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2016 ASLA Honors
Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 ASLA Medal, ASLA Design Medal, and Community Service Award.


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The landscape architecture for the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Ariz., is the work of Design Workshop. Kurt Culbertson, FASLA, FAICP, chairman/CEO of Design Workshop, was this year's recipient of the ASLA Medal.


The ASLA Medal is the highest award bestowed by the association to a landscape architect. Kurt Culbertson, FASLA, FAICP, is the chairman and CEO of Design Workshop, which is based in Aspen, Colo. The firm recently opened an office in Los Angeles.

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The ASLA Design Medal for 2016 went to James Burnett, FASLA for exceptional design work. Pictured is Sunnylands Center and Gardens in Rancho Mirage, Calif., landscape architecture by the Office of James Burnett, Solana Beach, Calif.


Culbertson is a longtime leader in sustainable development, which has been recognized through seven national ASLA awards and dozens of regional and state ASLA awards. He has also served as a mentor to hundreds of landscape architects and demonstrated a lasting dedication to landscape architecture education.

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2016 ASLA Medal
Kurt Culbertson, FASLA, FAICP


A graduate of Louisiana State University, Culbertson is a registered landscape architect in Colorado, Louisiana and South Carolina and a LEED-certified designer. He is a Fellow of the ASLA and the American Institute of Certified Planners and a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to the Wirtschaft Universitat in Vienna, Austria. He has served as co-chair of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, served as chairman of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Young Presidents Organization and is a member of the Urban Land Institute, participating on its Recreation Development Council. He is currently pursuing a doctorate from the Edinburgh College of Art. Kurt joined Design Workshop in 1979.

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2016 ASLA Design Medal
James Burnett, FASLA


The ASLA Design Medal is given for exceptional design work. James Burnett, FASLA, has delivered some of the most recognized and beloved designed urban environments: Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Sunnylands Center and Gardens in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and The Park at Lakeshore East in Chicago. His portfolio of work has garnered over 80 state and national awards, including the prestigious Urban Land Institute Open Space Awards in 2014 and 2015 for Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City and Klyde Warren Park in Dallas.

Burnett founded The Office of James Burnett in 1989, in Houston, and has since expanded the firm with offices in San Diego and Boston. He has guided the development of OJB into one of the most influential landscape architecture firms in the world.

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Community Service Award
Diane Jones, ASLA


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Community Service Award
Austin Allen, PhD


DesignJones LLC is the recipient of the Community Service Award for sustained, pro bono service. Principals Diane Jones, ASLA and Austin Allen, PhD, associate professor in the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University, have over 40 combined years of experience in landscape architectural, site planning and urban design projects.

Austin and Diane have been active in planning and design efforts designed efforts in New Orleans, including designing 16 Head Start playgrounds for Total Community Action, planning and design efforts to help rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward, cypress forest restoration in the Bayou Bienvenue Wetlands Triangle (part of the wetlands is located in the Lower 9th) and regeneration of the Treme within the Claiborne Avenue Corridor. They've also helped in the rebuilding and restoring of the Historic District in Jacmel, Haiti after the earthquake. Austin has served as president of the Board of Directors of the Lower Ninth Ward's Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development for the past eight years. He is also recognized for his film "Claiming Open Space."

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Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal
Chip Sullivan, ASLA


Chip Sullivan, ASLA, received the Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal for significant and sustained excellence in landscape architecture education. In his nearly 30-year career in the department of landscape architecture and environmental planning at the University of California at Berkeley, Sullivan has inspired thousands of students through his instructional methods, his belief in the power of landscape architecture to create positive change in the world and his writings: Drawing the Landscape, Wiley & Sons, 2013; Illustrated History of Landscape Design, co-authored with E. Boults; and Garden and Climate, McGraw-Hill, 2002. Sullivan earned his BA in landscape architecture and his MA in urban and regional planning from the University of Florida. He credits Herrick Smith, a also a Carpenter Medal winner, as a mentor and role model. He was a recipient of the Rome Prize fellowship in 1985, and also co-taught a design studio and seminar at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.

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LaGasse Medal
Mia Lehrer, FASLA


Mia Lehrer, FASLA, received the LaGasse Medal for contributions to the management and conservation of natural resources and public landscapes. Lehrer, the founding principal and president of the Los Angeles firm Mia Lehrer + Associates, has focused her work on public and private-sector projects including complex mixed-use development projects, urban revitalization initiatives and neighborhood and regional parks. As a designer, she has applied landscape and urban design innovation and technical expertise on complex design/build infrastructure projects. Lehrer also plays a significant leadership role in outreach and consensus building, including for the Los Angeles River revitalization.

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Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) received ASLA's Landscape Architecture Firm Award in recognition of distinguished work.
MVVA's work at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (a 2014 ASLA design award).
Photo: Elizabeth Felicella, courtesy of ASLA.


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A contemplative garden for a small Brooklyn backyard (2015 LASA design award).
Photo: Lexi Van Valkenburgh, courtesy of ASLA.


The Landscape Architecture Firm Award: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) received ASLA's Landscape Architecture Firm Award in recognition of distinguished work that influences the profession. Michael Van Valkenburgh, FASLA, opened MVVA in 1982. The firm's projects include many award-winning parks, campuses, residences and urban spaces, including the celebrated Maggie Daley Park and the 606 in Chicago, the G.W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Teardrop Park in New York City and the green roof on ASLA's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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Since 1993, a strip of beautiful landscape has enlivened downtown Chicago's streetscape. The landscape medians run down Chicago's Magnificent Mile, spanning 33 blocks, from Roosevelt Road in Chicago's Loop to Oak Street in the city's Gold Coast.
Photo: Scott Shigley


The ASLA Landmark Award for 2016 went to "Michigan Avenue Streetscape: 20 Years of Magnificent Mile Blooms, Chicago" Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, in Partnership with the city of Chicago and Michigan Avenue Streetscape Association.

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Medal of Excellence: National Park Service


Medal of Excellence: National Park Service
The National Park Service (NPS) receive the Landscape Architecture Medal of Excellence. The award recognizes significant contributions to landscape architecture policy, research, education, project planning and design, or a combination of these items. Landscape Architects have a deep connection to the NPS, and ASLA members were instrumental in the passage of the National Park Service Organic Act, which established the NPS in 1916.

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Olmsted Medal: Michael Nutter, Former Mayor of Philadelphia


Olmsted Medal: Michael Nutter, Former Mayor of Philadelphia
Michael Nutter received the Olmsted Medal for championing several initiatives that will shape Philadelphia's designed and natural landscapes for decades: Greenworks (sustainability), Green2015 (creating parks in vacant land, pictured above right), Green City, Clean Waters (stormwater management) and Philadelphia2035 (comprehensive plan). Since ending his term in early 2016, Mayor Nutter continues to advocate for thoughtful, inclusive and well-designed public spaces and meaningful and impactful environmental and planning policies.


As seen in LASN magazine, December 2016.






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