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Senior Show at the Historic Jack House

The Spring 2017 Senior Show will be at the historic Jack House on Marsh Street downtown. Come down and see these amazing people display their hard work! Check out: Jack House, San Luis Obispo

LADAC's Spring Visit This Week

The Landscape Architecture Department Advisory Council will be visiting June 9 & 10. We look forward to welcoming the council back into the studios and celebrating the Senior Show!

Posted 6-6-17

Post Commencement Reception

June 17, 2017

The post commencement reception will directly follow the CAED graduation ceremony and be held in the Dexter Plaza by the University Art Gallery. 


Spring 2017 Final Reviews

We look forward to the great work our studios have put forth this quarter! Don't miss out on hearing about the projects and designs.


Spring 2017 Hearst Lecture Series

Come out and help us welcome speakers for our Spring 2017 Hearst Lecture series, taking place on Fridays at 5:00 pm in the Business Rotunda (03-213). Don't miss out!


2017 ASLA Honor and Merit Awards - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

On Saturday, March 25th , 2017, a jury of five professional landscape architects and members of ASLA met with six faculty selected nominees from the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo landscape architecture undergraduate program. The jury consisted of Eric J.H. Berg, ASLA, of Pacific Coast Land Design; Andrew Wilcox, ASLA, Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department at Cal Poly Pomona; Leslee Temple, FASLA, recently retired from NUVIS; Deborah Richie-Bray, ASLA, of Richie-Bray, Inc.; and Gere Smith, FASLA, Professor Emeritus at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Spring Quarter End Reviews June 1, 2 & 3

Wednesday, June 1
2:00 to 4:00 pm, Course: LA 404 Astrid Reeves, Projects: 'New Moos for Harmony' and 'A Contemplative Garden for the Monastery of the Risen Christ in San Luis Obispo'Location Dexter Fireplace Room (Building 34 Room 210)
Thursday, June 2
10:00 to 11:30 am, Course: LA 436 Ellen Burke, Project: Drawing LandscapeLocation: 2nd year Hallway in Dexter
2:00 to 4:00 pm, Course: LA 438 Miran Day, Project: GIS Application in Various Projects, Location: LA 2nd Year Hallway in Dexter
1:30 to 4:00 pm, Course: LA 242 David Watts, Project: Details-Sense of Place, Location: Dexter Lawn
4:00 to 7:00 pm, Course: LA 349 Christy O'Hara, Project: Planting to Community Support, Location: Berg Gallery (Building 05, Room 105)
Friday, June 3
9:00 to 11:00 am, Course: LA 204 Joe Ragsdale and Astrid Reeves, Project: AIDS Memorial Garden, Location: KTGY Gallery (Building 21, Room 105A)
​1:10 to 4:00 pm, Course: LA 204 Gary Clay, Project: Morro Bay Maritime Museum and Master plan, Location: LA 2nd Year Hallway in Dexter
1:30 to 4:30 pm, Course: LA 403-1&2 Bev Bass and David DuBois, Project: Morro Bay Estuary, Location: KTGY Gallery (Building 21, Room 105A)
5:00 to 8:00 pm, Course: LA 461 David Watts, Senior Project Show, Location: Sage Ecological Landscapes and Nursery, Address:  1188 Los Osos Valley Rd., Los Osos, CA

Spring Commencement

Spring Commencement will celebrate the accomplishments by the class of 2016 on Saturday, June 11th in Spanos Stadium! The ceremony begins at 9:00 am and ends around 11:30 am.

This year, to further recognize students for their achievement, the name of each graduate will be read as they cross the stage during their respective University-wide ceremony.

Landscape Architecture Department will host a Post-Commencement Reception; it will begin immediately following the University wide ceremony at the Dexter Art Gallery.

Spring Senior Show: David Watts LA 461

Eighteen landscape architecture students will be presenting their senior capstone projects addressing landscape justice issues. Some student projects focus on social issues while others are ecological based.

