Urban Design / Downtown Revitalization

Education Session - Panel Format

SUN-B10 - Designing the Public Realm: Equity and Beauty

Sunday, October 21
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: 120


Beauty, equity, and resilience are elements of good design and yet they are often isolated. Experienced designers will consider projects in which they designed as a means to foster equity by creating beautiful places or as a way to create more enduring and resilient designs in the public realm.

Learning Objectives:

Gina Ford, FASLA

Principal and Co-Founder
Agency Landscape + Planning

Gina Ford is a landscape architect, co-founder and principal of Agency Landscape + Planning. Underpinning her two decades of practice are a commitment to the design of public places and the perpetuation of the value of landscape architecture via teaching, writing and lecturing. Her work has received awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects, among others. She is on the board of directors for the Cultural Landscape Foundation and was the recipient of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Charles Eliot Travelling Fellowship and Wellesley College’s Shaw Fellowship.


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Thaisa Way, ASLA

University of Washington

Thaisa Way FAAR16, PhD is an urban landscape historian teaching and researching history, theory, and design at the University of Washington. Her books include Unbounded Practices: Women, Landscape Architecture, and Early Twentieth Century Design and From Modern Space to Urban Ecological Design: the Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag. She served as a Senior Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Garden & Landscape Studies and as the 2015-2016 Garden Club of America Fellow in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome. She is the founding director of Urban@UW, a coalition of researchers addressing complex urban challenges.


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Diana Fernandez, ASLA


Diana is an associate and landscape architect at Sasaki Associates and past chair of the national ASLA Emerging Professionals Committee. Diana’s work ranges from public parks and plazas to institutional landscapes, including recent work at the Port of Los Angeles and Carnegie Mellon University. She is passionate about creative place making, community engagement, social equity and sustainability. Diana received a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and served as a guest lecturer for Pennsylvania State and Temple universities. Diana's work has received numerous ASLA awards, including a national award of excellence in communications and an honor award in analysis and planning.


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Shannon Nichol, FASLA

Founding Principal

Shannon Nichol is a founding partner of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN). Her designs, including Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus, and Boston’s North End Parks, are widely recognized for being deeply embedded in their neighborhoods and natural contexts. Shannon's work incorporates complex functions into simple frameworks and refined landforms. Shannon is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (Seattle). GGN received the 2017 ASLA National Landscape Architecture Firm Award and the 2011 Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture, among other awards.


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SUN-B10 - Designing the Public Realm: Equity and Beauty

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