Three formidable presences in the landscape architecture community—the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Land8 Media, LLC, and the annual LABash Conference—have joined forces to create a new alliance that, per a press announcement released earlier today by the ALSA, will “will uniquely position landscape architecture professionals at the forefront of design, public health and ecological restoration.” While details of how this three-way partnership with play out have yet to be elaborated on, the ASLA noted that the newly forged union will “further enhance” the invaluable work of the landscape architecture community and “strengthen [the community] on every level, from early education through professional leadership.”
“Our profession is evolving, and it is time for us to pursue innovative partnerships and approaches to our work that provide greater opportunities for landscape architects, students and educators who are focused on designing positive change in the world,” said ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen in a statement. “We have long admired the relationship that Land8 and LABash have developed with their networks and followers, and I look forward to a closer relationship that will expand our collective ability to raise awareness and understanding of the profession.”
Established in 1899, the more than 15,000-member-strong ASLA obviously serves the role of doyen within the new trinity. However, each unique respective entity—venerable professional organization, online social and informational hub for landscape architecture students and professionals, and annual conference for landscape architecture students—will bring its own strengths to the table and further connect the forthcoming generation of landscape architects with emerging and seasoned practitioners alike.
“These partnerships are good for the health and future of the landscape architecture profession, and we’ll be able to help LABash grow,” said ASLA President Eugenia Martin. “I remember attending as a professional and being very impressed with the overall event. The students who put together LABash are outstanding. We look forward to working with our new partners to become even more inclusive as a design community.”
Established in 2008 by young ASLA members as the “premier online platform for the profession,” Land8 Media is the youngest of the three partners and currently boasts more than 19,000 user profiles. In 2019, Land8 Media began advising and providing administrative support to the LABash Conference, a popular annual gathering of landscape architecture students first held in 1970.
The ASLA’s announcement makes clear that it will not absorb its smaller, younger partners as part of the alliance and that each organization will maintain its independence. Land8 editor Matt Alcide will remain at the helm and LABash will continue to be led by students at the different university landscape architecture programs that host the function each year. This year’s forthcoming conference in Baton Rouge will be held by the landscape architecture program at Louisiana State University; last year, it was hosted virtually by students at Cornell University due to the pandemic.
As for the forthcoming 2022 edition of the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture, it kicks off on November 11 in San Francisco.