The projects range in scale, providing opportunities to showcase unique and creative design solutions.  The student work is examining issues of climate change in the city, housing for the homeless, urban revitalization, and forest, habitat, and river restoration that characterize current concerns facing our society. 

Hearst Lecture Series

Cal Poly's College of Architecture and Environmental Design presents the 2015-16 Hearst Series.

Hearst Lecture Series

Week of Welcome (WOW) September 18-25, 2016

Fall Quarter Begins September 22, 2016

Cal Poly Graduate Student Brandon Cornejo receives top research award from ASLA

Read more about Brandon's Feasibility Study on Epiphytes here 


Open House Banner

We welcome you to our Open House 2016. 

APRIL 14 - 16

Friday, April 15

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM: Student Work Displays, Building 34, Room 210 & 2nd Floor Hallways

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM: Meeting with New Students, Building 34, Room 252

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM: Tour of Studios, Building 34, Room 252

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Student Advising & Transfer Student Portfolio Review, Building 34, Room 210

Saturday, April 16

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM: Meet Faculty & Current Students, Building 34, Front Lobby

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM: Student Work Displays, Building 34, Room 210 & Second Floor hallway


Winter Classes Held Final Reviews March 7-11


Final reviews provided an excellent opportunity to learn about Landscape Architecture and interact with faculty and students in the Department. The Department will hold 10 Winter 2016 final project reviews March 7-11, 2016

Fifth Years Showcase Capstone Projects March 11 at Bello Mundo

Thirteen landscape architecture students finishing their capstone experience during Winter term will exhibit their senior projects at Bello Mundo Café, 974 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, Friday, March 11, from 6 pm to 9 pm. The show, "Show of Seniors," is free and open to the public. 

During the show, the landscape architecture faculty will announce several senior class recognition awards, including awards for Academic Excellence, Service to the Department, Best Design Process, Design Excellence, and Best Senior Project.

The Academic Excellence award is based on overall GPA. The remaining recognition awards are based on faculty nomination and votes.

The exhibiting seniors will also vote on who among their peers is deserving of the Golden Eagle award. The Golden Eagle is a student who has demonstrated a professional competence and attitude, has been a stabilizing influence during times of confusion, and is always able to give to others in their time of need.

​These awards will honor students finishing their capstone projects during Winter term.

Landscape Architects Speak at Cal Poly as Hearst Lecturers

Six notable landscape architecture practitioners have accepted invitations to speak at Cal Poly as part of the College of Architecture & Environmental Design's 2015-16 Hearst lecture series.

Brett Milligan will speak Friday, Feb. 19. He is assistant professor of landscape architecture at University of California, Davis, where he teaches design studios and courses on regenerative technologies, infrastructural studies and industrial technology. Brett is the author of Free Association Design and director of Metamorphic Landscapes.The lecture is free and open to the public.

Bradley Cantrell, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design, spoke Friday, Feb. 12, at 5 pm in the Business Rotunda (02-213) about his work focusing on the role of computation and media in environmental and ecological design. He currently serves as an associate professor of landscape architectural technology and the Director of the MLA Degree program at Harvard GSD and is a TED Fellow. 

Carol Mayer-Reed, FASLA, partner-in-charge of landscape architecture and urban design at Mayer/Reed, Inc., spoke Friday, Feb. 5 about her Portland-based firm's work, including notable award-winning projects in Portland like The Rain Garden at the Oregon Convention Center, the Vera Katz Eastbank Espanade, the Nike World Headquarters North Campus Expansion and Bud Clark Commons. 

Jeff Morosky, Managing Executive for the Landscape Architecture Studio at Walt Disney Imagineering, spoke Friday, Oct. 30 about his work at Disney and his international experience in designing parks, resorts, new communities, and urban projects. 

