|LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AWARD WINNERS ARCHIVE|
|TEXAS CHAPTER AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS|
In the late 1980's, the outgoing Texas Chapter President inquired about the fate of award submissions for the Chapterís annual Design Awards Competition. He had enjoyed the annual awards dinner at which slides of winning projects were shown and wanted to use those again in an educational setting. The answer to his question revealed that the winnersí submissions had variable fates: some were returned to the submitting firms and most wound up in a box with that year's Jury Chair, typically relegated to garage or closet storage. Since these represented the best work done by Texas landscape architects as judged by peers, the author decided an archive of each yearís winners could create a legacy for the chapter and serve as an important tool for future case studies and long-term project assessment.
Annual design award judging for the Texas Chapter
ASLA has been a reciprocal process with other ASLA chapters for almost
twenty years in response to criticism that in-state juries reflected
unavoidable biases. Each
year, the chapterís jury chair identifies another chapter that agrees to
exchange projects for judging. Typically around 35 projects are submitted
with approximately half receiving awards in the categories of Design,
Unrealized Design, Research & Planning and Communications.
Succinct in format, each project submission consists
of a two-page project description outlining the role of the landscape
architect as well as unusual conditions and solutions confronted in the
project. Up to ten slides
with individual descriptions are permitted.
Photographs, copies of documents such as master plans and design
guidelines and even some full-scale drawings are often included as
Gathering the award submissions material from years past was not simple - some years' submissions were not together, other years were gone except for a list of the winners. Fortunately the archival expectation was added to the design award submission requirements by the mid-1990s so project winnersí materials are now sent from the jury chair to the author for archive cataloguing.
archive now contains 361 award-winning projects judged as the best between
1986 and 2005. What began in
a large file cabinet had by the mid-1990ís
outgrown its physical space and was increasingly difficult to
manage. The dream was to make the best of Texas landscape architectural
design and planning available to students, professionals and the public
via the World Wide Web. Advances
in hardware and software and clever utilization of available student labor
made this possible beginning in 1997. At present 250 projects are viewable
via the website: http://aslatx.tamu.edu.
Scanning started with the most current years and earlier years are
added as opportunity and time allow.