Street view rendering of design concept for the San Pedro Waterfront Connectivity Plan, part of the November 2 ULI panel

SWA thought leaders will be part of an expansive suite of panels and talks at the upcoming ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture (taking place in Minneapolis, MN from October 27-30) and ULI Fall Meeting (being held in Los Angeles, CA October 30-November 2). Join us, alongside fellow practitioners and colleagues, as we investigate topics ranging from artificial intelligence in the field of landscape architecture to succession planning to decarbonization.

ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture 2023

October 27-30, 2023 | Minneapolis, Minnesota

Friday, October 27
Minneapolis Convention Center, Room 200DE
3:30pm – 4:30pm CT
Bucking the Trend: Fighting Sameness in Landscape Architectural Aesthetics and Representation

SWA lead speaker Steven T. Lee (ASLA) will join Martha Schwartz Partners’ Matthew Gindlesperger (ASLA) and West 8’s Donna Bridgeman (ASLA) to discuss the largely unspoken design “sameness” that pervades the profession, from the representation used to depict ideas to the aesthetics of spaces to the narratives we tell. Through reflections on design processes and case studies, participants will learn how designers can buck this trend, reinvigorating the practice with fresh ideas and diverse design approaches.

Saturday, October 28
How to Succeed in Succession 2.0
Minneapolis Convention Center, Room 208AB
2:00pm – 4:30pm CT
Note: Gerdo will also be part of the ULI Global Exchange Council panel on November 2.

During this session led by Martha Schwartz Partners’ Kimberly Tryba (ASLA, AIA), SWA Co-CEO Gerdo Aquino (FASLA) will join Lucinda R. Sanders (FASLA – OLIN), Kona A. Gray (FASLA – EDSA, Inc.) and Keith Bowers, (FASLA – Biohabitats, Inc.) for an immersive, interactive session outlining specific options for succession transition. Beginning with the “mechanics” behind each firm’s process, the session will review considerations that are influenced by company culture. Attendees will depart with a transition checklist and actionable steps.

Minneapolis Convention Center, Room 101ABC
2:00pm – 3:15pm CT
Trickle-Up Research: Inquiry and Curiosity in Design Practice
Note: Anya will be speaking at three events, listed below.
Sasaki’s Allyson Mendenhall (FASLA, LEED Green Associate) will lead this panel with speakers Anya Domlesky (ASLA – Associate Principal, SWA Group) and Rebecca S. Popowsky (ASLA, LEED, SITES AP – OLIN). As more design firms establish internal research groups, some have eschewed top-down research agendas, investing instead in organizational infrastructure that supports the bottom-up emergence of research priorities. The panel will discuss well-established research infrastructure and programs that encourage staff engagement, collaboration, and leadership while supporting disciplinary transformation.

Sunday, October 29
Minneapolis Convention Center, Room 101HIJ
9:00am – 10:00am CT
A Future of Computational Collaborators: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Landscape Architecture
Anya will also contribute to this panel, led by Bradley Cantrell (ASLA – University of Virginia), with co-speaker Adam Mekies (ASLA, PLA – Sherwood Design Engineers). The role of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in the design profession is quickly evolving, creating challenges for landscape architects. The session will cover the historical context that has led to the current uses of AI, explore associated ethical and technical issues, and provide a lens on its future applications.

Minneapolis Convention Center, Room 101ABC
2:00pm – 3:15pm CT
Realizing Climate Action Ambitions: Pathways to Decarbonization
With lead speaker Christopher R. Hardy (ASLA, LEED AP – Sasaki) and co-speaker Nicholas Pevzner (ASLA – University of Pennsylvania), Anya will discuss tools and case studies showing how landscape architects can achieve the ASLA Climate Action Plan’s goal for 50 percent emissions reductions by 2030. The panel will review our current understanding of carbon sequestration and its associations with ecological restoration, and explore options for firms to decarbonize.

Monday, October 30
Minneapolis Convention Center, Room 101HIJ
11:00am – 12:00pm CT
Floating Landscapes: Demystifying On-Structure Construction

SWA Principal Jeremy Klemic (ASLA) will lead this session with speakers Chad A. Benton (ASLA – BrightView Landscape Development) and Jeff Counterman (Shaw & Sons, Inc.). Due to the increasing need to provide highly functional outdoor spaces in the built environment, landscape architects are frequently asked to create parks and plazas on-structure. This session focuses on the intensive multidisciplinary collaboration required to successfully design and detail these landscapes, including a deep dive into their construction.

Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting 2023

October 30-November 2, 2023 | Los Angeles, California

Thursday, November 2
Second Home Hollywood, 1370 N. St. Andrews Place, Los Angeles, CA, 90028
1:00pm – 2:00pm PT
Infrastructure as Ecosystem: Community, the Environment, and Moving What We Need
Note: This event is only open to ULI Global Exchange Council (GEC) members.
Using SWA’s San Pedro Waterfront Connectivity Plan as a case study, SWA Principal and moderator Sean O’Malley (Managing Principal, SWA) will guide a discussion including SWA Co-CEO Gerdo Aquino and Mike Galvin (Director of Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate, Port of Los Angeles) on the San Pedro Bay Port Complex’s critical role in facilitating the movement of international cargo throughout the U.S. and across the globe. The Port’s significance encompasses trucking and rail logistics, jobs, and far-reaching community impacts. Recent evolutions in technology have enabled the port to repurpose portions of its waterfront, which provide grand opportunities to utilize that land for community-serving public uses beyond its longstanding industrial functionality. Areas of focus will include efforts to reach zero carbon by 2030, including the impact of various strategies on adjacent neighborhoods and communities; reconnecting the community to its waterfront while continuing to transport enormous amounts of cargo; and the likely futures of industrial technologies as they continue to evolve.