On Friday, Oct. 23, program alumni Jeff Ferber and Erik Justesen, RRM Design Group principals, spoke about how RRM Design Group was built on interdisciplinary skills taught at Cal Poly. The firm currently has 46 Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo alumni among their 100+ employees practicing Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Planning, and Civil and Structural Engineering in offices throughout California. Eric Justensen received a BSLA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1984; Jeff Ferber received his BSLA from Cal Poly in 1985.

LA Students Help Design Trophy-Winning Rose Float

The 2016 Cal Poly universities Rose Float, "Sweet Shenanigans," makes
its way down the parade route in Pasadena January 1st. Photo by
Tom Zasadzinski.

Two students from the LA department were on the team that designed the 2016 Rose Float, "Sweet Shenanigans," which was the Cal Poly universities entry in this year's Tournament of Roses Parade. The float won the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for the most beautiful non-commercial float. "Sweet Shenanigans" featured eight larger-than-life gummy bears enjoying a snow day in a multi-flavored ice cream wonderland of cones, lollipops, and sundaes, reflecting the parade theme, "Find Your Adventure."

Fourth year LA major Jo-Annie Tran served as the float's design chair; third year student Ryan Wang was on the design committee.

"During the review of 200 concepts, this one stuck out," said Tran. "Overall, the concept for 'Sweet Shenanigans' was really fun, playful and spreads joy. It is something enjoyable for people of all ages."

This is the second consecutive year the universities entry has won the Leishman Trophy. Tran and Wang were also on the design team for the 2015 float.

Fall Classes Hold Final Reviews Nov. 30 - Dec. 4

Final reviews provide an excellent opportunity to learn about Landscape Architecture and interact with faculty and students in the Department. The Department will hold nine final project reviews Nov. 30 – Dec. 4, 2015

DesignIntelligence: Cal Poly LA Program 6th in Nation / Best in West

DesignIntelligence has ranked Cal Poly's landscape architecture program sixth among the top 15 undergraduate programs in the nation, based on a nationwide survey of hiring firms. Last year the program was also highly ranked, placing fourth. The survey once again ranked Cal Poly "Best in the West." Cal Poly's LA program has been rated as the top program in the 13-state western region every year since 2005, when the DesignIntelligence survey first began ranking public and private landscape architecture degree programs.

“We have a highly dedicated faculty who constantly orchestrate their quality teaching with their scholarly development. I am not surprised that our BLA program has been rated, year after year, as the best landscape architecture program in the West and as one of the top programs in the nation,” noted Prof. Omar Faruque, department chair.

Hiring firms rated Cal Poly's landscape architecture program first in the nation (tied with Kansas State, Louisiana State, and Texas A&M) in educating students in construction methods and materials. Based on a survey of 40 deans and department heads, Cal Poly ranked third among the most admired programs in the nation "for its well-rounded program with emphasis on theory, design and implementation."

The DesignIntelligence rankings have become a tool for students choosing academic programs that will launch their design careers. DesignIntelligence is a bi-monthly journal published by Greenway Communications LLC for the Design Futures Council, an interdisciplinary network of design, product, and construction leaders exploring global trends, challenges, and opportunities to advance innovation and shape the future of the industry and the environment.

Updated 11-12-15

ASLA Annual Meeting and Alumni Reception

Professor Omar Faruque, Landscape Architecture Department Chair, hosted a reception in Chicago for program alumni, faculty, current students and friends of the department November 7, 2015 in conjunction with the ASLA 2015 Annual Meeting + EXPO. Faculty and program alums presented at some of the meeting's educational sessions, including: Assoc. Professor David Watts and program alum Sarah Cawrse (2012) on Designing Incentives for HealthKevin Conger, FASLA (1988) on Launch: a Mid-Leap Conversation with New Firm Founders, Sandra Gonzalez, FASLA (1985) on Paths to Diversity: A Cross-Generational Exploration, Blake Jopling (2004) on Everything is Food: Nutrient Systems for Site and Structure, Susan Van AttaFASLA (1983) on Residential Design: Transformative Design and Lifelong Friendships, and Matt Wilkins (2011) on GeoDesign: Visualizing Green Infrastructure. Alum Eric Green (2011) was one of the exhibitors at the EXPO, showcasing his company, Groovebox.

To view some photos taken at the reception and other meeting events, visit the department's Facebook page.

Updated 11-12-15

LADAC Member René Bihan Elevated to ASLA Council of Fellows

Landscape Architecture Department Advisory Council (LADAC) member René Bihan (class of 1988) was among 37 members of the American Society of Landscape Architects elevated to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2015.

Fellowship is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows on members and recognizes the contributions of these individuals to their profession and society at large based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge and service. The new class of Fellows was invested at the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, November 6-9, in Chicago.

According to ASLA, René's work over the past quarter century has been recognized internationally for his mastery of the art and practice of landscape architecture. His design-think approach transforms physical and cultural landscapes as he grapples with multi-faceted challenges and educates the public and clients through his unerring commitment to his landscape-centered design principles. He has garnered praise, awards, and appointments from fellow design leaders, landscape architecture stewardship organizations, public policy and academic institutions, and professional clientele throughout his career. He is a leader and outspoken advocate for the profession - first as a practitioner, and also as a speaker, juror, lecturer and mentor in domestic and international circles. His works here and abroad continue to thrive and stand as living examples of the impact of thoughtful landscape design.

René is the Managing Principal of SWA Group's San Francisco office. He received his Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1994 and his Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly in 1988.

Updated 10-6-15

Ragsdale Presents at California Higher Ed Sustainability Conference

Landscape Architecture Associate Professor Joseph Ragsdale discussed his work in sustainability education at this year’s California Higher Education Sustainability Conference at San Francisco State University, July 20-24, 2015.

Ragsdale described Cal Poly’s Sustainable Environments (SE) minor, highlighting the value of interdisciplinary curricula in providing students with the knowledge and abilities needed to integrate concerns for ecology, social equity, and economics within the content of human and natural resource systems and the built environment.

Ragsdale, along with Architecture professor Jonathan Reich, also accepted the best practices award for “Sustainability in Academics” on behalf of the faculty who teach in the SE minor. The SE minor was a winner in the 2015 Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practices Award Competition (see related new item below).

Posted 7-29-15

Ellen Burke Receives $150,000 National Grant from Art Place America

CAED Asst. Professor Ellen Burke's project "SLO Map," which will study food systems in San Luis Obispo County, has been awarded a $150,000 national grant from Art Place America. The grant period begins in August 2015.

Ellen will be working with CAED students on research and mapping of local food systems, as well as planning community participation events and a temporary installation, over the 18-month grant period. Local project partners include the SLO County Food System Coalition and Central Coast Grown. The project was one of 38 chosen from almost 1,300 proposals.

Despite being a largely agricultural county, only 3% of locally grown food is consumed within the county. The SLO Map project will support community efforts already underway to create a local food distribution system at the county level by mapping food resources and system flows, conducting interviews and creative workshops to explore understandings of food/place across the county, and developing installations that foster more engaged stewardship of the food system. SLO Map has as its aim the generation of a communal vision that supports small farmers, enhances food security, improves nutrition, and cultivates a shared sense of place.

Student Work Featured on LAF's Resources for Educators Website

Work by landscape architecture students Wayne Nemec, Patrick McQuown, Annie Potter, and Chad Thompson, along with this photo of LA students in the studio, is currently featured on the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) website. The work was sponsored by a grant from the LAF to explore landscape performance in design education.

Asst. Prof. Ellen Burke was one of five faculty members selected from a pool of nationwide applicants to receive a $2,500 landscape performance education grant from the LAF. These grants allowed selected university faculty to develop and test models for integrating landscape performance into standard LA course offerings.

"I'm using this grant for my Winter 2015 LA 405, Project Design and Implementation Class, which is teaching an understanding of landscape as a living system," said Burke. "Through a combination of research, program design, and quantification assignments, students are being asked to choose and design a 'performative' landscape and to understand and describe their proposals through the lens of landscape." Course materials developed through this grant were added to the Resources for Educators section of, which offers teaching tools like syllabi, reading lists, and assignments for faculty members interested in teaching landscape performance to the next generation of design professionals. To read more, click here and scroll down to "Project Design and Implementation Focus Studio (BLA Studio), California Polytechnic State University, Ellen Burke, RLA, LEED AP." 

Posted 6-17-15

Department Says Goodbye to Class of 2015

Thirty-five Landscape Architecture program students became the department's newest alumni at the June 13, 2015 Spring Commencement. After being greeted by President Armstrong on their way into Spanos Stadium and participating in the main commencement ceremony, the graduates were individually recognized at the department's own ceremony in the plaza just outside Dexter Hall.

Seven members of the class of 2015 graduated with honors:

  • Daniel Beck and Kalyn Crosier graduated Magna Cum Laude.
  • Trevor Cassidy, Timothy Conway, Matthew Hawks, Jessica James, and Amanda McCaulley graduated Cum Laude.

Kalyn Crosier and Alex Henige received special recognition in the University's commencement program as College of Architecture & Environmental Design Outstanding Seniors - Kalyn for her contributions to the objectives and public image of the CAED and Alex for his contributions to the off-campus community.

Posted 6-5-15

Joseph Ragsdale Named Teacher-Scholar Award RecipientPhoto of Christy O'Hara

Associate Prof. Joseph Ragsdale was one of six faculty members in the College of Architecture & Environmental Design named a 2015-16 Teacher-Scholar Award recipient. The awards were made possible with support from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and AVRP Studios, a San-Diego based company offering planning, architecture, and interior design services.

The awards are designed to foster a culture of intellectual experimentation and curricular innovation that will provide CAED students and faculty with opportunities to further their professional development and enhance the present and future quality of the built environment. The award Ragsdale received will enable him to employ Hearst Student-Scholar Fellows. For more information, visit the Cal Poly News website.

Christy O'Hara Receives Charles E. Beveridge Research FellowshipPhoto of Christy O'Hara

Associate Prof. Christine Edstrom O'Hara was selected to receive a Charles E. Beveridge Research Fellowship from the Friends of Fairsted to support her research on the Olmsted firm's work in Los Angeles. Her research will focus on the work of the Olmsted brothers between 1903 - 1930, particularly their fifteen-hundred square mile proposal, "Parks, Playgrounds and Beaches for the Los Angeles Region," seeking to identify the way the firm used ecological principles and worked with natural systems to develop a regional plan.

The Fellowship is intended to encourage the use of the Frederick Law Olmsted Historic Site archives and foster the continued development of Olmsted scholars. Friends of Fairsted is a non-profit partner of Frederick Law Olmsted Historic Site, devoted to enhancing public understanding of the Olmsted legacy. Fairsted is the historic name Olmsted gave to his property in Brookline, MA.

Fifth Years Showcase Capstone Projects June 5 at Dallidet Adobe

Eighteen landscape architecture students finishing their capstone experience during Spring term exhibited their senior projects in the Dallidet Adobe Gardens, 1185 Pacific Street, San Luis Obispo, Friday, June 5, from 5 pm to 8 pm. The show, "Creatography," was free and open to the public. To see a slideshow of this senior project gallery, click here.

During the show, the landscape architecture faculty announced several senior class recognition awards:

  • Academic Excellence - Jessica James
  • ​Service to the Department - Alix Kidwell
  • Best Design Process - Jared Desbrow & Jessica James
  • Design Excellence - Wai Wong
  • Best Senior Project - Salina Akter & Alix Kidwell

The Academic Excellence award is based on overall GPA. The remaining recognition awards were based on faculty nomination and votes.

