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Envisioning Life on the Edge ​

Florida International University

An Xtreme LA Challenge

On November 6 -8 2018, Landscape Forms, North America's leading designer and manufacturer of high-design site furniture and advanced LED lighting, sponsored its tenth Xtreme Landscape Architecture (XTLA) challenge at Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS), the innovation hub on Lincoln Road of Florida International University's CARTA.

As in previous Xtreme LA events, the challenge for this fast-paced charrette focused on an issue in landscape and the built environment critical to the local community. XTLA 2018 was funded by Landscape Forms and co-hosted by Kirt Martin, Landscape Forms Vice President of Design and Marketing; David Rifkind, Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture at the College of Communications, Architecture + The Arts, FIU; and Barbara Deutsch, Executive Director of the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

The Challenge

The focus of the fast-paced charrette was the design of resilient landscape solutions for a culturally, architecturally and economically significant part of Miami Beach. While a much smaller area of interest was considered in early planning, the project was expanded to encompass a site bounded by the intersection of Washington Avenue, a central north/south artery between the ocean and the city, and Lincoln Road, an east/west connector between beach and bay, and extending two full city blocks down Lincoln to the beachfront.

Team One - Presentation

Team Two - Presentation

We asked our participants to:

  • Design a resilient landscape with the capacity to respond to both immediate and incremental effects of extreme weather events
  • Develop a culturally-inclusive plan that creates a sense of place, draws on the distinctive qualities of the neighborhood, and provides resiliency for the immediate area as longer-term municipal strategies are developed and implemented
  • Propose concepts for innovative site furniture elements that can withstand and adapt to extreme climate conditions and weather events
  • Offer educational opportunities to expand public understanding of extreme weather and resilient response.

The 36-hour event, designed to foster creative thinking, team building, and facility of expression, brought fresh thinking to an issue of critical importance to the local community. Fifteen young design professionals identified by their firms as potential leaders and sixteen students from FIU’s landscape architecture graduate program worked in two teams under the mentorship of two distinguished landscape architects: Roberto Rovira, Principal of Studio Roberto Rovira, and Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design at FIU; and Richard Hindle, ASLA, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

More Xtreme LA Challenges

Xtreme LA: A New Vision

Xtreme LA: Water Water Everywhere

Xtreme LA: Teamwork in Tucson

Xtreme LA: The Art Coast of Michigan

Xtreme LA: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay

Xtreme LA: Towers and Trails...Bridges and Bats

Xtreme LA: A University. A Town. A Place to Call Home.