Posts

Member Spotlight: Liz Pulver

IMG_5631

Liz Pulver has practiced landscape architecture since 1997, working with national and international leaders in the industry. Her experiences with West 8, Hollander Design, Thomas Balsley Associates and David Thorne, give her unique insight into the genesis of design at varied scales from residential gardens to greenroofs to campuses and city parks. Her experience in design-build and landscape construction, provides a practical overlay that keeps her work tied to the realities of the site and application. Liz is a registered landscape architect in New York and California and has begun developing a product line for small, urban gardens. She was raised in the Hudson Valley and earned her bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University. We caught up with Liz this month to ask a few questions:

  1. When did you realize you wanted to become a Landscape Architect? What was your path to landscape architecture?

I first saw ‘landscape architecture’ written in the list of majors at Cornell, when I was applying to colleges, as a high school student. It sounded intriguing, and I began researching it further. The field seemed to encompass many observations and concerns I’d had about the changing landscape around me, but wasn’t yet able to fully express or verbalize. It seemed geared toward my strengths and interests in art and the environment. The more I learned, the more interesting it sounded. I wanted to learn more, and just kept following the trail further, to college, to licensure and beyond. Landscape architecture can be many things, and I continue to ‘follow the trail’ and explore where it will take me.

  1. Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have any go-to sources?

Mmmmm… see travel section, #9 below!

garden-totes-bike3. How did you first become interested in designing your own ‘Garden-Totes?’

A few years ago- I was on the hunt for the perfect planter for apartment gardeners living in the city, with no outdoor space, like me. I just wanted a little greenery! But the product I wanted, seemed to be missing from the market. One day, I realized- I could simply design my own planter! My experience in design-build gave me access to craftsmen, manufacturers and vendors who helped me navigate the steps required to produce the planters. I enjoy the design, testing and fabrication processes. The greatest learning curve has been in understanding the manufacturing and retail landscapes, and developing the right marketing strategies to reach my customers.  I continue to learn and adapt as I move forward.

  1. What is your favorite part about the design process?

One of the great joys of designing, is that once a project is finally built and completed, clients can be so very appreciative of how your design expertise and efforts have improved their daily life. There is a direct correlation between what you do and how they feel. There is tremendous satisfaction in being responsible for that.

  1. What projects are you working on now?

I have a variety of projects in front of me, including several residences, rooftop terraces, a pocket park in upstate New York, ongoing planter and product development and am teaching a class at New York Botanical Gardens this Spring.

6. What Landscape Architects (current or past) do you admire and why?

There are many landscape architects I admire, for many reasons: Tommy Church inspires me for his ability to link interior and exterior spaces and to captivate public interest in outdoor spaces, garden design and horticulture. Roberto Burle Marx inspires for his novel, graphic patterns, non traditional education and approach. Scape and Team impress me for stretching our profession in new directions.  Mikyoung Kim inspires for her thoughtful, sensitive approach to design and collaboration. The West 8 Team inspires for continually reimagining and customizing spaces to their locations and local communities. Cornell Professors like Marv Adleman and Paula Horrigan, inspire for the time they spent investing in me, exposing me to the wide breadth, impact and value of landscape architecture to society.

  1. What advice would you give to emerging professionals?

Ask the following questions:

  • How does your design help the client? How does it add value to their life, business, environment or community? Seek out opportunities to develop your presentation, communication and business planning skills. Design is one important part of the equation of our profession, but it’s not the only part. Work for landscape architects who are great designers, and others who are great businesspeople, and others who are great horticulturists, and others who are….You get the idea- the list goes on! There is much to know. Expose yourself to as much of it as you can.
  • The traditional design office is one approach to the profession. But there are many different ways to pursue landscape architecture and design. Try new things. Find what works for you.
  • How do you feel when you receive a long, multi paragraph email from someone? Ugh! Try to limit your emails to 5 sentences, maximum. Be clear, to the point and respectful of everyone’s time. The world will thank you for it!
  1. What do you value most about being a member of ASLA?

ASLA gives us a fantastic professional platform for broadcasting our interests and concerns and for connecting with colleagues and allied professionals. It keeps us abreast of current issues and amplifies our voice in New York City, Washington DC and beyond. The annual conference is a treasure trove of CEUs and generally lots of fun!

  1. What would you like to do more of, if you could?

fire-escape-gardenTRAVEL! I love seeing what the rest of the world is up to and connecting with new people. Traveling to new places, meeting new people, seeing new ways to do things; this is where I get the most energy and design inspiration. I love to visit parks and gardens, design offices, nurseries and garden stores while I travel. It’s fascinating to see what new projects they’re designing in Mexico City, what products and tools they’re using in Barcelona, and what plants they’re planting in Marseille. I have always been welcomed by other related professionals as I travel. Our common interests allow us to connect easily and I can experience new places more like a local, than a tourist.

Learn more about Liz at http://lizpulverdesign.com/ 

Kim Mathews Elevated to ASLA Fellow

Kim Mathews, ASLA

Kim Mathews, ASLA

The American Society of Landscape Architects New York Chapter (ASLA-NY) is pleased to announce that Kim Mathews, ASLA, Founding Principal of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, PC, has been elevated to ASLA Fellow in the category of Works. Fellowship is among the highest honors the American Society of Landscape Architects (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. The ASLA Council of Fellows has chosen Kim Mathews from the New York Chapter to be elevated this year at the Council of Fellows Investiture Dinner held during the ASLA 2016 Annual Meeting and EXPO in New Orleans, Lousiana.
Kim Mathews, ASLA, Founding Principal at Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, P.C. has been elevated to Fellow in the category of Works. In her more than 30 years of practice, Kim has consistently been bestowed with awards for both her planning and constructed work with institutional and public realm clients. Her design approach is solidly grounded in the fundamentals of thorough research, careful planning, ecosystem restoration, and robust community engagement. She has completed a substantial body of work that demonstrates her strong commitment to discovering and revealing a site’s cultural history, promoting ecological functioning and developing solutions imbued with a unique and authentic sense of place. Kim’s practice realm has been characterized by often extended, multi-year schedules and chronic funding challenges. Through her dedication and enthusiasm, the design ethic Kim brings to her work is highly valued by her clients and the communities they serve. Kim’s most significant design achievements are the result of long-lasting relationships with clients who appreciate her ability to negotiate complex endeavors that include historic and cultural landscapes in ecologically challenging settings.

Annette Wilkus, FASLA, Principal at Siteworks Landscape Architecture notes that “Kim’s creative vision and dedication to the public process from concept development to implementation of the design has been essential for the success of her award winning portfolio. The core part of Kim’s design process is engaging the public, understanding their needs and translating that to loved and well used public open space.”

For a full listing of all fellows, please visit https://asla.org/NewsReleaseDetails.aspx?id=48465

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 territory of the New York Chapter 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.

#####

Please download the press release below.

Download (PDF, 557KB)

Park filters rainwater that flows into Gowanus Canal

Aired on Fox News, December 18, 2015

by Sharon Crowley

– When it rains, a place called Sponge Park in Brooklyn starts to work. Landscape architect Susannah Drake helped design the park. It sits at the end of Second Street along the Gowanus Canal. Basically the water flows down the street and it flows into a sedimentation basin so that grabs all the water.

The Gowanus Canal was dredged centuries ago to move industrial commerce. It is still used today to transport scrap metal. It’s one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States — as a federally designated superfund site. That means federal dollars are being spent to try to clean up the canal.

The park captures rain water flowing down Second Street, filters out waste and toxic materials using plants, soil and gravel.

Drake was a child when President Nixon signed into law the Clean Water Act. That legislation now enables her to do a lot of the work that she believed as a kid. She lives in Brooklyn not too far from Sponge Park.

Scientists from Manhattan College will be checking on the progress of Sponge Park. They’ve stored equipment monitoring equipment under canisters to check after a big storm. This is a pilot project opens officially in the spring. If it is a success sponge parks might pop up in other places along the canal.

Drake knows the park won’t improve the contaminated canal, but she takes pride in knowing this canal isn’t getting worse.

New York Members Elevated to Fellows

The American Society of Landscape Architects New York Chapter (ASLA-NY) is pleased to announce the elevation of three members to Fellow status. Fellowship is among the highest honors the American Society of Landscape Architects (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. The ASLA Council of Fellows has chosen Elena Brescia, Chris LaGuardia and Laura Starr from the New York Chapter to be elevated this year at the Council of Fellows Investiture Dinner on November 8 held during the ASLA 2015 Annual Meeting and EXPO in Chicago, Illinois.

This year’s ASLA-NY member honorees include:

Portrait of Elena Brescia, principal at Scape Landscape Design.

Elena Brescia, RLA, ASLA

Elena Brescia, RLA, ASLA, Partner at SCAPE/LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE PLLC has been elevated to Fellow in the category of Service. Elena has been serving voluntarily for the ASLA and pro-bono for interdisciplinary organizations continuously for 15 of her 22 years as a professional. She served on the Executive Committee of the New York Chapter of the ASLA for six years and, concurrently, as a representative of the Chapter on the Executive Committee of the interdisciplinary design coalition New York New Visions for Rebuilding Lower Manhattan. She served on the New York State Council of Landscape Architects. Currently, she serves on New York’s interdisciplinary arts and design coalition, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, on which she has served for the past nine years as a Director, an Officer, and as President. Her service has engaged many influential groups and has had a positive impact on the field of Landscape Architecture; it has increased recognition for the field in the City and among affiliated design disciplines. Elena’s efforts during her six years with ASLA-NY enabled the Chapter to search for and hire its first Executive Director, and helped set the stage for the Chapter’s current initiatives such as Continuing Education courses and Awards Programs. Elena also participated most recently in the Chapter’s 100 Year Anniversary Short Film, which highlights historical events and persons that helped shape Landscape Architecture in NYC, key accomplishments of our Chapter and members, and what the future holds for our profession. Watch this short film at: http://aslany.org/asla-ny-100th-anniversary-film/

Nicholas Quennell, FASLA, Partner Quennell Rothschild and Partners LLP, notes that Elena “has always been a team player, putting process and results ahead of personal recognition, and her work is first class.”

LaGuardia-HS400

Christopher LaGuardia, RLA, ASLA

Christopher LaGuardia, RLA, ASLA, President at LaGuardia Design Landscape Architecture has been elevated to Fellow in the category of Works. For the past thirty years, Christopher has been committed to the advancement of landscape architecture on the eastern end of Long Island. In his practice, he strives to integrate the needs and habitat of people with the natural landscape in clear and understandable terms. Over the years, Mr. LaGuardia’s award winning work has been highly recognized at both the local and national level. He has also lectured widely on his design influences and the profession. Most recently, his ongoing relationship with the Cultural Landscape Foundation in Washington D.C. has brought nationwide attention to his work, as well as his many successful collaborations with some of the world’s best known architects and artists.

In his nominating statement, Charles Birnbaum, FASLA, Founder/President of The Cultural Landscape Foundation notes, “I first visited a couple of Chris’ projects in The Hamptons five years ago – what impressed me during these first visits was both the simplicity and sophistication of his work. His dedication to the highest professional standards extends from his design work to his role as an ambassador for the profession.”

LS.246_FASLA400

Laura Starr, RLA, ASLA

Laura Starr, RLA, ASLA, Partner at Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners PLLC has been elevated to Fellow in the category of Works. During her thirty-year career, Laura has exhibited sustained excellence, winning 17 design awards in two decades. Her work across New York City has transformed residents’ daily experiences, and revitalized landmarks synonymous with New York itself. The quality, scope, significance, and ambition of her work demonstrate Laura’s worthiness for inclusion in ASLA’s Council of Fellows. Characterized by an unerring focus on balancing site ecology, aesthetics, and lived experience, Laura’s work spans a range of site types, including major parks, pocket plazas, cultural institutions, individual residences, and major infrastructure works. Through her lectures, panelist appearances, professional leadership, project work, and most recently, her visionary contribution to resiliency through the Big U, Laura consistently advocates for evocative landscape solutions that enhance city life even as they accommodate the many functions of urban space. Her innovative approach and commitment to an inclusive, democratic design process make Laura a powerful voice for a city that is greener and more responsive to the needs of a twenty-first century public. Laura is a founding partner of Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners PLLC, a past president of ASLA-NY, Founder of the Sustainable Streets Initiative and past board member of the National Association for Olmsted Parks.

Niall Kirkwood, DSc, FASLA, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Technology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design describes Laura as having “reinvented some of New York’s most iconic landscapes. Her ideas are guiding New York’s response to climate change, ensuring that the intimate experience of landscape and its ability to enhance social and economic opportunity are not sacrificed in the impulse to protect and fortify.”

 

For a full listing of all fellows, please go to http://asla.org/NewsReleaseDetails.aspx?id=46680

Download this Press Release in PDF format Here

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 territory of the New York Chapter encompasses the fi ve 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.
#####