2018 Annual WASLA Conference

Motif Seattle, March 16, 2018



3:00 - 4:00 pm
Resonate and Respond: How the New Landscape Declaration has Influenced Practice, Research, and Scholarship


In a fortunate collision of themes, both the WASLA conference and current Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) agenda ruminate on the common, collective, and expansive nature of design challenges and the profession itself. In celebration of our profession's political, cultural and environmental resonance, we present to you a panel of former and present LAF Board members exploring the New Landscape Declaration and its impact on the practice of landscape architecture. Inquiries will center on the document's potential and realized effects of professional and academic practices to date. After providing a brief look into the historical concerns underlying the declaration, a birds-eye of the preceding summit and a brief content synopsis, the presentation will pivot to panelists who will discuss the Declaration's influence in their respective practices and academic institutions.

Lead Speaker:

Dorothy Faris

Speaker Bios:

Dorothy Faris, Associate Principal, Mithun
B. Dorothy, associate principal and landscape architect at Mithun, works on public and private projects across the western United States. Her approach aims to reveal stories of place, celebrate ecological function, and generate community through the creation of civic spaces. Dorothy is a board member for the Landscape Architecture Foundation and a graduate of the ULI Northwest Center for Sustainable Leadership.

Debra Guenther, Partner, Mithun
As a partner at Mithun, Deb's diverse experience includes work for private, public, and non-profit clients, towards productive partnerships. She was awarded the ASLA President's Medal in 2010 for her SITES work. Deb's work on equity, climate change, and resilience issues includes the Resilient by Design Challenge, serving on the Ecodistricts board, board emeritus of the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

Jennifer Guthrie, Principal, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
Jennifer Guthrie, FASLA, PLA, is a founding principal of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Her design leadership merges a guiding, experiential vision with innovative and precise detailing. Her work ranges broadly, encompassing urban districts, public squares, rooftop gardens, urban farms, and cultural institutions. Jennifer is the Immediate Past President of the Landscape Architectural Foundation Board, and she serves on the CEO Roundtable.

Peg Staeheli, Founding Principal, MIG|SvR
Peg Staeheli focuses on the public realm, where landscape architecture interfaces with engineering. She previously served on the board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation. During her years of practice, Peg's work has included pedestrian accessibility, green stormwater infrastructure, complete streets, utility system, urban forestry, parks and low impact development site design. Her collaborations, thoughtfulness, and commitment to the environment bring balance to site infrastructure.

Sara Zewde, Designer, GGN
Sara Zewde is a landscape designer, urbanist, and public artist. Concurrent to independent creative projects, Sara is a designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, where she contributes to the development of designed landscapes around the world. Sara was named LAF's 2014 National Olmsted Scholar and serves on its Olmsted Scholar Committee. She also serves on the boards of Design in Public, the Africatown Preservation and Development Association, and Harvard Graduate School of Design's Alumni Council.

Learning Objectives:
Understand the challenges and opportunities in defining the role of the LA professional within greater conservation dialogues, policy creation, and infrastructure work. Acquire practical tools for crafting scholarship and built works that respond using theoretical, historical, and visionary texts as a guide. Learn how others have grappled with the challenges of intermixing innovative design and complex environmental or socio-cultural sensitivities within practical contexts and constraints. Analyze the process for considered thought and implementation of discipline wide charters, prose and diplomacy towards action amongst ourselves and the larger global community. How firms strive to include research based design in addressing present and pressing environmental and social issues.