ASLA Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Contact: Karen Grajales
American Society of Landscape Architects
(202) 216-2371
[email protected]
American Society of Landscape Architects Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month
Washington, D.C., September 15, 2014 – The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month by spotlighting the enduring contributions of Hispanic and Latino American landscape architects to communities in the United States.
National Hispanic Heritage Month provides a great opportunity to show Hispanic and Latino American students what landscape architects do, according to Mark A. Focht, FASLA, president of ASLA and first deputy commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. ASLA is undertaking outreach that includes a redesigned career discovery page for students, including videos of minority landscape architects, and an education hub for teachers launched earlier this year.
“ASLA is committed to increasing awareness of the landscape architecture profession, especially among Hispanic students,” added Focht. “Our 49 state chapters are reaching out to a more diverse student population through classroom and field visits, and we fully support their efforts.”
“We hope more students of Hispanic origin will study landscape architecture and become part of the global dialogue on how the profession can address environmental, social and economic challenges,” said Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “It’s critical that their voices be heard.”
ASLA’s Spanish-language materials include an introduction to the profession and Society on the ASLA website and fact sheet.
Here is a partial list of both long-established and emerging Hispanic and Latino American landscape architects currently practicing in the United States:
  • José Almiñana, FASLA, is among the leading landscape architects of his generation and was born in Venezuela. Almiñana, a principal ofAndropogon Associates in Philadelphia, is internationally recognized for groundbreaking projects, public service, and cross-disciplinary collaboration that have positioned landscape architects at the core of the sustainability movement. One example is the design of aneducational wetland courtyard for the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.
  • Lewis Aqüi, ASLA, is the founder of Lewis Aqüi Landscape +Architectural Design in Miami and is from Venezuela. He received his BLA from Louisiana State University. His firm specializes in the creation and renovation of exquisite residential estates, boutique hotels, commercial buildings, public parks, and institutional site development projects throughout Florida and the Caribbean. His projects have been feature in different publications in the USA and internationally. One example is the “New Wave Asian” residential project in Miami Beach, Fla.
  • Diana Balmori, FASLA, is the founder of Balmori Associates, an international urban and landscape design firm in New York City. Balmori has distinguished herself in the field of urban design and the design of innovative public spaces. She has twice been appointed to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, teaches at Yale, and is renowned as one who informs allied design professions, the arts community, local and federal government officials, and the public at large on the value of landscape architecture.
  • Mario Benito, ASLA, is a landscape designer at Deborah Nevins & Associates in the greater New York City area. While a student at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, he and his classmates received a 2008 ASLA Student Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category.
  •  Ignacio Bunster-Ossa, FASLA, directs Wallace Roberts & Todd’s (WRT) landscape architecture studio in Philadelphia and many of the firm’s large-scale urban landscape projects. Originally from Chile, he is a leading practitioner of Landscape Urbanism, an approach to urban design based on the fusion of ecology, community identity, infrastructure, recreation, and public art. He is author of “Reconsidering Ian McHarg: The Future of Urban Ecology,” and periodically teaches and lectures on the theory and practice of landscape architecture.
  • Mario Campos, ASLA, is a senior partner of Jones & Jones in Seattle and is originally from Mexico. Based in his own multi-cultural heritage, education and professional practice, Campos’ projects visibly reflect their roots and inspiration in indigenous community and cultural values, as well as a profound respect for the environment.
  • Diana Fernandez, Assoc. ASLA, is a landscape designer at Sikora Wells Appel in the greater Philadelphia area, and she was born in the Dominican Republic. While a student at Temple University, Fernandez was a co-recipient of a 2011 ASLA Student Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category and a 2013 ASLA Student Award of Excellence in the Communications Category.
  • Carolina Jaimes, Assoc. ASLA, is a project manager at Enea Landscape Architecture in the greater New York City area and is originally from Colombia. While a graduate student at Florida International University, Jaimes was recognized by ASLA with the 2012 Student Award of Excellence in the General Design Category.
  • Mia Lehrer, FASLA, is the award-winning president of Mia Lehrer + Associates in Los Angeles and is originally from El Salvador. Her work includes complex urban revitalization projects, including the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, which aims to transform 32 miles of concrete-lined river into public green space and received a 2009 ASLA Professional Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category
  • Alex Ramirez, Assoc. ASLA, is an associate at Design Workshop in Austin, Texas. Ramirez grew up in the United States, but his family originally came from Spain. While a student at Louisiana State University, Ramirez and his classmates received a 2011 ASLA Student Honor Award in the General Design Category. In his short time at Design Workshop, he has worked on a variety of projects including the Lafitte Greenway and Revitalization Corridor, which received the ASLA 2013 Award of Excellence in the Analysis and Planning Category.
About the American Society of Landscape Architects
Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 72 student chapters. Members of the Society use “ASLA” after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Landscape architects lead the stewardship, planning, and design of our built and natural environments; the Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship.