implementation Focus Studio (BLA Studio)
    This upper-division studio will teach an understanding of landscape as a living system. Through a combination of research, program design and quantification assignments, students will be asked to choose and design a ‘performative’ landscape and to understand and describe their proposals through the lens of landscape performance.
  • Reid Coffman, Ph.D., Kent State University
    Urban Ecological Systems (MLA, MArch, MUD Joint-seminar)
    In this cross-disciplinary graduate seminar, students will conceptualize green infrastructure applications and, using various calculators, determine before and after scenario performances in various categorical areas: hydrology, energy, nutrients, biological diversity, and human health.
  • Yi Luo, Ph.D., Texas Tech University
    Landscape Architecture Design Process (BLA Studio and Lecture)
    As the first BLA design studio course at Texas Tech, it familiarizes students with the typical design process of a landscape project. Background information on landscape performance will be taught, followed by the design process of a landscape, and concluding with student projects that utilize methods learned and quantify potential performance benefits.
  • Emily Vogler, Rhode Island School of Design
    Site Analysis and Planning (MLA Seminar)
    Through weekly lectures, workshops and field exercises, this course will cover both the theory and techniques of site analysis and planning. Students will learn how to measure, analyze and map physical, biological and social attributes on a site, as well as synthesize site-specific data into design solutions.

Grant recipients will work with LAF throughout the duration of the classes and use formal course evaluations to determine the success and replicability of the teaching models used. Course materials developed through the Landscape Performance Education Grants will be added to the Resources for Educators section of, which offers teaching tools like syllabi, reading lists, and assignments for faculty members interested in teaching landscape performance to the next generation of design professionals.

The Landscape Performance Education Grants are made possible with support from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s Foundation for Education & Research. A total of ten $2,500 grants have been awarded in 2014 and 2015.

LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.