LSU Students and Alumni Receive Prestigious, National Awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects

LSU and the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture will be well represented at the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Annual Meeting and EXPO in Denver on November 21, 2014, when a mix of LSU students and alumni will be presented with five 2014 ASLA professional and student awards.

In addition, LSU alumnus Chad Danos (BLA 1990) will be named president of the ASLA, and alumni Tary Arterburn (BLA 1979) and Steve Shurtz (BLA 1977 will be inducted into ASLA’s Council of Fellows during the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo.

The 2014 award winners were officially announced on September 29, 2014. ASLA professional and student awards honor the top public places, residential designs, campuses, parks, and urban planning projects from across the United States and around the world.

Full project information can be viewed at

Student Award 



Alexander Ochoa (BLA 2014), Honor Award in Analysis & Planning

Alexander Ochoa (BLA 2014) received an Honor Award in the analysis & planning category for his project, “Beyond Turf: Reinterpreting the Ecological management of Vacant Landscapes,” completed as during his fifth-year at LSU under faculty advisor Wes Michaels, associate professor of landscape architecture.

New Orleans East population decreased during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. With 20 percent of the parish’s population residing in the area, accounting for over half of the land area in Orleans Parish, the 403 vacant lots cause issues for those in the community. Ochoa proposes a solution intended to recover the ecological activity of these vacant lots and ideas to efficiently maintain them.

According to Ochoa, “Beyond Turf seeks to maximize the ecological benefits of the lots by a native plant palette that will improve the on-site ecosystems of these dispersed lots and create a new framework for managing vacancy.”

“Straightforward, direct, and refreshing. It has graphic clarity and could be applied to any city. It even got into implementation and maintenance. These are good, simple solutions to eyesore lots,” stated the ASLA Student Awards 2014 Student Awards Jury.

Visit for more information about Ochoa’s winning project.

Professional Awards 

James Richards, FASLA, Honor Award in Communications

James “Jim” Richards, cofounder and principal of TOWNSCAPE, Inc., received an Honor Award in the communications category for his, book Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers, published by Wiley in 2013.

The book is designed to help readers improve their drawing skills through a compilation of cross-disciplinary examples. With careful guidance on the latest tools and techniques, the book incorporates lessons on both basic skills and digital tools to help the reader efficiently implement practical design solutions.

“Written in a cohesive style, the book offers an enthusiastic look at utilizing freehand graphics in the representation and presentation of landscape. Clear and colorful graphics by the author and a number of other talented practitioners keep the content fresh. Noteworthy is the integration of digital formats within the context of freehand drawing. This is a valuable resource for students and professionals,” stated the ASLA 2014 Professional Awards Jury.

The LSU alumnus (BLA 1978) is a national award-winning designer, author, and educator whose work has creatively spanned landscape architecture, town planning, and urban design for 35 years on projects in 17 states. Richards is an associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington. Richards is also a recipient of the ASLA Bradford Williams Medal.

Visit for more information about Richards’s publication.

Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects, Award of Excellence, Residential Design Category

LSU alumnus (BLA 1975) Jeffrey Carbo’s firm, Jeff Carbo Landscape Architects, received the Award of Excellence in residential design category for their project, “Woodland Rain Gardens” in Caddo Parish, Louisiana 

The award winning residential commission is located in northwest Louisiana. The five-acre parcel is characterized by its heavily wooded slopes of pine and hardwoods. The projects efficient use of rain gardens defines and organizes the different garden spaces and displays sustainable water collection strategies. The firm developed planning concepts for the entry drive and garden spaces adjacent to the residence including walls, walks, terraces, and other amenities. The design offers filtered views of the residence through the forest, while most of the site is supplemented with native ferns and other native understories. 

“The project features such an elegant use of native plants. There is balance here between design and nature. It’s more about site and horticulture. It’s very subtle and beautifully done,” stated the ASLA 2014 Professional Awards Jury.

Jeff Carbo serves is chair of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture Professional Advisory Board. With more than 26 years of experience in professional practice and now principal of his own firm, Jeff provides leadership in client relations, conceptual design, budget development, design criticism, project management, and construction observation. With offices in Alexandria and Baton Rouge, Carbo holds professional licensure as a registered landscape architect in Louisiana and is also registered in Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Visit for more information about Carbo’s project.

Studio Outside, Honor Award, Residential Design Category

studio outside hill country prospect

Studio Outside, “Hill Country Prospect”

Studio Outside received the Honor Award in the residential design category for their project “Hill Country Prospect” in Centerport, Texas. Based in Dallas, Texas, three of the firm’s seven principals are LSU alumni—Andrew Duggan (BLA 1998), Chip Impastato (BLA 1995), and Tary Arterburn (BLA 1979) who served as lead designer on the project.

The project involved a site that is used as a family retreat, and the owner wished for the new design to bring a more classic and sustainable feel to the environment. The primary goal was to respect the native landscape and topography while preserving as much of the native landscape as possible. The design contrasted native plants and restored various other plant communities with simple hardscape materials to create the desirable aesthetic.

“This project highlights the beauty and remarkable character of native habitats if designed thoughtfully. The elegant weaving of meadows with the modernist lines of the architecture and the gorgeous stones that create paths and walls come together to create a truly inspiring space in the native prairie. The careful attention to the trees, native plants, and existing topography reveals a deep respect for place in this design—an attribute that all designs ought to live up to,” stated the ASLA 2014 Professional Awards Jury.

Visit for more information about Studio Outside’s project.

The Design Workshop, Inc. and Reed/ Hilderbrand, Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning

The Design Workshop, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, and Aspen, Colorado, received an Honor Award in the analysis and planning category for their Houston project, “Devastation to Resilience: The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.” The design team, who served as the primary consultants on the project, was led by LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture alumni Kurt Culbertson (BLA 1976).

Reed|Hilderbrand, based in Cambridge Massachusetts, served as a consultant team on the project. The team was led by LSU alumnus Doug Reed (BLA 1978).

The 155-acre Houston Arboretum and Nature Center has been devastated due to weather conditions ranging from droughts to hurricanes. In order to renew the site back to its original state, the plans call for an assessment of the site’s natural and cultural heritage, diagnosis of the impact of climate change, and stakeholder engagement. Included in the outlines are an evolution for the site and a model for other regions dealing with similar issues. Read more at

“They really studied the causes of the massive tree canopy mortality rate, creating a plan to renew the beautifully forested area that was devastated and retain the quality of the trees over time,” stated the ASLA 2014 Professional Awards Jury. 

About the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 76 student chapters. The society’s mission is to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the society use the “ASLA” suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more at

About LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
The Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture has established an international reputation as one of America’s leading and consistently top-ranked programs. Part of the LSU College of Art & Design, the school offers Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture programs. For more than 60 years, the program has produced landscape architects who practice all over the world and participate in the full spectrum of the discipline. For more information, visit