Rebuild by Design

Tuesday, June 24, 7–8:30 pm

Rebuild by Design (RBD) is a unique competition that responds to Hurricane Sandy by asking the world’s most talented design professionals to envision solutions that increase resilience across the Sandy-affected region. Gena Wirth of SCAPE / Landscape Architecture PLLC and Daniel Pittman from OMA discuss their winning designs. The presentations are followed by a panel discussion with RBD jurors. This program complements the exhibition Designing for Disaster, which is open to attendees before the talk.

1.5 LU HSW (AIA) | 1.5 CM (AICP) | 1.5 PDH (LA CES)



Visit the Museum Shop to learn about the ecological history of one of the most man-made spots on earth with Ted Steinberg’s Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York.


This program is generously sponsored by Rebuild by Design and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Designing for Disaster is generously supported by Lafarge North America; The Home Depot Foundation; American Red Cross.


Mark your calendar…

Thursday, June 26
Keystone Society aMAZEing Lawn Party and Maze Buildout Tour #1

Friday, June 27
Maze Buildout Tour #2

Saturday, June 28 – New addition!
Construction Watch Tour: Passive House, Members only

Monday, June 30
Maze Buildout Tour #3

Tuesday, July 1
Maze Buildout Tour #4

Missed a program and want to hear more?
Visit the Museum’s website for a searchable library of past program audio and video.

To join the Passive House Construction Watch Tour and to attend other programs for a reduced price, become a member today.

Photo: A 150-year-old home damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Union Beach, New Jersey. Photo by Flickr user Ed Stoerger.

Subscribe to the Museum’s e-news.


401 F Street NW
Washington, D.C.


Exhibition admission free for Museum members.
Join today.

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Market Street Event

“We have the opportunity to build the most vibrant street in America, but only if we invite our city’s creative spirit to do it with us.”

-Neil Hrushowy, Manager, City Design Group, San Francisco Planning Department



The Market Street Prototyping Festival, October 2-4, offers artists and designers the rare opportunity to test-drive their boldest ideas for activating sidewalks and creating a vibrant public realm on one of the country’s most public stages: San Francisco’s Market Street.

I’m delighted to be a member of the Festival team and urge you to submit your ideas for this unique happening.

To learn more, join us Tuesday, June 17, for a kick-off and orientation event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from 6 to 8 pm. There is no cost but RSVPs are encouraged.

Feel free to contact me with questions.

Lisa Zimmerman



“The creativity of our communities should be reflected in our streets”

-Deborah Cullinan, Executive Director, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


CALLING ALL ARTISTS AND DESIGNERS: Open Call for Market Street Prototyping Festival



As part of a larger plan to redesign San Francisco’s main street, the city’s planning department has partnered with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to produce the Market Street Prototyping Festival, seeking ideas to help reshape 36 blocks of the city’s central corridor.

The Festival will take place along Market Street, from Van Ness to the Embarcadero, October 2-4, 2014. Ideas that activate the sidewalks and create a vibrant public realm will be accepted through July 3. Up to 50 proposals will receive $2,000 each to build a prototype, which will be showcased at the Festival.

Any individual, business or nonprofit can submit a proposal. The idea should aim to improve public spaces in a way that engages the community and encourages them to think differently about the city’s streets and squares.

A kickoff event for the Festival will be held on June 17 from 6pm to 8pm at YBCA. Registration for the event is free.



One Street: Five Very Different Districts

Walking Market Street, from Van Ness to the Embarcadero, is an experience of diversity. Every few blocks the character and energy of the street change.

With this in mind, selected design teams will be matched with one of five zones or districts on Market Street (Civic Center, Central Market, Retail, Financial, Embarcadero). They will work with community members to take into account their needs and preferences as well as the character of that slice of Market Street.



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World Cup Fever!


As the world is glued to the “Brazuca” ball that is head bumped and kicked across stadiums in Brazil to determine the winner of the 2014 World Cup, we decided to get the low down on the design of the ball itself.

Adidas’s website states:

  • The Brazuca uses a groundbreaking six-panel design, which improves symmetry, uniformity and efficiency. Brazuca COVER: Six panels of premium PU that has been bonded for reduced water absorption and perfect roundness. Revolutionary panel shape creates flight speed and enhances roundness. Brazuca BLADDER: Latex for excellent rebound
  • Vibrant colors on the ball reflect those of the Brazilian flag as well as the official logo of the FIFA World Cup. The colourful wish bands that the locals wear is brought across by the rhythmic and fluid use of the colors on the ball. The stars in the design harks back to the national flag but also reflects their status as World Cup winners.

Looking at the ball, we can’t help but question whether the design of the vibrant colors and bands were inspired by Brazilian Landscape Architect Roberto Burle Marx’s amazing gardens, parks, and paving patterns that introduced modernist design to Brazil’s landscapes….Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think….

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Volunteer Opportunities

Summer is the perfect time to get out and give back to the community, and we have a couple of options for volunteer work opportunities for you!

1) Help end Hunger and Poverty with Heifer Volunteers:


2) Keep San Francisco CLEAN & GREEN:


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Spring Show 2014


The School of Landscape Architecture dazzled thousands of people that attended the the opening of the 2014 Spring Show at the Academy of Art University on Monday May 19th.

Two Japanese maples against a bright red wall, and a line of floating red boxes overhead served as the perfect threshold to the space that for a few short days was home to some of the best work that our students have created to date! The clarity and precision of the space provided a perfect backdrop for our students’ work which received continual positive feedback throughout the day from both our AAU colleagues as well as from professionals brought in by other departments to interview their graduates: Game Design, Animation, Urban Design, Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Photography , among others. Everybody was intrigued and very much impressed by our students’ work.

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IMG_3144Thank you to all instructors and staff that helped design and implement this successful space, and a major thanks to our students who continue to raise the bar every semester!


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Job Opportunity!

Alcatraz Landing is looking for a part-time employee to water and care for the garden beds at Pier 33. These planters are home to a vibrant and historical variety of succulents, flowers and other native plants. Alcatraz Landing is part of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and is a cultural landmark of San Francisco. Implement your knowledge of horticulture to tend to the needs of each individual plant species.

  • You determine your schedule
    • 2-3 days a week
    • Early morning or after 3 PM
  • $20 per hour
  • Parking Available

Please contact Denise Rasmussen at Alcatraz Cruises and Sara Giarratana with your Resume and introductory letter.

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Places for People!

April 30th, 2014 marked a major triumph for the School of Landscape Architecture and students of LAN 498: Collaborative Project: Design/Build/Collaborate as they put their design eye and expertise to the test in the public realm.

At 6am on Wednesday morning, six students, a truck full of built modules, plants, and two instructors, Ghigo DiTommaso and Yasmine Farazian,  set out to install a temporary one-day urban open space that was designed to add vibrancy to the intersection of  Ritch  and Lusk Street in the SoMA district of San Francisco.










Students Manuel Bustos, Mariah Hum, Melissa Co, Shang Jing, Wayne Robbins IV, and Xin Huang busy installing their designs!

Early in the semester, the class set forth to define what an “urban intersection” meant, and to seek out spaces within SoMA that exhibit attributes of the definition. After research and analysis, the students defined an “urban Intersection” as a space in which history, living, working, eating, and leisure overlap and creat synergy. With this in mind, students selected their site and found  Ritch Street between Townsend and Brannan Street to be the perfect example of where an industrial past meets a technological present and intersect with residential use, and local businesses that cater to the needs of the public.

The students then identified challenges of the site  that ultimately led to fascinating opportunities. To the east side of the street, a blank wall, and a former loading dock is used as a seating space by the patrons of the local eateries, namely Cento Coffee, Farmer Brown’s Little Skillet, and Victory Hall and Parlor. To the west of the street, a small parking lot in front of Cento Coffee  is currently used for parking, temporary bike racks, and a few small tables.

Over the course of the semester, students of LAN 498 observed the unmet needs of the site, communicated with the business owners and explained their process, adapted to budgetary constraints, designed, redesigned, and built their creations!

The outcome was the full-scale installation of three distinct design solutions (pictured) that worked hand-in-hand to create a dynamic open space in this urban intersection. The project left the local community buzzing, and the AAU student designers  left a great impression with business owners and their patrons.

Urban Mound: (Designed by Manuel Bustos,IDS,  Mariah Hum, IAD, and Melissa Co, IAD) Inspired by hills in public open spaces such as Dolores Park and Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, Urban Mound used shifting planes and triangular forms to create a multitude of seating, lounging, laying, and gathering experiences. Materials used for this installation included industrial palettes, plywood, landscape fabric, mulch, and turf. Plants saved from the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show helped add another dimension of aesthetic quality to the design.

The concept rendering and final build out photo below speak to the process of concept to reality that was impeccably executed by the students.

The slopes of the Urban Mound proved to be perfect for public lounging!  

The ArmBar: (Designed by Wayne Robbins IV, IDS and Shang Jing, IAD)  A modular system designed to serve as a table and/or chair that can be placed on any ledge  to be used as a surface to eat from, work from, or simply rest one’s arm on. The Arm Bar combines reclaimed materials, and Bluetooth technology to offer a comfortable and entertaining eating experience. Embedded inside the module a Bluetooth speaker system allows the user to connect and listen to their music while enjoying their lunch or coffee break. Alternatively, the ArmBar can be flipped on its side and used a seating surface.


Graphic Timeline and Wayfinding: (Designed by Xin Huang) Rethinking how pedestrians engage with signage and graphic information in the public realm was at the core of this design. In today’s technologically driven world, most people walk with their heads down while interacting with their handheld devices; therefore the design was installed on the ground plane, at the eye level of pedestrians. The graphic spoke to the overlap of the industrial past and technological present of the site as it playfully incorporated forms of factory conveyor belts and microchip designs, while providing information about significant moments in San Francisco’s history.









The Wayfinding Timeline Graphic helped guide passerby’s to the installation while giving them information on key moments in San Francisco’s history!

The School of Landscape Architecture congratulates the students of LAN 498 on their successful installation, and looks forward to more temporary installations designed and implemented by students in coming semesters!

A special thanks to Lyngso Garden Materials, and Delta Bluegrass for their generous donations!


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As you all go about your busy days, take a moment to think about the quote above. What will you do as a Landscape Architect that will have a positive impact on this globe we call home?

The Earth is what we all have in common”.  - W. Berry


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The School of Landscape Architecture requires students to hand in an archive of their work for each of their respective classes.

Join instructor Nick Gotthardt for an hour long seminar on Tuesday April 15, 2014 for tips and tools to compile an effective and beautiful archive booklet.

Location: 601 Brannan , Room 101 



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A silver medal was the well-deserved icing on the cake for the School of Landscape Architecture’s ASLA Student Affiliate Chapter installation, “Urban Mixology”, at the2014 San Francisco Flower and Garden Show!

August 2013 marked the beginning of a successful design/build process with a one-day charrette that was followed by many weekends of design development and full-scale building. The final design combined strong ideas from proposals by MFA student Jason Jeon, BFA student Eric Arneson, and design detailing by MFA student Avery Hu. By September 2013, “Urban Mixology” was in full-blast production mode.

The Concept: In urban environments we are surrounded by the vibrancy of experiences that are a direct result of the diversity of its inhabitants, their cultures, and interests. This diversity is reflected through the design of urban spaces.

Digital culture is an essential part of urban inhabitants’ lives. The mixology of RGB colors in digital design allow for the expression of millions of colors in the visible spectrum.

Urban Mixology, celebrates the density and diversity of urban centers and the overlap of digital design through the use of color and texture of meticulously selected plants that have the ability to flourish in urban environments.









The Collaboration: In every stage of the design process, MFA and BFA students of the School of Landscape Architecture worked as a team, with smiles on their faces, and a skip in their step to build a garden that was their pride and joy.  Expertise and skill sets were assessed early on, yet students rotated between various roles based on the needs of the project at different points in time.





The Build: Move-in day at the San Mateo Event Center came faster than any of the students could have anticipated. Truckloads of materials such as wood, plants, rocks, soil, and tools arrived, and students set to work by building, painting, planting, and fine tuning the design to perfection. In 5 short days the concrete floor of the event center was transformed into a glowing garden that was the epitome of the design concept.







The Reward: True to the nature of collaborative design, “Urban Mixology” became the impetus for the birth of long lasting friendships, professional connections, a deep understanding and appreciation for the design process from concept to reality,  and last but not least, a SILVER MEDAL! We couldn’t have asked for more!

A heartfelt thank you to our ASLA Student Affiliate Chapter on beautifully executed design. You have made The School of Landscape Architecture very proud!

Left to right: Ashley Wu, Chloe Pu, Daniel Correia, Sophie Zhang, Avery Hu, Yasmine Farazian (Faculty), Heather Clendenin (Director of the School of Landscape Architecture), Alex Zheng, Nahal Sobhati, Jason Jeon, Hilda Lin, Eric Arneson

Photos Courtesy of: Bob Toy, Eric Arneson, Avery Hu
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