American Society of Landscape Architects
Northern California Chapter



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Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES®) Lecture Wednesday, May 25th AIA in San Francisco

Learn about the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES®), the most comprehensive rating system for developing sustainable landscapes. The SITES Rating System is administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the premiere organization independently recognizing excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally. The material on which the SITES Rating System is based was developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects Fund, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden. CLICK HERE to learn more about the SITES rating system. REGISTER
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North Beach Sketch Crawl Saturday, May 7th San FranciscoWashington-Sq_0213

Join veteran urban sketchers JAMES RICHARDS, CHIP SULLIVAN & APRIL PHILIPS for a short Urban Sketching Workshop, then explore the visual treasures of North Beach through on-location sketching. This is an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and celebrate our city. All experience levels are welcome; bring your own sketching materials. We’ll hear road-worthy tips and techniques, draw together, then conclude by sharing sketches and stories and taking a group photo. REGISTER

Here is more info on our veteran urban sketch leaders for the event:

Live, Work, Play May 4th at Stanford University

The featured landscape lecture will be Kevin Conger with  CMG Landscape Architects.  The lecture is free to all and will include a reception immediately following. As a part of Stanford University’s Spring Lecture Series, it will be held at Stanford’s new McMurtry Building for the Arts by Diller Skofidio Renfro with landscape by the Office of Cheryl Barton.

The University Architect / Campus Planning and Design Office sponsors a spring lecture series in architecture and landscape architecture. The purpose of the series is to bring together community enthusiasts, students and staff from across different disciplines to hear the latest innovations in building and design. The lectures provide the Bay Area architectural and design communities an opportunity to hear nationally and internationally renowned experts in the field. The lectures are free of charge and open to the public.

The theme for this year’s series is “LIVE, WORK, PLAY”. A cultural shift is clearly well underway, where the boundaries between these 3 phases of a conventional working day have been eroded. Some would argue that there is no such thing as a work-life balance, because a growing portion of the modern workforce does not distinguish between work and life. We have asked our esteemed lecturers to discuss how their work addresses this evolution.


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Landscape Matters: Ideas & Partnerships March 17th at AIA in San Francsico

ASLA-NCC proudly presents Alma du Solier of POPULOUS who will be our guest speaker on Thursday, March 17, 2016. Alma will be discussing how the different models/combinations of owner+designer+audience on each project influence how urban landscapes are ultimately created, and more importantly how our role and approach as designers changes in response to this. She will be using examples from her work.

Alma Du Solier has extensive experience in the practice of landscape design. She has worked as lead designer for a wide range of efforts, from urban parks and streetscape projects to large development communities, covering the entire spectrum of tasks, from concept and masterplanning to detailed construction documentation and implementation. Alma employs a unique multidisciplinary design approach due to her strong background in both landscape design and architecture, and her interest in collaboration and on the meaningful integration of design with site and culture. REGISTER

creativeplayCreative Approaches to Playground Design Thursday, October 22nd at Le Petit Trianon Theatre, San Jose

Come and join us for a discussion with three experienced professionals in the field of landscape architecture and playground design.
Jon McConkey is Director of Market Insights at Landscape Structures. He has presented extensively on playground accessibility and universal access. Using built projects as examples, John will present on how universal design in play environments can be used to achieve broader goals such as creative place making, presenting a community story, and other themes.
Brian Fletcher is the President of Callander Associates Landscape Architecture, Inc. with offices in San Mateo, Sacramento, and San Jose. Mike Bellinger is principal at BFS Landscape Architects, with offices in Monterey, Mountain View, and Santa Cruz. Using examples of custom play elements, art sculpture pieces, and nature play elements from Stojanovich Park in Campbell designed by Callander Associates, and Martial Cottle Park in San Jose designed by BFS Landscape Architects, Brian and Mike will discuss how designers interpret play under regulatory guidelines addressing play structure safety, and the challenges of bringing art and “nature” play experiences into mainstream playgrounds.

