Designers, students explored Southwest landscape design at 2018 edition of Aggie Workshop

Greg Miller

Andrea Roberts

Christine Ten Eyck

Russell Thomman

Texas A&M students teamed with leading design professionals including Greg Miller, president of the [American Society of Landscape Architects] ( , Feb. 16, 2018 at Aggie Workshop, a series of lectures and a design charrette hosted by the Texas A&M student chapter of the ASLA.

Speakers and participants explored this year’s Workshop theme, “A Celebration of the Southwestern Landscape,” saluting the often underappreciated, dry landscapes in West Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

“Although landscape architects often emphasize greenery in their designs, the arid ecosystems in the American Southwest provide a unique color palette and an opportunity for emphasis on water conservation,” said Mandy Nash, one of the event’s coordinators.

A member of the prestigious ALSA [Council of Fellows] ( , Miller presented Workshop’s keynote address, “Perspectives on the Future of Landscape Architecture."

In his keynote, Miller, who earned a [Bachelor of Landscape Architecture] ( degree at Texas A&M in 1997, explored how students can position themselves to thrive as landscape architects and become future industry leaders.

“The ever-expanding understanding of human and environmental well-being is increasing the necessity for landscape architects to broaden their range of expertise,” said Miller. “The desert Southwest’s dynamic environment, history, and culture offer a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities facing the next generation of landscape architecture professionals.”

As the president of [Morrow Reardon Wilkinson Miller Ltd] ( ., an Albuquerque, N.M. landscape architecture firm, Miller strives to create innovative, functional, safe, accessible, beautiful and environmentally responsible landscapes by employing a design philosophy that integrates sustainable development trends with site-specific ecological and human needs.

He focuses on designs for parks and recreation facilities, schools and campuses, transportation corridors, health care facilities, and residential landscapes.

As the ASLA’s president, Miller promotes landscape architects as civic leaders, fosters the development of emerging professionals, and diversifies the group’s membership.

Additional workshop speakers include Andrea Roberts , assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.

Roberts researches African-American unrecorded planning and placemaking history, settlements founded by formerly enslaved African Americans, and is developing a statewide black settlement inventory.

Roberts was followed by Christine Ten Eyck , president of Austin-based [Ten Eyck Landscape Architects] ( , where she leads a variety of project designs, including public parks and gardens, health care facilities, educational, commercial and high-end residential projects.

“The urban landscape is most beautiful when it reduces urban heat islands, filters air and water and creates urban wildlife habitat as well as places for social interaction that appeal to all of the senses,” said Ten Eyck, an ASLA fellow.

Workshop’s final presentation was by Russell Thomman , landscape architecture and planning project manager at the Austin office of [Stantec] ( , which designs and manages the construction of infrastructure projects throughout North America and abroad.

Thomman spearheads his office’s 3-D and virtual reality community project visualization.

At workshop’s charrette, groups of students will work side by side with design professionals to design a project to be determined.

Workshop concluded with a social on the recreation center terrace.

Richard Nira

posted January 22, 2018