The exhibiting seniors voted on who among their peers was deserving of the Golden Eagle award. The Golden Eagle is a student who has demonstrated a professional competence and attitude, has been a stabilizing influence during times of confusion, and is always able to give to others in their time of need.

  • Golden Eagle - Jared Desbrow

​​These awards honored students finishing their capstone projects during Spring term.

Spring Classes Hold Final Reviews June 1 - 9

​Final reviews provide an excellent opportunity to learn about Landscape Architecture and interact with faculty and students in the Department. The Department will hold the following reviews June 1  - 9, 2015

SE Minor Wins "Best Practices" Award for Sustainability in Academics

Cal Poly's Sustainable Environments (SE) minor was named a winner in the eleventh annual Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practices Awards Competition. The SE minor won in the "Sustainability in Academics" category, and will be recognized during the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference at San Francisco State University July 20-24, 2015.

Core courses in the SE minor are team-taught by an interdisciplinary group of faculty from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, including Landscape Architecture Associate Professors Beverly Bass and Joseph Ragsdale.

Ragsdale and Architecture Professor Jonathan Reich will give a presentation about the SE minor during the conference and accept the best practices award on behalf of the faculty who teach the EDES 406, 408, and 410 courses.

Updated 6-3-15

LA Faculty Present Research at 2015 CELA Conference

Faculty Beverly Bass, Omar Faruque, César Torres Bustamante, and David Watts traveled to Kansas State University in late March to present their research at the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) 2015 Annual Meeting. This year's conference theme was "Incite Change | Change Insight."

Prof. Faruque (pictured above) and Asst. Prof. Torres-Bustamante presented posters highlighting their research in the area of design education and pedagogy: "Design is Design is Design: Towards an Integrated Paradigm of Teaching Design" (Faruque), "Teaching Design to Teach Design Communication: An Experiment in Contextual Learning" (Faruque) and "Writing and Designing" (Torres Bustamante).  Torres Bustamante's poster displayed in an infographic the results of implementing writing strategies in a landscape architecture design studio. Torres Bustamante also delivered a paper, "Beyond Project Description: Writing in Design Studios," reporting on his collaboration with a writing instructor to implement three strategies to improve students' writing (and thinking) process: assignment design, clarification of the appropriate audience for the paper, and responding to student writing.

Assoc. Prof. Bass presented a paper discussing her research in urban design, "Parking Retrofits within Historic City Centers and the Potential Effects on their Walkability," looking at the parking retrofits undertaken within two historic walkable cities in California, San Luis Obispo and Davis, and how these retrofits have impacted walkability within these cities. Assoc. Prof. Watts shared his research in service learning and community engagement, presenting a paper titled "Examining Long Term Impacts of Short Term Service Learning Engagement."

For more information about this and other faculty research, click here.

LA Students Exhibit Designs for University House in Kennedy Library

Students in Ellen Burke's LA 405, Project Design and Implementation Focus Studio are exhibiting their designs for University House, the President's Residence, May 4 - 15, 2015, in the first floor gallery of Kennedy Library. At the invitation of President and Mrs. Armstrong, the LA 405 studio redesigned the landscape of University House with the goal of reducing water use for irrigation. Student designs also incorporate creation of habitat, storm water management, and carbon sequestration. The exhibit, " University House Redux," is free and open to the public.

Senior Kalyn Crosier Named 2015 University Olmsted Scholar

Fifth year student Kalyn Crosier has been named a 2015 University Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, nominated by the faculty for being an exceptional student leader. The Olmsted Scholars Program recognizes and supports students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits. Students are honored for past achievements and recognized for their future potential to influence the landscape architecture profession.

Now in its eighth year, the Olmsted Scholars Program is the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students.

To read about Kalyn, her professional interests and plans, and about other University Olmsted Scholars, click here.

Posted 4-24-15

Five from Class of 2014-15 Receive ASLA Awards

A jury from the ASLA Southern California Chapter selected five students from the class of 2014-15 for the 2015 ASLA Student Honor and Merit Awards.

