125th LAnniversary Panel Discussions
Sketch Crawl | 9:30am - 12:pm
Robert Chipman, ASLA promotes the value of sketching and hand drawing for the creative thought process and tries to get everyone to draw. He has worked as a landscape architect and product designer since the early 1980s and has designed many outdoor site furnishing products for Landscape Forms in creative collaborations where hand drawing blends with technology to solve complex engineering problems. Based in Austin, Texas, he is always drawing and tries not to waste time
Danny Bulemore, PLA, ASLA is a licensed Landscape Architect and Urban Sketcher based in North Carolina. He previously spent nearly a decade based from EDSA’s Fort Lauderdale office. Danny has contributed to a wide range of planning and landscape architectural projects domestically as well as internationally in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Caribbean. His passion for sketching and doodling pilot his creative thinking and design process on any and all projects. Bulemore has attended Urban Sketching Symposiums in Singapore, Amsterdam, and Chicago, and has led sessions at previous LaBash events at multiple campuses across the Country.
Campus Tour | 9:30am - 12:pm
Steve Troost has held the position of Campus Planner at Michigan State University since October 2005, where he is responsible for administering the University Facilities and Land Use Plan and ensuring that new construction is compliant with the plan and the University Zoning Ordinance. He is a member of the Campus Infrastructure Planning Work Group responsible for reviewing all major construction projects, the Public Art on Campus Committee responsible for administering Board of Trustee public art requirements, and the University Storm Water and Well Head Protection Committees responsible for ensuring project compliance with current regulatory requirements. Prior to joining Michigan State University, Troost was employed for 20 years at SmithGroup. As a Vice President, he co-directed the campus planning and design market segment responsible for business development, planning and design overview, and coordinating inter-office project delivery.
Dave Wilber has over 20 years of experience as a licensed Landscape Architect. Problem solving is his passion and the safe integration of transportation modes in pedestrian heavy environments is crucial to his work. He has extensive experience with site grading, construction detailing, ADA compliance, stormwater management, bicycle infrastructure and planting design. Wilber has worked at Michigan State University since 2008 as a landscape architect. In this role, he has managed large capital projects and commonly acts as subject matter expert, guiding site consultants through university processes, site guidelines and construction standards. Wilber regularly helps campus customers with wayfinding solutions and works closely with the MSU’s Landscape Services team to design spaces that are fiscally efficient and maintainable. He also sits on various university committees related to the campus park, sustainability, and transportation.
Prior to MSU, Wilber worked at Beckett and Raeder Inc. and SmithGroup JJR, where he gained experience in campus design, institutional sites, and streetscapes, producing construction documents, and overseeing projects during construction to ensure the original design intent was maintained. Wilber’s attraction to landscape architecture started at a young age helping his father's small landscape and gardening business. This gave him a practical understanding of site design, client relationships, construction, and financial realities of the profession. Currently, Wilber serves on the public arts commission for his hometown of Dimondale, Michigan. He regularly contributes to classes in MSU’s Landscape Architecture program and previously sat on the landscape architecture alumni board supporting the program and helping to attract new students.
Panel Discussion Session 1 | 3:00 - 3:45pm
Past, Present and Future of the Landscape Architecture Discipline
Alex Fenech is a proud alumnus of Michigan State University and the Landscape Architecture Program’s class of 2011. Since entering the landscape architecture profession he has had a wide variety of exposure to a diverse portfolio of projects around the world. His range of scope covers a breadth of projects from community master planning work in the municipal setting to a variety of private sector engagements including internships with City of East Lansing and the Walt Disney World Resort and while developing his career at EDSA (2015-2022) and Hitchcock Design Group (2013-2015, 2022-present), including recently launching their new South Florida office. His project types have included domestic and international hospitality, mixed-use development, government, recreation, and urban infill projects throughout the Caribbean, Middle East and United States. Some of his notable projects to date include leading the design and project management efforts for the new Swan Reserve Hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort, the recreational facilities rebuild at Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle, DRV Pink Stadium (MLS - Inter Miami CF) in Fort Lauderdale and the Shepherd’s Hollow Banquet and Event Facility in Clarkston, Michigan.
