The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently announced the winners in their 2015 ASLA Honor Awards, the organization's highest-ranking awards.
This year, the ASLA Board of Trustees chose M. Paul Friedberg -- a founder of M. Paul Friedberg and Partners -- for the ASLA Medal and the Office of James Burnett for the Landscape Architecture Firm Award. Additionally, non-landscape architects were distinguished for their significant contributions and services to the profession with ASLA Honorary Membership titles.
Winners will be presented with their awards at the November 9 president's dinner, which takes place during the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago on November 6-9.
- ASLA Medal: M. Paul Friedberg, FASLA M. Paul Friedberg, FASLA, will receive the ASLA Medal, the Society’s highest award for a landscape architect. A founder of M. Paul Friedberg and Partners in New York, Friedberg has designed public places that not only break the boundaries of traditional design, but also increase the quality of life for those who use these spaces. Some of his recognized public spaces include Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis, Pershing Park in Washington, D.C., and the 67th Street Playground in New York. He is the founder and professor emeritus of the Urban Landscape Architecture Program at City College of New York, the first urban-oriented undergraduate landscape architecture program to be located in a major city.
- The Landscape Architecture Firm Award: The Office of James Burnett The Office of James Burnett will receive the Landscape Architecture Firm Award, the highest honor ASLA may bestow upon a landscape architecture firm in recognition of distinguished work that influences the profession. James Burnett, FASLA, founded the firm in 1989 in Houston with one part-time employee. Today, the firm employs 45 professionals working in Houston, San Diego, and Boston. To date, the firm has garnered more than 80 state and national design awards for projects consistently cited for innovative and iconoclastic redefinition of human interaction with the environment.
- ASLA Design Medal: Thomas Balsley, FASLA Thomas Balsley, FASLA, will receive the ASLA Design Medal in recognition of his exceptional design work. Balsley, the principal designer of the New York City-based firm Thomas Balsley Associates, has created numerous public spaces that enrich the lives of people and their communities. His work often exists in the margins of the city, the industrial edges, the waterfronts, and the scraps of land left over from the urban grid. His designs include Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park and Riverside Park South in New York City, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa, and Main Street Garden Park in Dallas.
- Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal: Carl Steinitz, Hon. ASLA Carl Steinitz, Hon. ASLA, will receive the Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal for significant and sustained excellence in landscape architecture education. For more than 50 years, Steinitz, a professor emeritus at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, has dedicated himself to the field of landscape architecture education. Underlying all of his work is the firm belief that landscape architects should be leaders in solving some of the most pressing issues of our time. Steinitz has influenced thousands of students worldwide with his teaching, and his methods and values influence the many who have gone on to be leaders in the field.
- LaGasse Medal – Non-Landscape Architect: Gregory Long Gregory Long will receive the LaGasse Medal for contributions to the management and conservation of natural resources and public landscapes. Long, the president and CEO of the New York Botanical Garden, has devoted 25 years to the restoration and revitalization of one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens and research institutions. ASLA recognizes him for achieving the remarkable resurgence of this century-old garden, often in times of challenging austerity. For 15 years Long has also promoted and supported the work of landscape architects from the United States and abroad through the botanical garden’s annual fall lectures known as the Landscape Design Portfolios series.
- Olmsted Medal: Design Trust for Public Space The Design Trust for Public Space will receive the Olmsted Medal. The award recognizes individuals, organizations, agencies, or programs outside the profession of landscape architecture for environmental leadership, vision, and stewardship. Since 1995, the Design Trust has been a champion of the public space of New York City, and more significantly a leader and innovator for other cities. The Design Trust believes that design matters—including landscape design—and that design should be supported by public–private partnerships, ensuring that their projects are both educational and a catalyst to action.
- Medal of Excellence: City of Scottsdale and McDowell Sonoran Conservancy The City of Scottsdale, Arizona, and McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will receive the Landscape Architecture Medal of Excellence. The award recognizes significant contributions to landscape architecture policy, research, education, project planning and design, or a combination of these items. Working in symbiotic collaboration, the conservancy and the city created a public–private partnership and have conserved for posterity more than 30,000 acres of mostly pristine Sonoran Desert. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is now the largest urban preserve in the United States and will forever be sustained for the future enjoyment and benefit of all.
- Community Service Award: Randolph Hester Jr., FASLA Randolph Hester Jr., FASLA, will receive the Community Service Award for providing sustained, pro bono service demonstrating the sound principles or values of landscape architecture. Hester was a professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning (retired 2010) at the University of California Berkeley, and is a partner in the firm Community Development by Design. He has dedicated his career to the improvement of public landscapes for the underserved. His pro bono work for communities as well as his teaching and professional practice has contributed to the nurturing of healthy communities.
2015 Honorary Members: First established in 1899, the ASLA Honorary membership is another high-ranking honor that the ASLA may award to non-landscape architects in recognition of notableservice to the profession of landscape architecture.
- Joel Albizo, Affiliate ASLA, Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards
- Roxanne Blackwell, American Society of Landscape Architects
- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, California
- Susan Chin, Design Trust for Public Space
- Lorraine Davis, University of Oregon
- Pat Faust, Landscape Structures Inc.
- Nina-Marie E. Lister, Affiliate ASLA, Ryerson University
- Barbara McCann, U.S. Department of Transportation
- Charles McKinney, Affiliate ASLA, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
- Walter Metcalfe, Bryan Cave LLP
- C. Ford Peatross, Library of Congress
- Warrie Price, the Battery Conservancy
- Susan Rademacher, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
- Charles Waldheim, Harvard University
- Mayor Knox H. White, Greenville, South Carolina
- Robert Yaro, Regional Plan Association
- Mark Zelonis, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Find previous ASLA award winners on Bustler here.
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