Daniel Beck and Emma McHatten were awarded ASLA Certificates of Honor. Certificates of Merit were awarded to Jillian Broeckel-Bleher, Kalyn Crosier, and Alix Kidwell.

Students considered for the awards were nominated by program faculty based on the following criteria: 1) minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA; 2) in their final two years of study; 3) considered truly outstanding as measured by the program's long-term standards of excellence; 4) demonstrating the highest level of academic scholarship and of accomplishments in skills related to the art and technology of landscape architcture; and 5) demonstrating personal qualities and skills of responsiveness and willingness to work with others, self-motivation and responsibility, and design abilities: exploration, discovery, synthesis and representation of landscape architecture deign.

Professor Emeritus Gere Smith, FASLA, Bianca Koenig, Landscape Architect with the Wallace Group, and Christina Lynch, Landscape Architect were the jury members. Representatives from the Southern California Chapter will present the awards to the students at the Student Awards Brunch on Saturday, June 6, 2015.

Posted 4-22-15

Fourth Year Student Receives ASLA Council of Fellows Scholarship

Fourth year student Rachel SantaOlalla has been awarded a 2015 ASLA Council of Fellows Scholarship. In addition to receiving $4,000, SantaOlalla received a one-year student ASLA membership, general registration fees for the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Chicago, IL, and a travel stipend to attend the meeting.

The scholarship was established by the ASLA Council of Fellows in 2004. The scholarship's purpose includes supporting deserving landscape architecture students and enriching the profession of landscape architecture by encouraging diversity among students and practitioners. To read more about SantaOlalla's interests and future plans, click here. To read more about the Council of Fellows, click here.

Cal Poly Hosts LAbash, National Student LA Conference, March 19 - 21

Cal Poly hosted LAbash, the national student landscape architecture conference, March 19-21, 2015.  This was the first time since 1993 that Cal Poly has served as the conference host. Founded by three landscape architecture students from the University of Guelph in 1970, the conference has been held annually for the past 45 years, hosted by different universities throughout the U.S. and Canada.  LA professionals, alums, current students and professionals and students from related fields gather together during LAbash to celebrate landscape architecture, learn new skills, network with other students, professionals, and prospective employers, and gain new insights into the discipline.

The theme for this year's conference was "Genius SLOci," which draws on the fundamental principle of genius loci, or "spirit of a place" in SLO (San Luis Obispo).  To read an article about LAbash and an interview with LAbash2015 planning committee director Kate Cannon in Landscape Architects Network, click here

Fifth Years Showcase Thesis Projects March 12-13 in SLO 

17 LA students finishing their two-quarter capstone experience during Winter term displayed their senior design projects at Brick House Goods, 119 Chorro Street, in downtown San Luis Obispo Thursday, March 12, during Farmers' Market, and Friday, March 13, from 4 pm to 8 pm. The show was free and open to the public.

During the Friday show, the Landscape Architecture faculty announced several senior class recognition awards:

  • Academic Excellence - Kalyn Crosier
  • Best Design Process - Daniel Beck and Emma McHatten
  • Design Excellence - Amanda McCaulley
  • Best Senior Project - Daniel Beck
  • Service to the Department - Kalyn Crosier

The Academic Excellence award is based on overall GPA. The remaining recognition awards were based on faculty nominations and votes.

  • Golden Eagle - Trevor Cassidy and Tim Conway

These awards honored students finishing their capstone projects during Winter term.

Winter Classes Hold Final Reviews March 9 - 13

Final reviews provide an excellent opportunity to learn about Landscape Architecture and interact with faculty and students in the Department. The Department will hold the following reviews March 9  - 13, 2015

Design Week 2015 Focuses on Chevron Tank Farm Visioning

book coverDesign Week 2015, held on campus January 6-10, featured teams of students and professionals working together to develop a vision for the Chevron 332-acre tank farm property surrounding Tank Farm Road north of the airport in San Luis Obispo. The tank farm was decommissioned in the 1990's and is now substantially vacant.

A Design Week highlight was the keynote speech given by Stan Skalka, co-founder and president of Victor Stanley, Inc., a leading manufacturer of site furnishings. Skalka was named an honorary member of ASLA in 2011 in recognition of his many contributions to the landscape architecture profession. A frequent speaker at ASLA national conferences and local chapters, Skalka discussed the role of leadership in overcoming failure and leading teams to success.

Design Week is the creation of Design Workshop, an international design and planning firm. Steve Noll (class of 1983), principal with Design Workshop's Lake Tahoe office, came to campus to facilitate the charrette. The Landscape Architecture Department has hosted the program three times before and Design Workshop has run similar programs at other universities across the nation.

Students from the City and Regional Planning department participated along with Landscape Architecture students, creating a interdisciplinary approach to the project. Students also worked with the San Luis Obispo Planning and Building Department.

A distinguished panel of jurors, including Professor Emeritus and ASLA President Dick Zweifel, Associate CAED Dean Michael Lucas, Professor Emeritus Gere Smith, Professor Emeritus Dale Sutliff,  Phil Dunsmore, Senior Planner with the City of San Luis Obispo, Joseph Arnold, Landscape Associate with CalTrans, and architect/urban designer Rasmus Frisk, founding partner of arki_lab in Denmark, judged the teams' final presentations. The winning teams will be announced shortly.

Posted 1-15-15

LA Students Help Design / Build Award-Winning 2015 Rose Float 

Photo of 2015 Rose Float Design Committee
Rose Float Design Committee and Volunteers. Pictured third from left in top row is Jo-Annie Tran. Third from left in bottom row is Ryan Wang.

Students from the LA department were part of the team that helped construct the 2015 Rose Float, “Soaring Stories,” which was the Cal Poly universities' entry in this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade. The float won the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for the most beautiful non-commercial float. “Soaring Stories” depicts a fairytale castle and mythological griffin springing to life from the pages of storybooks, reflecting the parade theme “Inspiring Stories.”

Fifth year LA major Young Choi served as the float’s production manager. He also designed, constructed and planted the float's green wall. Jo-Annie Tran (third year) and Ryan Wang (second year) were on the design committee, with Jo-Annie serving as assistant design chair. She will take over as chair of the design committee for next year's float.

“I never thought I could be part of designing a float, and then making a float by welding pounds of steel and carving blocks of foam," said Tran. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

To read the university's press release about the rose float, click here.

MoMA Catalog Includes Photo by Fifth Year LA Student 

image published on page 113 of MoMA catalog

Fifth year student Amanda McCaulley's image of the tarzan bridge play element in a playground built by a team of LA students is featured in a Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) catalog. The catalog was published in conjunction with the museum's exhibition "Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities." The image appears on page 113 of the catalog. The student team that designed and built the playground, located at the Ratang Bana Aids Orphanage in South Africa, won a 2014 ASLA Award of Excellence for their project. For more information about the MoMA exhibition, click here. For more information about the student team's award, click here.

Kennedy Library Exhibit Features Designs by LA Students

posterElevated Foundation, an exhibit in the Kennedy Library that ran October 24 - December 1, 2014, featured designs for Cal Poly's future academic commons as envisioned by the students in Prof. Omar Faruque's summer 2014 LA 402, Design Theory, and LA 436, Traditional and Digital Media Communications classes.

The campus academic commons is planned as a neighborhood of multifunctional indoor and outdoor spaces that foster academic connections across the colleges. The exhibit also incorporated ideas and images from the architectural firm Shepley Bulfinch, which worked with key campus stakeholders to develop a master plan so that Kennedy Library can continue to meet student and faculty needs over the next 5-10 years. Student way-finding and mapping schemas inspired by the master plan were also featured.


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