by Elyse Eastman
UW-Madison will be hosting this academic year’s LABash, an annual conference for students in Landscape Architecture. The conference will be held March 27th through 29nd and will feature a variety of lectures, workshops, charrettes, and social events. It is a great opportunity for the Landscape Architecture Department to showcase current student work and celebrate the success of the program. It is recognized as a great networking event for students in the United States and Canada and provides an opportunity for attendees to learn about different landscape architecture programs throughout the country.
The history of the conference dates back to 1970, when the first LABash was held at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Students from Guelph started the event to provide landscape architecture students, as well as students from similar fields, an opportunity to network with other students and professionals in the field, observe other programs, and celebrate landscape architecture.
Since then, the event continued at a different school annually. A handful of students from UW-Madison’s Landscape Architecture Department has been attending the conference every year for at least the past several years. UW-Madison’s attendees of LABash 2012 won in the bid to host the conference in 2014. The last time LABash came to Madison was in 2000, and the current students are thrilled to host it for the third time.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The theme for this year’s event, “naturally designed,” plays on the environmental tradition of the Landscape Architecture program here at Madison. The UW-Madison’s Landscape Architecture Department offers a program that focuses on ecology as a foundation for design and encourages naturalistic and restorative ideals. Moreover, the theme reflects the physical setting of the school, being situated at the core of Madison’s urban setting while still containing a variety of natural areas. The students look forward to showcasing the environmental work being done in Madison, as well as showcasing what it means to be a student at the UW-Madison. In addition, the planning committee is looking into ways to market the Landscape Architecture program to the student body on campus, for example by showcasing displays and the products of workshops in various locations around campus. Part of the planning includes coordinating social events each night of the conference. The planning committee is currently looking into holding an event at the Madison Children’s Museum, as well as a couple other venues on/near campus.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
The students hope to receive support from UW alumni in a variety of ways. Several students from the planning committee will be hosting an alumni mixer in celebration of this event. The mixer is tentatively scheduled for March 27, 2014. Location and details about the alumni mixer will be released within the coming months, and donations toward LABash will be encouraged. However, donations can be sent at any time prior to the event. If you would like to support the department and the students who are planning this event at this time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Last, a list of alumni as potential speakers and workshop hosts has been compiled for the event and anticipated to be set soon.
If you would like more information about the conference, please check online at LABash2014.com. Updates will be made frequently as more information becomes available in the coming months.