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Hand Sketching Comes in Handy

Sketching is still being done to quickly convey ideas, but hand drawing is being combined with SketchUp to create hybrid drawings.
Design courtesy of Stantec

I just read the article titled "The Forgotten Art of Drawing" by Messieurs Collard and Lounsberry in the June 2009 issue of Landscape Architect. I agree whole-heartedly that hand sketching as a part of the design process is becoming a lost art since the academic/office switch to computer graphics. Being in the profession since 1973, I rely heavily on hand-sketching to quickly portray design ideas to clients and team members from other disciplines. I do use computer graphics to supplement the sketching, but find that hand-sketching is so much more expressive in the early design phases.

Ironically, the fellow who instilled that love of hand sketching in me as part of the landscape architecture design process was none other than Joseph Lalli himself (featured in the article "Global Reach, Village Comfort" in the same issue) when he taught my junior design and construction classes at West Virginia University. Thanks Joe.

R. Gus Drum
Huntington, West Virginia
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Re "Raising Our Irrigation I.Q.s" by the American Society of Irrigation Consultants:

So many individuals from ownership, design, installation, maintenance and management are needed to truly bring urban landscape water use into "smart" mode. The current market and need to lower capital costs does not help bring more of this team effort together.

It seems that only water shortage, water cost or water regulation will inspire owner operators to build and manage smart irrigation systems. Then we will be asked to properly apply all the good innovative products into an effective design on sites engineered to save water with low-water requiring landscapes.

Michael Prevost
Irrigation Designer
Prevost Stamper Inc.
Celebration, Fla.

Re The Courage of His Convictions: Profile: Carl Kelemen, FASLA in the July issue:

It's great to hear about Carl's design philosophy for ecosystem restoration and sustainability, and see the photo examples. I appreciate his volunteer and civic ethic to give back to the community also. Thanks for all you do, Carl!

Peggy Pings, Outdoor Recreation Planner
National Park Service, Rivers & Trails
Morgantown, W.Va.

Carl, Great article! We have much in common in our career paths and design philosophies. Hope to see you in Chicago in September.

Michael Haas, President, NYU Chapter ASLA
HAAS Landscape Architects
Binghamton, N.Y.

Re "Trends Now Favor Urban Living"

While I support the rebuilding of our cities, and found Portland on a recent visit delightful and smart, I suggest there are, and will continue to be, many and varied appropriate living patterns.

Living in Davis, Calif., home of Village Homes, which could be called "collectivized," it is clear this type of socialized, suburban lifestyle is right for some but not for others. More urban living may be right for childless singles and couples, but the realities of childrearing draw those same people to the suburbs for a bit of back yard and some space for hobbies, and some landscape.

While suburban developers have been pushing the suburban model denser and more land efficient, the academic and intellectual world of design and planning has shunned this effort as just more of the same but meaner and greedier. We have been disrespecting the residents, developers, architects and landscape architects that create suburbs with the goal of stopping them altogether. This approach has not worked for decades.

It is time for us to take seriously the needs and wants of family living. Design and planning for families should be our highest intellectual priority, but not just because we see it as having the biggest footprint on the land. Recall the excitement of "modern living" in the 1950s and 1960s when Sunset Magazine promoted outdoor living and the integration of architecture and landscape architecture for families of the post-war U.S. I think we can create that excitement again, but this time with an eye toward land use and the environment, but we won't be successful until the academic and intellectual world takes on the task as a positive endeavor.

Paul Deering, MLAUD
Harvard Grad School of Design 1979
Deering Design, Davis, Calif.

Re Stewardship June 2009: "A Rain Garden Thrives: Dixie Elementary School" in the June Stewardship column:

This rain garden is an excellent example of a place-based education project, and a student service-learning project. Congratulations to all partners who were committed to the success of this sustainability effort.

Don Potter, LA, Class of 1959
State University of New York
College of Environmental Science & Forestry

Re "Landscape Perceptions Gives Time and Expertise" in the July Stewardship column (Covent House: Open Doors for Homeless Youth):

Dear Lenny and Crew: You are an amazing person with unbelievable talent. Thank you for the kindness that you have shown to the kids at Covenant House, and thank you for being a role model to me.

Carol Williams
Ridgewood, N.J.

Re: "Global Reach, Village Comfort," a profile of Joseph Lalli, FASLA, President and Managing Principal of EDSA in June issue:

Great article. Joe Lalli, FASLA and the EDSA firm are certainly pacesetters in the profession.

Matt Mathes
Sacramento, Calif.

Thanks ...

Just a note to once again to say thank you for the fine work you do for the profession and the students studying to be Landscape Architects with you Landscape Architect and Specifier News.

Jon Rodiek, FASLA
Professor-Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas

Re "Stephanie Landregan, New Director of UCLA Extension's Landscape Architecture Program"

I am so pleased to have Stephanie as the director of our program at UCLA. UCLA couldn't have picked a better person. She is both competent and personable. Congratulations to Stephanie and to UCLA!

Sheri Kane
Los Angeles, Calif.

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May 26, 2019, 3:12 pm PDT

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