Texas ASLA Announces 2012 Conference: Connecting Spaces, Connecting People

Texas American Society of Landscape Architects to Bring Together Top Outdoor Space Designers, Sustainability Experts to Grapevine
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April 3, 2012 - PRLog -- –(Grapevine, Texas) The Texas ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) celebrates all that is great and green in their industry at the group’s yearly conference to be held April 4-6, 2012 at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center.   This year’s conference is themed, “Connecting Spaces, Connecting People,” a reference to the beautiful and sustainable public spaces so many leaders in landscape architecture create in cities around Texas, throughout America and across the world.  An important emphasis this year is encouraging people to use the state’s great public spaces to keep children outside an active.  Of note, Grapevine City Councilmember Chris Coy will present a proclamation to the TX ASLA Thursday declaring April National Landscape Architecture Month in Grapevine, and thanking the men and women for using their talents to fight childhood obesity.

“Landscape architects consider so much more than just the mechanics when we set out to design a building, park or public venue,” said 2012 Texas ASLA chairman Chad St. John.  “We look for an opportunity to infuse natural beauty to keep an area true to its original habitat, and also use sustainable materials to be respectful to earth and her resources.  We find that in taking this approach, people appreciate and enjoy the spaces so much more.  That goes back to our theme, ‘Connecting Spaces, Connecting People,’” St. John added.

The Texas ASLA truly leaves no stone unturned when it comes to speakers and content at its yearly gathering, and this year the group boasts a great lineup of industry leaders, including:
   Marcela Abadi Rhoads, AIA RAS
Marcela Abadi Rhoads, Owner of Abadi Accessibility and author of “The ADA Companion Guide”, prides herself in being available to her clients during all phases of design and construction in order to ensure that the Texas Accessibility Standards are being adhered to and understood. She will speak on “Understanding the 2010 Standards for Landscape Architects,” which outlines new ADA design standards that went into effect just this month.  This talk will ensure conference attendees will leave with the very latest information and resources for compliance.

   Brian Ott, ASLA, LEED AP
As a LEED Accredited Professional, Brian employs proven and innovative techniques to create sustainable landscapes. Brian works on a broad range of project types including healthcare, mixed-use and civic projects and promotes sustainable building education among team members by incorporating sustainable approaches into each project. Ott will speak on the importance of children enjoying outdoor, imaginative play time.  Focus will be given to the Natural Play and Learning Area Guidelines Project; an effort began in 2009 to develop national guidelines for play and learning areas. As part of the session, “Nearby Nature and Wellness,” Brian will inform participants about this important undertaking, what has been accomplished to date and what lies ahead.

   Robert A. Dye, PhD
Dye is Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for Comerica.  He began his professional career as a petroleum engineer at Texaco and then as a research resident at the Department of Energy. He is a member of the National Association of Business Economics and is a past president of the Economic Club of Pittsburgh.  Dye is a graduate of Marietta College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Petroleum Engineering.  He holds a master's degree in Natural Resources from Ball State University and a doctorate in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Dye will share his insights on the 2012 economic outlook for the U.S and for Texas, with a focus on commercial and residential real estate in his session, “Economic Forecast for the Region, 2012.”
   Frederick “Fritz” Steiner, AIA, FASLA
Fritz Steiner is the dean of the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin. Previously, he was director of the School of Planning and Landscape Architecture, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Arizona State University (ASU) and taught planning, landscape architecture, and environmental science at Washington State University, the University of ColoradoDenver, and the University of Pennsylvania. As a Fulbright-Hays scholar in 1980, he conducted research on ecological planning at the Wageningen Agricultural and Environmental Science University, The Netherlands. In 1998, he was the National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize Fellow in Historic Preservation and Conservation at the American Academy in Rome. Steiner’s session, “Design For a Vulnerable Plane,” will talk about how increasing natural disasters and a burgeoning human population continue to degrade Earth’s resources, and how tomorrow’s design leaders can create with minimal environmental impact.

In addition to these and an entire slate of compelling sessions, the Texas ASLA will present its annual design awards and student design awards.  “These men and women dedicate their careers to protecting the earth and its resources while making the world we live in healthier and more beautiful through the care and precision with which they approach each task.  We look forward to honoring their work and learning from one another during what’s sure to be a great week in Grapevine,” St. John concluded.
The Texas ASLA Conference runs April 4-6 at the Gaylord Texan Convention Hotel and Center in Grapevine.  To register or learn more, please visit the conference website. Councilmember Coy will present his proclamation and make remarks Thursday at 1:30pm in Exhibit Hall E of the Gaylord Texan Conference Center.

About the American Society of Landscape Architects  
For more than 100 years, the American Society of Landscape Architects has promoted the landscape architecture profession and advanced the practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. As the national professional association for landscape architects, ASLA has more than 18,000 members and 48 chapters, representing all 50 states, U.S. territories, and 68 countries around the world.

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Tags:Asla, TX ASLA, Childhood Obesity, Jacobs, Gaylord Texan
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