June 27, 2023 /


Annual Program Recognizes Excellence in the Practice of Landscape Architecture 


New York, New York (June 27, 2023) – The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has announced the 2023 Fellow, Medal and Honor recipients and we are thrilled to celebrate the recognition of six (6) ASLA-NY members. 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 designation of Fellow is conferred on individuals in recognition of exceptional accomplishments over a sustained period of time.

This year’s Fellow-Elect recipients from the New York Chapter are: Renée Byers, ASLA, Renée Byers Landscape Architect, Greenwich, Connecticut, Taewook Cha, ASLA, Supermass Studio, New York City, Michelle Delk, ASLA, Snøhetta, New York City and Nancy Owens, ASLA, Nancy Owens Studio, New York City. ASLA Fellows will be elevated during a special investiture ceremony at the 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture. The full list of Fellows can be found at This year’s ASLA-NY nominations committee are: Jason Bajor, ASLA, Carl Carlson, ASLA, Jennifer Nitzky, FASLA, Chair, Annie Phaosawasdi ASLA, Nancy Prince, FASLA, David Russo, ASLA.

ASLA recently announced its 2023 Honors Recipients, highlighting some of the most noteworthy landscape architecture practitioners and firms nationwide. Selected by ASLA’s board of trustees, the honors represent the highest recognition ASLA bestows each year. This year’s medal recipients from the New York Chapter are: James Corner, FASLA, of James Corner Field Operations to receive the ASLA Design Medal, and Steven N. Handel PhD, Hon. ASLA, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution Emeritus at Rutgers University to receive the The LaGasse Medal for Non-Landscape Architect Professional. ASLA Medals will be awarded during the President’s Dinner at the 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture. The full list of winners can be found at

Meet the New York Chapter ASLA recipients:

Renée Byers, ASLA
Renée Byers, Landscape Architect, Greenwich, CT
Nomination in Works by the New York Chapter

Renée Byers has repeatedly demonstrated an exceptional talent for creating harmonious engaging environmentally responsible residential landscapes, while championing the importance of landscape architects for such projects. She has proven that an unerring commitment to artistic design, respect for cultural heritage, and environmental stewardship can seamlessly co-exist. Early on in her forty-year career, Renée recognized the power of multidisciplinary collaboration and gained management tools required to bring complex programs to fruition, developing expertise in precise grading and stormwater systems design along the way. Leading teams of professionals and artisans, often in collaboration with architects, Renée integrates topography, plantings, and built forms to create engaging, environmentally responsive designs, avoiding the “grand gesture.” With a profound respect for a region’s architecture and natural landscapes, she is known for creating usable outdoor spaces in frequently steep and rocky terrain. Among her award-winning projects are: Hillside Haven, Bronxville, NY, where she carved the land while preserving heritage trees and synthesized historical precedent with the family’s needs; at Creekside Residence, Scarsdale, NY, she established strong interior/exterior connections and privacy while unifying the landscape that was bisected by a creek; and at Hudson Valley Retreat, Ulster County, NY, she integrated a multilevel house on a steep slope while preserving specimen trees, adding a pool, and opening views. An ambassador for the profession, Renée not only creates places of rich user experience, she shares her expertise as an energetic community advocate. 


Taewook Cha, ASLA
Supermass Studio, New York City
Nomination in Works by the New York Chapter

Visionary landscape architect Taewook Cha has dedicated himself to advancing public spaces with a focus on creativity, diversity, and social-ecological responsibility. With a design approach grounded in people and their stories, he has a proven track record of making spaces that are not only beautiful and functional, but also meaningful to the communities they serve. His commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at ASLA and in his practice has earned him recognition as a respected leader in BIPOC owned landscape architecture practice. Throughout his career, Taewook has demonstrated a strong record of partnership, collaboration, and stewardship, earning him the respect of his peers and a reputation as a diplomat and consensus builder. Among his projects are: Mulberry Commons Park, Newark, NJ, a transformational three-acre civic open space designed to help create a new center of gravity for downtown and critical open space linkages; LaGuardia Airport New Terminal B Concourse Park, New York City, the reinvention of an icon that evokes vibrancy, individuality, and cultural diversity, and includes a series of organically shaped modular precast glass fiber reinforced concrete planters that promote fluid and intuitive movement; and Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex (ETEC) at University at Albany, Albany, NY, respecting the unified architectural style of the campus, the site plan was driven by overall grading and topographical strategies to organize the circulation and create both functional and sculptural landforms for planting and stormwater management. 


Michelle Delk, ASLA
Snøhetta, New York City
Nomination in Works by the New York Chapter

Michelle Delk creates work that shows new dimensions of landscape, environment, and sustainability, and expands the urban landscape vernacular, while expressing the subtleties of place. For over 20 years, she has led a breadth of projects ranging from master plans and brownfield redevelopments to realizations of urban plazas, parks, streetscapes, and riverfronts. Michelle strives to advance the interplay between humans and nature while exploring the social life of public spaces. As a partner and landscape architecture discipline director at Snøhetta, she has deepened the knowledge, capacity, and voice of the profession within the existing transdisciplinary foundation of the firm. Michelle is a dedicated advocate for the profession, serving on institutional boards and mentoring students. At One City Plaza, Greenville, SC, Michelle led the redevelopment of an underused three-acre downtown plaza into a treasured energized gathering space along the city’s vibrant Main Street, weaving together people and activity, sun and shade, water and garden with contemporary technologies, form, and materials. The Willamette Falls Riverwalk Vision Plan, Willamette Falls, OR, envisaged the future riverwalk through a 22-acre waterfront site, composed of a physical stratum of geology, hydrology, and ecology intertwined with remnants of constructed industrial structures. Calgary Public Library Plaza, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, was designed to realize the city’s vision for a technologically advanced public space for innovation, research, and collaboration, establishing a vibrant and welcoming public space in the heart of the city. 


Nancy Owens, ASLA
Nancy Owens Studio, New York City
Nomination in Works by the New York Chapter

With a background in art, activism, and public agency work, Nancy Owens has created a unique practice that melds conceptual art sensibility with pragmatism and technical expertise. Her diverse experiences have strengthened her commitment to transforming neglected urban areas into beautiful, restorative, and resilient spaces beloved by their communities. Nancy and her award-winning firm have designed and implemented many public projects on challenging sites in underserved neighborhoods, bringing a fresh perspective to historic preservation, public housing, and community park and green infrastructure design. Nancy’s commitment to advocacy and stakeholder engagement in site design, policy development, and urban planning has been unwavering. Among her many projects are: Astoria Park, Queens, NY, a 60-acre waterfront park brought back to life with a dynamic new playground and water play spaces in the historic Works Progress Administration (WPA) pool complex, as well as site drainage and grading improvements, including rain gardens that collect and treat stormwater; Berriman Playground, Gateway Estates, East New York, Brooklyn, NY, a one-acre barren landfill site remade into a vibrant park within a dense affordable housing community, with walking paths, seating areas, and lush plantings that create “rooms” and define spaces; and Estella Diggs Park (Rocks and Roots), Bronx, NY, a rubble-filled lot redeveloped into a much-needed neighborhood oasis, weaving historic and contextual referents into her lushly planted design.


The ASLA Design Medal
James Corner, FASLA

“Landscape architecture has probably never had so much to offer society than it does today: the field’s capacity to work creatively with complex natural systems combined with social experience, public space and community, places it squarely in the vanguard of today’s built environment and urbanization. Landscape architects do not only resolve problems and create breathtaking beauty in cities, towns and places where people live – they also address the deeper cultural issues of our time: our shared relationship to nature, environment and to one another. Here, the pragmatic poetry of landscape is the art of milieu, the art of human being and becoming in worlds of geography, ecology, place and time.”

James Corner is the Founder of James Corner Field Operations, based in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Philadelphia, London and Shenzhen. Important urban public realm projects include New York’s highly-acclaimed High Line; Seattle’s Central Waterfront; San Francisco’s Presidio Tunneltops; Chicago’s Navy Pier; London’s South Park Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; Hong Kong’s Victoria Dockside; and Shenzhen’s new city of Qianhai.

James’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, most notably the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, the American Academy of Arts & Letters Award in Architecture, and the Richard Neutra Medal. He holds Honorary Doctorates in Design from the Technical University of Munich and Manchester Metropolitan University. His work has been exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art; the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum; the National Building Museum; the Royal Academy of Art in London; and the Venice Biennale. Books include The High Line: Foreseen/Unforeseen (Phaidon, 2015); The Landscape Imagination (Princeton, 2014), and Taking Measures Across the American Landscape (Yale, 1996).

James is Emeritus Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, where served on the faculty since 1990, and as Professor and Chairman 2000-2013. He sits on the Board of the Urban Design Forum and the Government Advisory Board of Shenzhen, and is an Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters.


Stave Handel, Professor of Plant Physiology

The LaGasse Medal – Non-Landscape Architect Professional
Steven N. Handel PhD,  Hon. ASLA 

“We have learned much about the ecology of plant communities, but without scientists closely collaborating with landscape architects that knowledge will never be expressed on the ground. This transdisciplinary partnership is critical for a sustainable world that can serve us all.”

Steven Handel studies the restoration of native plant communities, adding sustainable ecological services, biodiversity, and amenities to the landscape. He explores problems of urban and other heavily degraded lands. He is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution Emeritus at Rutgers University. Previously, he was a Visiting Professor of Ecology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design for four years, a biology professor and director of the Marsh Botanic Garden at Yale University. Dr. Handel is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is the Editor of the professional journal Ecological Restoration. In 2007, he was elected an Honorary Member ASLA. He received the Society for Ecological Restoration’s highest research honor, the Theodore M. Sperry Award, “…for pioneering work in the restoration of urban areas.” Handel received his B.A. from Columbia and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell in Ecology.


About the American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Chapter:

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association for landscape architects.  Founded in 1899, the association represents over 15,000 members and features 49 professional chapters and 76 student chapters. The New York Chapter, founded in 1914, encompasses the five boroughs of New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Rockland counties. The Society’s mission is to lead in the planning, design and care of both our natural and built environments. While keeping pace with the ever-changing forces of nature and technology, landscape architects increasingly have a profound impact on the way people live, work and play. Learn more at




Scroll to Top