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SCASLA Hosts LABash 2016

The Ohio State University Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, or SCASLA, hosted LABash 2016 from April 7-9, 2016 at the Columbus Athenaeum. LABash is the annual student landscape architecture conference held in North America. The conference consists of guest speakers, workshops, design charettes, expos and social events. Ohio State’s LABash 2016 student organizers raised nearly $90,000 from conference registrations and 28 corporate sponsors. LABash 2016 featured 57 speakers, and 325 people (speakers, students, and professionals) registered for the event. Ohio State’ s landscape architecture program last hosted the event in 2005, and this year’s student planners worked with alumni of the 2005 event in helping to prepare for the conference.

The theme of LABash 2016 was "Raze Expectations". The field of landscape architecture has often lived in the shadows of other design professions, such as architects and engineers, being seen as a one dimensional field only capable of providing a singular service. As the profession has evolved, landscape architecture has grown and diversified to cover both artistic and social elements along with analytical and scientific ideas. This is evident in larger projects such as the High Line in New York City and Millennium Park in Chicago which require multidisciplinary efforts. More often, landscape architects are taking the lead on multidisciplinary projects, helping to display the true breadth of their capabilities. To "Raze Expectations" is to break through the one dimensional perspective that has been so often the default, and accelerate the evolution of the profession of landscape architect in order to realize its leadership potential.

LABash 2016 offered attendees countless opportunities for students and professionals to build professional networks and key leadership skills. There were also education and innovative breakout sessions to help attendees to gain knowledge and perspective on the future of landscape architecture compared to other design professions. In sum, LABash 2016 sought to inspire attendees to build upon the foundation that is landscape architecture and to advocate for the profession.

Keynote speakers at LABash 2016 included: Laura Solano (BSLA ’83), Principal at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Shannon Nichol, Founding Partner of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN); Bradford McKee, Editor of Landscape Architecture Magazine; Thomas Woltz, Principal and Owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW).