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April Philips, “Stories from the Design Studio”
January 30, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
April Philips, landscape architect, author, artist, LSU alumna, and founding principal of April Philips Design Works, will lecture at the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at 5 p.m. on Monday, January 30, 2017, in the LSU Design Building Auditorium (room 103). Her lecture, “Stories from the Design Studio,” is part of the Max Z. Conrad Endowed Lecture Series.
April’s design work is grounded in design thinking and sustainable systems as a way of practice. She observes that as the world becomes more urban there is an urgent need to rethink man made urban systems as ecological based systems and integrate the human experience, social responsibility, and technology into the equation. Through a systems thinking approach and an artist’s mindset, this results in design work that is a fusion of nature, science, culture, and technology. She believes that Designers must act as Change Agents to shift the paradigm toward a regenerative landscape ideology and to build a collective consciousness toward a beautiful, resilient, and eco-literate future.
Sketching, visioning, storytelling, empathy, observation, experimentation, materiality, and understanding issues play a fundamental part in the unique problem-solving toolbox she harnesses to create meaningful and insightful site-specific work for every project. Recent projects include designing for sea-level rise at the Alameda N.A.S. waterfront, the incorporation of food landscapes and endangered species habitats into the urban realm, as well as the first high-density, mixed-use SITES Pilot project that integrates site systems into the urban fabric. The studio also embraces new technology as integral to the creative design process. In their ideas lab they are currently forging a connection between design and technology, developing the use of video and animation as design communication tools.
April graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the LSU College of Art & Design. She is a national leader in both research and practice associated with sustainable sites and urban agriculture. April was instrumental in leading the charge within ASLA for the Sustainable Sites Initiative, which has culminated into the recently released national SITES rating system. She provided key input to ASLA’s Designing Our Future’s Sustainable Landscapes animation series for The Edible City. Her recently published book Designing Urban Agriculture is a comprehensive guide to urban agriculture, from initial planning and design through successful construction, maintenance, and management. The firm’s work includes urban parks and waterfronts, high-density mixed-use landscapes on structure, urban agriculture, and post-industrial sites. April was honored by the American Society of Landscape Architects as a fellow in 2010.
Professionals who attend this lecture qualify for one hour of continuing education credit, thanks to the support of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, lcasla.org.