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In Remembrance: Mark Francis, FASLA, FCELA

JULY 10, 2020

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) was saddened to learn of the passing of Mark Francis, FASLA, FCELA on June 30, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. Mark played a vital role in LAF’s evolution and remained a longtime friend of the organization. A pragmatic thinker, his work helped to steer LAF’s research programs and strengthen case studies as a form of knowledge building and sharing within the discipline and beyond.

In 1999, LAF commissioned Mark to draft the seminal paper, A Case Study Method for Landscape Architecture. Since it was published in 1999, the Case Study Method has been incorporated into the curriculum of many landscape architecture schools and is frequently cited in articles and publications. This document led to LAF's Land and Community Design Case Study Series of books published between 2001 and 2009. Mark authored the first two of these books, Village Homes: A Community by Design and Urban Open Space: Designing for User Needs, both published in 2003 by Island Press. Mark’s work also informed the development of the format and method that LAF has used to produce the over 160 Case Study Briefs published on

Mark Francis provided the framework for landscape architects to organize their study of specific places and serves as a jumping-off point for researchers to develop their own methods of synthesizing data

Stephanie Rolley, FASLA, FCELA, PLA, AICP

In addition to his commissioned work, Mark supported LAF in various volunteer capacities. He served on the Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship Jury in 2001 and 2003 and on LAF’s 2008 Olmsted Scholarship Advisory Board, which developed and launched the LAF Olmsted Scholars Program, the premier leadership recognition program for landscape architecture students.

“Mark was an extraordinary person, scholar, and teacher whose work emphasized the intersection of research and practice. His impact on LAF and the direction of our research initiatives cannot be overstated. He was a cherished friend of LAF and will be sorely missed, though his memory lives on through countless case-study precedents, innovations in the profession, and landscape solutions yet to come from his powerful legacy.” said LAF CEO Barbara Deutsch, FASLA.

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.