Sasaki had a strong presence at the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future in Philadelphia earlier this month, with a good number of Sasaki designers in attendance. This year's summit celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic "Declaration of Concern," an LAF-penned piece that illustrated the environmental and societal concerns of the day and indicated the invaluable and unique role that landscape architects could play in mitigating these issues.
"Back in 1966, our general disregard for natural resources and environment was a serious problem," says Immediate Past President of the LAF and Sasaki Principal Mark Dawson, FASLA. "In response to the times, the "Declaration of Concern" was penned and LAF was founded. Today, LAF tackles multiple fronts as the professions influence and reach has expanded. This summit in Philadelphia saw the leading practitioners, academics, and authors sharing their observations on the future, and how the LAF can distill this remarkable dialogue into action for the next 50 years."
Sasaki Principal Mark Dawson addresses the Summit attendees. Dawson, former president of the LAF board, continues to serve as a board member.
Sasaki Principal Gina Ford, ASLA, presented "Into an Era of Landscape Humanism" at the summit, looking at the successes of the industry over the past decades while also examining areas where the industry still struggles to have an impact. Ford's presentation focused on three continuing areas of opportunity for the industry: growing the diversity of the profession, promoting equity through design, and embracing interdisciplinary approaches to addressing resiliency.
Sasaki Principal Gina Ford presents "Into an Era of Landscape Humanism"
Sasaki Creative Director Philip Barash, also in attendance, noted that "so many of the environmental concerns expressed 50 years ago in the "Declaration" remain valid, but concerns—and opportunities—have multiplied as the profession itself has broadened its purview. Landscape architecture participates in discourses of urbanism, culture, diversity, resiliency, globalization, invasive species... the list goes on. It is a mark of the field's success that a single, decisive declaration may not be feasible now, as it was 50 years ago."
Cheers to the next 50 years of landscape architecture's positive impact!
Watch Ford's presentation below, and here to read Ford's "Into an Era of Landscape Humanism," a supplemental essay published in LAF's Landscape Architecture Magazine.