ASLA Conference Recap

BAC Landscape Students with BASLA Members

By Anesu Dhliwayo B-Arch Candidate

Last Friday, the 22nd of October, BAC Landscape Architecture students presented their experiences of the ALSA Annual Meeting and Expo held in Washington DC earlier this fall to the Boston Society of Landscape Architecture. The president of the BAC’s ASLA Chapter Matthew Gilman and Vice President Matthew Richard gave an inspiring recap of Inside the Studio with Michael van Valkenburgh Associates lecture. The duo learned that, “Beautiful landscapes are not an escape from the city but an escape within the city.” Michael van Valkenburgh, whose work is currently in the 1st Floor Gallery, presented to the students the importance of embracing a neighborhood and it’s connection to materials. The presentation left Matt G. and Matt R. inspired and “ready to come back and tackle studio.”

Sustainable lectures where also held at the ALSA Convention, key presentations about Growing Promise for the Vertical Landscape and Urban Design. Thomas Balsley, FASLA, of Thomas Balsley Associates touched on design strategies for urban parks. Balsley was quoted saying, “A successful downtown park has residences with residents that connect with the park on a daily basis”, deeming Boston City Hall Plaza a major failure and Boston’s Post Office Square a success. Balsley discussed the importance of creating a design that tailors to the future generations.

Sustainability was the main theme of the ASLA Conference. The conference offered students educational sessions, tours of local gardens and public spaces and product vendors with heavy emphasis on the emphasis on sustainability. There were copious course offerings on sustainable landscape elements, green walls, and green roofs. ASLA’s Sustainable Sites Initiative applied emphasis on horticulture, particularly native plants, as structural and design elements in exterior as well as interior (green walls) plans.

Overall BAC students Matthew Gilman, Nancy MacDonald, Matthew Richard and Terence Duffy had an exiciting and educational experience at the ALSA Annual Meeting and Expo.