Celebrating 15 years of WLA

WLA is celebrating 15 years of publishing about the landscape architecture industry. Over the years, WLA has evolved and changed to assist the landscape architecture industry in learning more about projects, news, competitions and information from across the world. WLA has sort to educate and inform landscape architects and the general public about landscape architecture.

In November 2007, several summary news articles were posted on WLA (then known as World Landscape Architect); these included the Politics of remembering ground zero, 2014 Commonwealth Games rejuvenating Glasgow and Planning Rwanda(including EDAW). These were the beginning of the initial idea for WLA to provide news and information to landscape architects about the industry at a time when the internet was small, Dezeen started in 2006, and other sites, such as Archdaily, came later. Over the years, WLA went from reporting links to news articles (to save on bandwidth) to publishing projects to publishing the WLA print/digital magazine (2011-2019), then creating the WLA Awards (Professional & Student), and today continues to publish projects and news.

In the past 15 years, the landscape architecture profession has gone through many periods of change, discourse, design trends, and challenges. Including the late 2000s to mid-2010s period of Landscape Urbanism vs New Urbanism with many lectures and opinion pieces from (and about) Charles Waldheim, Andres Duany, and Alex Krieger, sadly many of these articles have disappeared from websites (Metropolis, etc). The industry has also endured harsh financial periods, building booms, an increasing profile of landscape architects, and a skills shortage. We have also seen the rise of social media, where opinions are tweeted in the digital town square (or sewer pipes), and images posted on Instagram and Pinterest that create inspiration(or indignation). The industry is coming to terms with BIM and now learning about AI and the possible implications of Midjourney and DALL-E. Optimistically, the landscape profession has started addressing (within the profession and beyond) diversity, equality, and access. Initiatives such as WxLA, BlackLAN, university scholarships, and action groups are all positive initiatives starting to create a more equitable world. There have also been changes in the landscape architecture profession, with companies changing names (EDAW to AECOM), merging, demerging or changing names to acronyms due to founders stepping back. The people are an amazing part of the landscape architecture profession, as they change places, change roles, set up design firms, and create or change views or opinions; one can say there is never a dull period in the profession. Throughout this time, landscape architecture has been resilient and evolved with the changes, although sometimes slow, it is an honour to learn, discuss and publish about landscape architecture.

Over the years, WLA has evolved and changed to assist the landscape architecture industry in learning more about projects, news, competitions and information from across the world. WLA has sort to educate and inform landscape architects and the general public about landscape architecture.

Thankfully we have been fortunate enough to have sponsors and partners who financially assist us in promoting and advocating on behalf of the profession. I would also like to thank all the contributors, supporters, readers, commenters, and people who have sent support emails. You have made the past 15 years possible, and I hope we can continue into the future and beyond.

Damian Holmes
Founder & Editor – World Landscape Architecture (WLA)

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Cover Image Credits

Top Middle – Valencia Parque Central competition-winning design by Gustafson Porter. The image appeared on the cover of the first WLA Magazine (print/digital) in June 2011 | Image Credit: Aerial Perspective, Gustafson Porter + Bowman (2011)

Top Right – High Line Stage 2 by James Corner Field Operations (Project Lead), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf, one of the most discussed and referenced projects in landscape architecture | Image Credit: Chelsea Thicket, between West 20th & West 22nd Sts.©Iwaan Bann (2011)

Bottom Left – Thammasat University by LANDPROCESS (Kotchakorn Voraakhom), a project that sort to redefine productive rooftops and education campuses. | Image Credit: Courtesy of LANDPROCESS (2020)

Bottom Middle – Ballerup City Centre regeneration by C.F. Møller – the most read conceptual project on WLA | Image Credit: C.F. Møller (2017)

Bottom Right – Mill River Park and Greenway | Stamford Connecticut | OLIN – one of the most read on WLA, but in the opinion of the editor, one of the most underrated. | Image Credit: OLIN (2013)

About Damian Holmes 5617 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/