The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announced its honors recipients for 2017, which are selected by ASLA’s Board of Trustees. The honors represent the highest awards ASLA presents each year, and they will be presented on Oct. 23 during the president’s dinner at the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO. This meeting will be held Oct. 20-23 in Los Angeles, California.
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd. (GGN) will receive the Landscape Architecture Firm Award, which ASLA says is the highest honor they may bestow upon a landscape architecture firm in recognition of distinguished work that influences the profession.
Founded in 1999 by Jennifer Guthrie, Kathryn Gustafson and Shannon Nichol, ASLA says this collaborative firm is deeply committed to the creation of landscapes that are innovative, responsible, beautiful and functional. GGN projects include Lurie Garden in Chicago, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Campus in Seattle, Washington.
Charles Birnbaum will receive the ASLA Medal, which is the society’s highest award for a landscape architect. ASLA says that Birnbaum has dedicated himself to the task of preserving designed landscapes, as well as the narratives and individuals responsible for their creation.
As the founder and CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), Birnbaum has developed a vehicle that is an advocate for the profession, and ASLA says it has grown tremendously in influence.
Gary Hilderbrand will receive the ASLA Design Medal to recognize his design work. Hilderbrand is a teacher, designer, author and critic. ASLA notes that the projects done by he and his partner Doug Reed and their Reed Hilderbrand staff are moving and memorable, unexpected and fitting.
According to ASLA, Hilderbrand has successfully realized the highest level of design excellence, craftsmanship and responsible sustainability across a wide spectrum of project types, such as campuses, museums, private and public gardens and urban spaces.
Elizabeth K. Meyer will receive the Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal for sustained and significant excellence in landscape architecture education. Meyer is a renowned teacher whose student mentoring, critical thinking and inspiration have catalyzed outstanding practitioners across generations.
In 1993, she began teaching at the University of Virginia after positions at the Harvard Graduate School, Cornell University and George Washington University. ASLA says that not only did she demonstrate a tireless commitment to advancing pedagogy while at the University of Virginia, but she also served as Dean of the School of Architecture and chair for Landscape Architecture three times.
Kenneth Bahlinger will receive the LaGasse Medal for contributions to the conservation and management of natural resources and public landscapes. Bahlinger has worked with the state of Louisiana restoring coastal wetlands for 26 years, and he is an award-winning landscape architect.
ASLA says that he has made significant contributions to the management and conservation of natural resources through the leadership he has provided and the work he has done on the Coast Vegetative Planting Program, the Christmas Tree Program and more recently as the senior project manager of many large-scale restoration projects.
Janette Sadik-Khan will also receive the LaGasse Medal for contributions to the conservation and management of natural resources and public landscapes. ASLA says that Sadik-Khan led one of the greatest transformation efforts within the public realm of New York City in over 50 years while serving as commissioner of NYC Department of Transportation from 2007 to 2013.
According to ASLA, today Sadik-Khan has become an influential voice for making pedestrians and bicyclists a priority with the transportation network and urban environment. Sadik-Khan continues to advocate and share her vision for making urban spaces better for all as she serves as the chair of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and other influential organizations.