Jim Urban The Six Things You Must Get Right To Grow A Tree Lecture Thursday, October 15th, AIA, San Francisco

Lincoln CenterMany design issues impact the long term health of urban trees.  Join us to  hear Jim Urban, FASLA, talk about his 30 years of experience with urban trees and soils and present on the six essential elements to successfully grow an urban tree.
Jim will discuss the design and planning decision, and the biological and arboricultural basis for understanding these tree requirements and examine them in the context of typical design decisions. How do our design choices affect trees and long-term project performance? He  will also share examples of critical lessons as well as ways of achieving solutions that meet the needs of both the design team and the trees.
James Urban, FASLA is well known for his skills in the areas of urban arboriculture and soils, including the preservation and installation of trees in the urban environment and the specification and installation of specialized planting soils for roof gardens, urban landscape plantings, rain water management and where changes in design approaches are needed to create truly sustainable landscapes. In 1997, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) awarded him a National Merit Award for his work on urban trees and the following year he was made a Fellow in the ASLA in recognition of this contribution to the profession. In 2007 he was awarded the ASLA Medal of Excellence for his “significant and sustained contributions to Landscape Architecture.” He is the author of Up By Roots: Healthy Soils and Trees in the Built Environment.

 Career Successes Panel Discussion Thursday, September 24th at Le Petit Trianon Theatre, San Jose

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Join us for a panel discussion with three Bay Area professionals who have very different and successful careers. Jeffrey Miller, Katrina Majewski and Chip Sullivan will discuss what worked and what didn’t as they each pursued unconventional career paths and adapted to the vagaries of the economy. The discussions will end with a Q&A session where the audience can find out more about developing interesting and fulfilling careers.

Jeffrey Miller of Miller Company Landscape Architects
Jeffrey will discuss how he started his design/build firm after his career development on the East Coast and in the Bay Area, including Garrett Eckbo Associates. He will share his unique insight into balancing entrepreneurship with a strong ethical foundation that draws from the very reasons why he became a landscape architect.

Katrina Majewski of Community Design Research
Katrina worked at an IT company for 5 years during the economic recession. She will discuss how she stayed relevant in the field of landscape architecture and now continues with her career at Community Design Research in Oakland.

Chip Sullivan of UC Berkeley
Chip is an award winning artist, landscape architect and professor at UC Berkeley. He has successfully navigated his academic career, teaching at University of Florida, Harvard, and Berkeley. Chip will discuss his career successes in the art world, landscape architecture and teaching.

 Historic Landscape Architecture Society (HALS) Lecture Thursday, September 17th AIA, San Francisco

On September 17th, Chris Pattillo, FASLA will talk about the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). In 2000, ASLA joined with the National Park Service and Library of Congress to create the HALS program which is modeled on HABS – the American Building Survey created in 1933. HALS is a documentation program that recognizes and records important historic landscapes, both designed and vernacular.

Since 2004 Chris has been involved with the Northern California Chapter of HALS and has served as our chapter’s liaison nationally. Chapter members prepared documentation for several California Missions as part of the 2012 HALS Challenge – a national program conceived by the California chapter. They have documented the Kaiser Roof Garden designed by Ted Osmundson, the Berkeley City Club, and just finished recording the gardens at Sunset Magazine’s Menlo Park headquarters designed by Thomas D. Church.

Chris will give a brief history of HALS and will describe two methodologies of documentation – the short form and standard format. A case study of Doyle Drive will be included to illustrate how that important historic site was documented.

This will be a visually stimulating program and very informative.

Artful Rainwater Design Lecture Thursday, May 14th AIA, San Francisco

PennypackerCovers-FinalFrontProfessors Eliza Pennypacker and Stuart Echols shared their recently published book, “Artful Rainwater Design.”

In the midst of a historic drought, many Californians seek to look past the everyday, utilitarian solutions to the groundwater crisis. With impeccable timing this lecture offers a creative alternative. Through years of research and collaboration, the authors have examined and collected many of the world’s most prized examples of design with rainwater as the principal element. The book presents the intriguing thesis: “Stormwater management…[can].. not only mitigate quality and quantity of runoff, but celebrates rainwater in a design that educates and entertains visitors.” ARD now provides a single source guide for professionals pursuing a better solution.

Both professors are current faculty at Pennsylvania State University, where they recently conducted one-day symposiums on this topic, available here.


 The Future of Creative Play March 19th AIA, San Francisco

Photo credit Base Landscape Architecture

Photo credit Base Landscape Architecture

Now more than ever clients are asking for innovative play environments but regulations and available equipment can be a challenge. Come see how landscape architects, non-profits, and cities are trying to create the future of creative play. Panelists includeAndreas Stavropoulos: BASE Landscape Architecture and Mathew Gaber: MIG.



Plants & Water: Sustainability and Landscape Design Lecture March 12th at Le Petit Trianon Theatre, San Jose

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Please join us for a lecture featuring the latest information about plants and how to utilize them to contribute to sound conservation practices while providing beauty in the landscape. Our speaker is Bob Perry, FASLA, Professor Emeritus from Cal Poly Pomona, and adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Southern California.  He is a recognized expert in areas of landscape plants and water conserving design throughout California. Bob has written three award-winning reference books, including Landscape Plants for California Gardens.  This 650-page volume is the most comprehensive color illustrated planting reference available for professionals in California.

Bob participated in the California Landscape Taskforce that introduced water budget based guidelines in the State Model Water Efficiency Ordinance, and was an original member of the Water Use Classification Of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) team that developed the estimated water use of landscape species.  He was elected as a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1998.

Storm Water Design Creativity Lecture, February 19th at AIA San Francisco

Ribbon Park Tanguu, Tianjin, China Courtesy of Hargreaves Associates

Ribbon Park Tanguu, Tianjin, China Courtesy of Hargreaves Associates

Alan Lewis, Associate Director of SOM San Francisco is currently the firm-wide Open Space Practice Leader and an Associate Director for Skidmore Owings & Merrill in San Francisco. He has over 30 years of experience in the design and construction of large scale projects and has lectured extensively on the interdisciplinary issues fusing architecture and sustainability with urban and landscape design in both professional and academic venues.

Wright Yang, Senior Associate at Hargreaves Associates has nearly ten years of professional experience. At Hargreaves Associates he has been a key player on several major master planning and urban waterfront projects in the United States and China including the San Diego Downtown Waterfront Park, the St. Louis Arch Riverfront Park Competition, the Presidio Parkway in San Francisco as well as the Haihe Riverfront. CLICK HERE to view the video.

Career Challenges Panel Discussion, January 29th

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A panel discussion by architects and landscape architects on building and guiding your careeer. Discover new ways to make your career happen for you as our panelist share how they reshaped their careers. The American Society of Landscape Architects in conjunction with the Organization of Women Architects and Design Professionals will be hosted the event at the San Francisco AIA at 130 Sutter St between 6:30-8:30.

Panelists were: Cameron White, Architect with Kaiser Permanente, Jeff Miller of Miller Company Landscape Architects, Patricia Algara of BASE Landscape Architects, Tim Deacon of Tim Deacon Landscape Architects and Katrina Majewski

The Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan, November 13th at The San Jose Quilt & Textile Museum

Calero LakeThe South Bay Committee of the ASLA-NCC  is pleased to announce its Inaugural Lecture sponsored by Landscape Forms. The Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan is a 50-year regional plan which fundamentally changes how environmental mitigation is implemented by shifting from smaller, site based mitigation projects to a regional approach intended to result in the establishment and protection of significant habitat.  The result will be to protect endangered species and natural resources while allowing for future development in Santa Clara County. The presentation will provide an overview and background of Plan development, address how endangered species permitting occurs under the Plan, and illustrate conservation strategy implementation, focusing on restoration site selection.

Tom Leader Lecture

1_RR parkASLA-NCC is pleased to conclude our 2014 Lecture Series on Thursday, October 30, with a presentation by landscape architect Tom Leader, who will speak about his recent work. For nearly 30 years, Tom has grounded his practice in an authentic understanding and appreciation of culture, ecology, craftsmanship and design. Sincere in his exploration of the creative process, Tom has remained on the cutting edge of design innovation, his work widely recognized for excellence. Since founding Tom Leader Studio in 2001, Tom has sought to create “original, tangible experiences” of place in such award-winning projects as Railroad Park in Birmingham, Alabama, and RIVERFIRST in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and through his provocative site works and art installations. A former partner at Peter Walker + Partners, Tom received a BA in landscape architecture from UC Berkeley and MLA from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Check back for a video recording of the lecture.

Legacy Lecture Monday, March 31, 6:30 at Wurster Hall

peter walker legacy lectureLandscape architect Peter Walker’s decades-long career includes enough professional highlights to fill several careers, among them the 9/11 Memorial in New York. How Walker translates a patron’s vision, whether a garden for a great art collector’s sculpture or a hallowed place for remembrance and reflection, will be covered in a West Coast Legacy Lecture/interview by Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Walker and Birnbaum are knowledgeable, opinionated and bring great perspective, which should make for a very lively evening. This event, made possible by the Northern California Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, will be held at UCB’s Wurster Hall. The interview will also be filmed as part of the Foundation’s oral history series.

Invasive Plants Lecture


The destruction and devastation of healthy ecosystems and the harm caused to human populations by invasive plant species is a critical area of concern to landscape architects and horticulturalists regardless of their scale of practice. The ASLA-NCC has assembled a panel of experts on the issue to present their current thinking and latest approaches to the control of invasive plants.

Concrete: Rome to Rhino.

