SPDC’s Landscape Architecture Program wins 4 American Society of Landscape Architects awards

Each year, the ASLA Student Awards provide a glimpse into the future of the profession. This year, the MSU LA Program received four of the Michigan Chapter of the ASLA Awards, including three awards for student projects and one faculty project award.

Image of MiASLA award winners standing with professor Jun-Hyun Kim holding award certificates.
MiASLA award winners Arianna Zannetti and Curtis Schaldach stand with their award certificates next to their faculty advisor, Jun-Hyun Kim.

Each year, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Student Awards provide a glimpse into the future of the profession. This year, the MSU Landscape Architecture Program received four of the Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (MiASLA) Awards, including three awards for student projects and one faculty project award.

The awards were presented at a ceremony during the MiASLA Annual Meeting held Oct. 3–4 in Kalamazoo.

Each student award entry came from a studio project or a faculty member’s design/research project. The faculty entries combined research outputs from the previous three years.

The ASLA Students Awards consist in two levels: National and regional. According to the ASLA, “the official entrant must be a student or a Student Affiliate ASLA member or be eligible to join ASLA in either of those categories in order to enter.”

For the ASLA Student Awards, the award jury committee reviewed award entry projects through a blind review process, which means the identities of the entrant and creative team were not revealed to the jury. The juries did not judge entries submitted by students from the same landscape program.

The awardees and their projects are listed below:

  • MiASLA Merit Award: “Greening the Medical Mile” by Arianna Zannetti (Faculty Advisor: Jun-Hyun Kim, PhD, associate professor of landscape architecture).
    • The objectives for the project included providing healing spaces for patients using various types of healing gardens; creating a sense of place and identity for the Medical Mile at Grand Rapids; and creating visual and experiential accessibility to green space for both patients and pedestrians in the urban context.
  •  MiASLA Merit Award: “Zug Island: Detroit’s Postindustrial Gateway” by Curtis Schaldach (Faculty Advisor: Associate Professor Jun-Hyun Kim).
    • This project aimed to reinvent an industrial brownfield as an international gateway through landscape regeneration. The goal was to revive the waterfront with a restored ecological environment, while maintaining the historical and cultural conscience of the landscape.
  •  MiASLA Merit Award: “A Cluster Analysis Comparison of Selected Classical Chinese Garden, Modern Chinese Gardens and Traditional Japanese Gardens” by Dexin Chen (Faculty Advisors: Jon Burley, PhD, associate professor of landscape architecture and Associate Professor Jun-Hyun Kim).
    • This project analyzed the inner relationship between traditional Japanese gardens, classical Chinese gardens and modern Chinese gardens.
  •  MiASLA Research Award: “Landscape Based Planning and Design Research: 2015-2018” led by Associate Professor Jon Burley with about 30 co-authors.
    • The entry contains an anthology of 13 diverse landscape research studies completed by a team of investigators working together to understand selective issues in planning and design. The entry illustrates the breadth of activities, range of research, and the composition of the network facilitating research studies. 

 “I hope this year’s accomplishments will keep encouraging our students and faculty to increase our volume of award entry submissions to diverse design competitions, including the National and Michigan ASLA.” said Associate Professor Jun-Hyun Kim, also the program director of the Landscape Architecture Program.

“As we all know, winning the awards should not be a goal for us. This was an opportunity to show our talented students’ hard work.”

Please join us in congratulating the awardees on their accomplishments!


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