Photo of prairie in bloom courtesy Henry Domke Fine Art
It’s gonna be a good one! This year’s American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2009 Meeting and Expo, “Beyond Sustainability: Regenerating Places and People” looks to be one to attend, for sure. Chicago, with its myriad parks, and commitment to being a green city, has become a real a destination for landscape architects and designers. Heck, City Hall’s green roof and Millennium Park are reason enough to pay the windy city a visit. But Chicago also has lots of excellent examples of healing gardens and other therapeutic landscapes, and conference attendees will have the opportunity to see and experience several of those. Here are some conference highlights:
- Field Session, “Rehabilitation in the Garden: A Tool to Achieve Functional Therapeutic Outcomes,” Friday, 9/18, 9-4 (if you click on the link above, scroll down to FS05). The lead presenter, Teresia Hazen, is on the Advisory Board of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network.
- Education Session, “NatureGrounds: Designing Nature into Play Environments,” Friday, 9/18, 1:30-3:00. Alas, this education session is on the same day as the field session above. Tough choice!
- Ed. Session, “Seattle’s Community Gardens: Greening the City, Growing Community,” Friday, 9/18, 3:30-5:00.
- Ed. Session, “Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls,” Friday 9/18, 1:30-3:00 and Saturday, 9/19, 11:00-12:30 (I think this is important to designers of healing environments because those spaces are often on rooftops and/or need screening, and living walls can be a useful design element).
- Ed. Session, “Healing Garden Evaluation and its Value to Professional Practice,” Saturday, 9/19, 1:30-3:00. You have to scroll down to Sat-B10 to see the description, but since this is my blog and I can do what I want with it, I’m going to give a little more info (and shameless self- and TLN promotion) on this one below.
- Ed. Session, “Play Spaces: Using Custom Design to Create a Sense of Place,” Monday, 9/21, 8-9:30.
- Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network meeting, Saturday, 9/19, 5:30-7:00. If you’re not yet a member of this PPN and this aspect of the field interests you, definitely go to this meeting. Great way to meet like-minded people, brainstorm about future projects, and participate in how this group evolves. Same goes for the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN, below.
- Children’s Outdoor Environments Professional Practice Network meeting, Sunday, 5:30-7:00. This is ASLA’s newest PPN, and this will be their first official meeting. Jena Ponti and Robin Moore are co-chairs, and I’m very excited about the collaboration and cross-pollination possibilities with the HTD and other PPNs.
Okay, now for the promo: As Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, I’m excited to be moderating the Education Session on Saturday, “Healing Garden Evaluation and its Value to Professional Practice.” Two of the TLN’s Advisory Board members, Clare Cooper Marcus and Geoff Roehll will be presenting, as will landscape architect Marni Barnes, who worked with Clare on evaluating six of Hitchcock Design Group‘s healing gardens last year. Clare and Marni will present their evaluation methodology (which was basically a POE, or post-occupancy evaluation) and findings; Geoff will present how those findings have impacted the design of those and future spaces; and all four of us will talk about the implications of this kind of research for other healthcare design projects. Not to be missed!
Chicago is also home to the Chicago Botanic Garden, which boasts the Buehler Enabling Garden, a sensory garden, horticultural therapy programs, and one of the best Healthcare Garden Design certificate programs in the country.
See you in Chicago!