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Each year, 3-5 new Ignite participants are selected through an open, competitive process.


Eligible candidates are undergraduate or master’s students enrolled in an LAAB- or LAAC-accredited landscape architecture program at a college or university in the U.S. and Canada. Applicants cannot currently be in their final year of study. 

For the 2024 application year (cohort beginning fall 2024), eligible candidates must identify as Black/African American*. In future years, LAF plans to expand the program to other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) groups.

Candidates must be in good academic standing, demonstrate financial need, and demonstrate a commitment to landscape architecture and creating a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable world. All applicants must be able to commit to full participation in Ignite.

*Citizens of the U.S. with partial or total ancestry from sub-Saharan Africa, whose families have lived in the U.S. for generations, and are often descendants of formerly enslaved people


Application Process

Each year in spring, LAF begins accepting applications for the Ignite program that starts in the fall of the following school year. LAF uses SlideRoom as its online application platform and will only accept applications submitted through this system. All application materials (including the letters of recommendation) must be submitted by 11:59pm EDT on May 15.

Visit to use the system. Once you have created an account, scroll through the “Programs” to LAF Ignite, and click “Begin” to start the application process. You may save, edit, and review your work prior to submitting.


Application Contents

Ignite applicants must submit the following materials. All submissions must adhere to guidelines and deadlines in order to be considered. Additional materials will not be reviewed.

  • General Submission Form
    Complete this online form with basic contact information and details about your degree program.
  • Resume (2 page max)
  • Upload your resume or CV in PDF format. It should include your education, any professional experience, extra-curricular activities, and honors and awards.
  • Financial Aid Form
    Complete this online form with information about your financial needs and any financial assistance you currently receive.
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
    Provide the e-mail address for each recommender and instructions will be sent to them. One letter must come from a faculty member; the other letter may come from another person familiar with the candidate such as a teacher or faculty member, employer, academic counselor, faith leader, coach, or leader of extracurricular or volunteer activities. The letters should specifically address the applicant’s passion, interest, and curiosity in design, along with their ability to commit to a program, initiative, or goal and see it through.
  • Written Responses (500 word max each)
    Complete this online form with your responses to these three questions: (1) Why is landscape architecture appealing to you as a profession? (2) What do you hope to explore in landscape architecture? (3) What do you hope to gain from participation in Ignite? Limit each response to 500 words or less.
  • Work Samples
    Upload 3-5 examples that demonstrate your passion, interest, curiosity, and aptitude for design. Each should include explanatory text describing the project, your design process, and why you selected it as one of your examples. If it was a group or collaborative project, state this and describe your role. Accepted formats are:

    - PDF document (pdf) less than 10MB
    - Image (jpg, jpeg, png, gif, tif, tiff, bmp, tga) less than 5MB
    - Video (m4v, mov, mp4, wmv, flv, asf, mpeg, mpg, mkv) less than 250MB
    - Audio (mp3, wma, ogg, flac) less than 30MB
    - You may also link to public, embeddable media files on Vimeo, YouTube, and SoundCloud. 

The following materials are required, but will not be provided to the Ignite jury/selection committee. Materials from those selected for Ignite will be used on the LAF website and for promotion and publicity.

  • Photo
    Provide a color headshot in jpg format that is at least 1800x1200 pixels. It should be horizontally-oriented, well-lit with a simple background, and include your entire head and shoulders. LAF retains the right to use any submitted photo on our website and in other materials promoting LAF Ignite and other scholarship programs.

  • Bio for the LAF Website (150 word max)
    Provide a short bio in PDF, Microsoft Word, or TXT format. In 150 words or less, describe your background, current educational pursuits, future plans, and any other personal interests or activities.


Selection Process

Accomplished and insightful leaders in the landscape architecture discipline serve as jurors to review applications and select the Ignite participants. Short-listed candidates are expected to be available for a web-based video interview in July. Those selected for LAF Ignite will be notified in August.

Applicants are evaluated on the following:

  • Design interest and aptitude 
  • Financial need
  • Commitment to landscape architecture and creating a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable world
  • Openness to mentorship, career exploration, and engagement with other Ignite participants 

Applicants must be able to commit to full participation in Ignite. Due to the multi-year nature of the program, preference may be given to applicants who have more time until their expected graduation date. However, all who meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply.



Contact Program Manager Valerie Carter at vcarter [at] (vcarter[at]lafoundation[dot]org)

The LAF Ignite program was launched in 2022 thanks to the generous multi-year support from donors to the Ignite and Fuel Campaign. In particular, LAF thanks the following top contributors to LAF's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) Fund.

Lead Supporters

  • CEO Roundtable
  • Robert Chipman
  • Landscape Forms logo
  • Sasaki Associates logo
  • Smithgroup logo
  • JACOBS logo
  • Bill and Kathy Main, Hon. ASLA
  • Landscape Structures logo
  • OLIN logo
  • SWA Group logo
  • Beth Wehrle
  • ANOVA logo
  • Oak leak with text: "Biohabitats"
  • Jeanne Lalli
  • Logo of Lamar Johnson Collaborative: white text on a purple textured background
  • OJB logo
  • Sherry & Brian Ramsay
  • TEXT: "Reed Hilderbrand
  • TBG logo