Perhaps no other material has transformed the built landscape as has concrete. From its development by ancient Roman engineers who helped turn Rome into an enduring metropolis, to its contemporary application as a smog-eating and light-emitting product, the story of concrete in a way parallels the story of the practice of landscape architecture. The American Society of Landscape Architects, Northern California Chapter, is pleased to host an informative and inspiring evening dedicated to this astonishing material. Join us on January 23, 2014, as industry professionals and leaders from the local design community present their experiences and perspectives on the use of concrete in shaping the historic and present-day landscape.

Speakers included Willett Moss, landscape architect of CMG Landscape Architecture, Gary Strang, architect and landscape architect at GLS Landscape|Architecture, and Mark Rogero, principal at Concreteworks design and fabrication studio. CLICK HERE to view the video.

Rising Coastal Waters Reaction & Adaption Lecture

In the Bay Area, the ocean and bay hold incredible power and ecological wealth, captivating residents and visitors. Yet as we revel in this spectacular marine setting there is an evident threat of rising waters. Join us as we explore with three experts in the field, how design professionals can and have responded and adapted to this challenge. The 2013 ASLA-NCC Lecture Series culminates with an investigation of Sea Level Rise and brings together: Professor Kristina Hill, UC Berkeley Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning; Dilip Trivedi, Coastal Engineer for Moffatt & Nichol; and Roger Leventhal, Senior Engineer for MarinCounty.


Dilip Trivedi is Vice President and Coastal Engineer for Moffatt & Nichol in the San Francisco Bay Area.  His practice focuses on sea level rise planning, wetlands restoration, waterfront development, and public access. Dilip has served in an advisory capacity related to hydrodynamics and coastal engineering on several large marsh restoration projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has managed the design and analyses tasks for several urban redevelopment, wetlands restoration, and capital improvement projects including:Treasure Island, Candlestick/Hunter’s Point, and Oak to Ninth. He obtained Masters and Doctoral degrees from Texas A&MUniversity in Ocean Engineering.

Dilip will present projects along Bay Area waterfronts where Moffatt & Nichol have addressed the challenges of uncertain future sea level. His projects are multidisciplinary involving engineers, landscape architects, and architects. Dilip’s Lecture can be viewed here; PART ONE, PART TWO, PART THREE, PART FOUR.

Kristina Hill is a researcher, designer, and professor in landscape-based urban design at UC Berkeley. She designs adaptations for urban water systems as drivers of biodiversity, health and social justice, specializing in adaptation to floods. She consults in the US and Europe, wrote and edited “Ecology and Design: Frameworks for Learning,” and lectures internationally. Her current book project is on adaptation of urban water systems to climate change. She holds a BS in geology, a Masters and PhD in landscape architecture from Harvard. Kristina taught and practiced in Seattle for ten years, working on salmon-related urban water projects and leading a new public agency.

She will speak on flood risks and the three main responses: super dikes, soft sand barriers and floodable greenways urban districts. If housing trends continue to put pressure on the Bay Area to develop, new coastal housing should be resilient to flooding, protect contaminated sites from erosion, and preserve marine ecosystems. This can be done by using a strategy of incrementally building “micro-polders” along the coast that are part housing, part park, and part marine reserve. Kristina’s lecture can be viewed here; PART ONE, PART TWO.

Roger Leventhal is Senior Engineer in the Marin County Public Works Flood Control Division within the Watershed Group. Roger has a BS in Geology and an MS in Hydraulics and Coastal Engineering from UC Berkeley and worked for over 20 years as a restoration design consultant prior to coming to MarinCounty in 2011.  He has designed and constructed numerous tidal wetlands and fluvial restoration projects around the Bay Area as a consulting engineer prior to joining MarinCounty. Roger is responsible for the assessment and engineering adaptation planning for sea level rise in the County.Eastern MarinCounty is especially vulnerable to sea level rise and is regularly flooded on the semi-annual astronomical high tides or “King Tides” even without storm inputs.

Roger will describe Marin County’s assessment and adaptation planning strategies for sea level rise.  He will demonstrate, with the Aramburu Island Beach Restoration Project, that in the right setting natural bay beaches are an effective means to combat wind-wave erosion and sea level rise, while providing habitat friendly shoreline stabilization. Roger’s lecture can be viewed here; PART ONE, PART TWO, PART THREE.

Past Lectures

The Art & Science of Healthy Soils

Five expert panelists bring a range of perspectives and experience on soil science, climate, landscape architecture, composting and construction.

CLICK HERE for Part Two of The Art & Science of Healthy Soils.
for Part Three of The Art & Science of Healthy Soils.
for Part Four of the The Art & Science of Healthy Soils.