Let’s Geaux: LABash at LSU in Baton Rouge
Following an understandable cancellation in 2020 and a move to virtual in 2021, LABash 2022 celebrated a much-anticipated return to form for the preeminent student-led landscape architecture conference. The 51st annual event brought together hundreds of leading landscape architecture students and professionals in person at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
LABash Conference is a student-led conference for landscape architecture.
Since 1970, LABash has been an invaluable opportunity for landscape architecture students to connect, network, and share ideas and inspiration, but this year’s conference marked a special moment for a resilient class of students whose education experience has faced an unprecedented set of challenges. "Yes, we focused on students’ voices and how we can guide the future of the profession, but as the event shaped up, we looked to revive that sense of community we missed during the pandemic and that became another important role for this year’s LABash,” shared LABash 2022 Co-Conference Director and LSU landscape architecture student, Madeline Kirschner. Madeline Kirschner.
The theme for LABash 2022 was “Roaring River,” a nod to the famed Mississippi that snakes through Baton Rouge’s downtown core.
The theme for LABash 2022 was “Roaring River,” a nod to the famed Mississippi that snakes through Baton Rouge’s downtown core -- but also a powerful analogy for the way individuals acting collectively, like water droplets moving as one powerful force, can meaningfully influence policy and change the course of the profession for the better. “We’re ‘flooding the field’ with a younger generation’s ideas of social equity and environmental justice,” Kirschner puts it succinctly.
The 51st annual event brought together hundreds of leading landscape architecture students and professionals in person at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Issues directly impacting the River Parishes' riparian and delta ecosystems like sea level rise, agricultural runoff, algal blooms, and petrochemical pollution where points of discussion for LABash 2022, but for Madeline Kirschner, it was vitally important that the broader conversation be about landscape architecture and policy change. "What’s interesting in Louisiana right now is that landscape architects are working with policymakers to lead the discussion about our delta ecosystem’s future,” describes Kirschner. "So, we wanted to build out from this a notion or a dialogue that empowers landscape architecture students to look beyond the project scope to better understand the larger policies that may influence or stand in the way of our designs. And through this understanding, through the elevation of new and unheard voices, we want to shed light on the power that landscape architects have to broaden their reach, reframe the conversation, and meaningfully shape policy in an interdisciplinary fight against climate change and environmental inequity.”
Held in North America by a different landscape architecture program each year, the conference brings hundreds of students and professionals together to learn, network, and help shape the future of the profession.
A spotlight on collective action and policy change was an especially apt principal point of focus for LABash 2022 as it comes right on the heels of a landmark partnership that bridges three key sectors of the landscape architecture community. In January 2022, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Land8 Media, LLC, and LABash Conference, Inc. announced that the three have united to create a powerful platform that uniquely positions landscape architecture at the forefront of design, public health and ecological restoration. The partnership recognizes the imperative to act quickly, decisively, and unanimously on pressing issues like climate change, racial inequality and aging infrastructure, and the critical role that a united landscape architecture front can play in resolving these challenges.
Issues directly impacting the River Parishes' riparian and delta ecosystems like sea level rise, agricultural runoff, algal blooms, and petrochemical pollution where points of discussion for LABash 2022.
As long-time supporter of LABash as well as ASLA and Land8, Landscape Forms was honored to again participate in the conference as a sponsor. "We believe strongly in the idea that landscape architects play a leading role in shaping the way that society impacts and interacts with the environment. Our continued support of LABash is a way of empowering and investing in the future generations of our profession. And, furthering the responsible and sustainable approach to landscape architecture that’s instrumental in confronting social and environmental challenges,” describes Landscape Forms CEO, Marjorie Simmons.