We have leaves on the ground here in the Chicago area. I’m fresh off a plane from Minneapolis where I attended the annual meeting of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Traditionally, ASLA has not been a big supporter of residential landscape design, but this time was different.
Most of the conference was really well done. A highlight was sitting in on the Residential Landscape Design Professional Practice Network. I had a nice conversation with Rosheen Styczinski who chairs the group. It’s amazing how landscape architects and designers who work in the residential market all face the same issues, many of them having to do with practice management—how we run our businesses. It also came out in the group discussion that 70% of ASLA members practice residential design. This is the largest of any specialty within the organization, and it appears as if ASLA might begin to cater more to that segment of its membership.
Industry conferences are a great thing. For those who don't participate, I encourage you to give them a try. ASLA, APLD, ANLA, PLANET and many state green industry organizations all have great things to offer. You learn, but more importantly, you meet new people who share your interests and problems. I ran into many old friends and made a few new ones in Minneapolis. It was a nice experience.
Residential Is Different
At the meeting, which was not strictly residential in subject matter, I was reminded of the different mind set we have when designing residential landscapes. It is the opposite of most landscape architecture. In larger scale design, the designer is designing spaces that more or less dictate how people will use them. In residential design, we are designing for a specific client, and our goal is a happy client. If we can do something for the greater good in the process, then terrific! But our clients are primary.
Remainder of Fall and Winter Courses Online
Over the weekend, we posted the remainder of our fall and winter course schedule. Sissinghust will be repeated in December and February, and Barnsley House will be repeated in January and February. Although both courses are design-focused, we do cover many practice management topics as well. Also, a third course is scheduled, called Hidcote. The details will be posted in the next week or so, but its focus will be the RIGHT side of the brain! Topics and exercises will be on creativity and communication.
Lastly, check your mail. If we have your mailing address, you should have received our first direct mail postcard, and, if you are an APLD member, you will have received the 2007 APLD calendar, produced with support from Monrovia Growers. We have a project featured on the July page.
Thanks for reading. We'll be in touch soon with more updates.
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Have a great weekend!