Finally, Fenech has dedicated his extra time volunteering for the ASLA Florida Chapter in various capacities. He has served on the Chapter’s Executive Committee since 2015 with roles as the Broward (Fort Lauderdale) Section Chair and Education & Research Chair before becoming an Officer in 2019, when he was elected as ASLA Florida Chapter President. He is currently serving as the Florida Trustee and was recently awarded the ASLA Florida President’s Award – bestowed upon an individual at the behest of the sitting President to an ASLA member for unselfish and devoted service, leadership and dedication to the ASLA Florida Chapter over a period of not less than five years.
Without question the most humbling achievement and biggest honor to date, is being asked to speak on this panel, a celebration of MSU, the Landscape Architecture Program that served as a catalyst his career journey and most importantly the people- past and future Spartan Landscape Architects!
Laurel Harrington, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP BD+C is a licensed landscape architect with over 30 years of experience in campus development, urban design, business district redevelopment, and active transportation planning. Harrington received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Cum Laude from Michigan State University in 1991 and has worked in policy planning and design fields. She has written award-winning master plan documents and has been a presenter at national and regional conferences including American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), Missouri Green Industry, Society for College and Urban Planning (SCUP), New Direction in the American Landscape (NDAL) and MoDOT TEAM Conference. She is the Vice President of Emerging Professional for the St. Louis Chapter ASLA, a member of the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and a founding member and chair of the Washington University Sam Fox School Master of Landscape Architecture Advisory Council. Harrington leads Urban Design and Landscape Architecture for Lochmueller Group, a multi-state planning, design and engineering firm.
Brandon List, PLA, SITES AP is the Manager of Landscape Architecture & Planning at TowerPinkster in Grand Rapids, MI. List has practiced in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Chicago, and now leads a team of seven designers across three offices in West Michigan and Indiana. He has experience leading, planning, and designing complex projects across a variety of scales, including work at four Big Ten Universities. His work considers both the unique human and site performance needs of each site. He enjoys experimenting with his no-mow lawn and making his own peanut butter. List is a member of the Class of 2009.
Vicki McGhee is the Planning & Infrastructure Section Chief for Parks and Recreation Division, Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Her responsibilities include overseeing the division’s capital outlay budgets, project design and implementation for both state parks and boating facilities, state park general management plans, leading the division’s Strategic Plan development and tracking progress, land transactions, and grant administration for waterways facilities. McGhee was part of the original team that hatched the concept to establish and develop Michigan’s first urban state park - Milliken State Park & Harbor - in downtown Detroit. She also led a unique, public-private partnership to design and develop the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center, which opened in July, 2015. She has most recently been engaged in the implementation of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) projects, which will improve the state parks and trails for the foreseeable future. This initiative will upgrade and replace existing state park infrastructure by investing $250 million into projects over the next 4 years, a record investment for Michigan’s state park system.
Joshua Seyfried is a Landscape Architect and urban designer with a passion for large scale, transformative projects in the public realm. His design interests are rooted in the urban environment with an eye toward advancing understanding of complex urban ecologies. These interests, along with a keen eye for developing multi-faceted framework plans and navigating complex problems, have allowed Seyfried to successfully foster the design and delivery of projects both nationally and abroad. Seyfried received his MLA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BLA from Michigan State University. Prior to joining GGN, Seyfried was an Associate with Field Operations where he led several of the office’s large scale urban development projects. In his free time, you can find him cycling through the Cascades and the Pacific Northwest.
Joyce E. Weise is a licensed Landscape Architect with decades of experience in design and project management. She graduated from MSU's Landscape Architecture program in 1985 and began her career in southeast Michigan with firms including Skandia Landscaping in Livonia, MI and Reinhold & Vidosh, Inc. in Pontiac, MI. She moved to west Michigan in 1992 to work in landscape design and management for Dehamer Brothers, in Wyoming, MI and Greensward, Inc. in Byron Center, MI. At the same time, Weise founded DesignScapes in Hudsonville, MI in 1996. DesignScapes provides landscape design services to architects, engineers, developers, landscape contractors and residential clients. Weise has also served as the Race for the Cure Event Chair for six years and volunteered with the Pink Ribbon Crew at MSU as well as Soups On For All with the Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese.
Panel Discussion Session 2 | 4:00 - 4:45pm
Changes & Impact of MSU LA Program on the Landscape Architecture Discipline
Tim Britain is a Professional Landscape Architect and founding partner of VIRIDIS Design Group, a landscape architecture and civil engineering firm with offices in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, MI. Britain’s practice areas include planning and design of institutional, health care, educational, park and development markets.
Enthusiastic about helping others, Britain has shared his time in a range of opportunities including serving as Michigan ASLA Chapter President, a number of coaching positions and has served on numerous boards. “I have always believed that providing opportunities for others to grow is the best measure of my success.” Britain has served on the MSU LAAAB since 2016 in various roles including Finance Committee Chair, Treasurer, and current VP.
Britain has been married to Laura (who he met at MSU) for over 30 years and has two adult children, one an MSU graduate and the other a UM graduate – “yes, we still claim the UM grad as part of the family”. Apart from professional commitments, Britain is typically active and always excited about skiing, traveling, and building anything.
Ted Cook is a Landscape Designer with Hamilton Anderson in Detroit. Cook graduated from Michigan State University in 2021 with a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture and 2022 with a Masters of Environmental Design. During his time with MSU Cook was involved with the student chapter of ASLA, serving as President along with many other positions, promoting the career field to the students and the public. Previously, Cook served in the United States Air Force for 22 years, stationed around the world in locations like Germany, Japan and Turkey to name a few. Throughout his career he has always gravitated to team development and leveraging his own experience to propel others towards their goals. During his travels and various roles he had the opportunity to develop many skills. During his time in Guam he became the Chief of Quality Assurance helping to ensure safe flight and munition operations. This experience propelled his desire to help educate others and eventually led to a position as a technology instructor during his three years in Germany. During this period he traveled to 5 countries in Europe teaching over 1000 hours, helping others to their educational goals as an instructor with the Community college of the Air Force.
In preparation for his military retirement he researched some of the finest schools in the US to choose a location after his tour in England. When it became obvious Landscape Architecture was his chosen path, Michigan State University was an easy choice. Since then he started his journey with Design Workshop before returning to Michigan and heading to Detroit. He has been recognized numerous times in his life including Olmsted Scholar, Meritorious Service Medal, Accommodation Medals, and letters of appreciation from two United States Presidents.
Michael J. Dul, PLA, ASLA earned a degree from MSU and in 1980 founded Michael J. Dul & Associates, Inc., an award-winning landscape architectural firm based in Birmingham, Michigan. His group of talented landscape architects works on many high-profile projects throughout Michigan and the United States. His designs are noted for their careful integration with the site and environment. Clients include Corporate, Municipal, Institutional, Museums, Recreational, Private Developers and high-end Residential.
His diversified body of projects earned his firm individual design awards from the Construction Association of Michigan, Michigan Concrete Association, Michigan Association of Nurserymen, Metropolitan Detroit Landscape Association and the ASLA Michigan Chapter, including Outstanding Firm of the Year in 2011. Over a nineteen-year period, beginning in 2004, Detroit Design magazine awarded his firm 94 awards for residential design and in 2009 its readers voted Michael J. Dul as Best Landscape Designer.
Sandy Fischer’s career as a Landscape Architect and community designer has focused on leading teams, advocating for livable communities, designing attractive places and shaping enduring landscapes. In 2018 Fischer was honored to be named a Fellow of ASLA who recognized her leadership in community planning and design, mentorship of young and emerging professionals, and successful cross disciplinary collaborations. In 2019 she received the first distinguished alumni award from MSU Landscape Architecture Program and reengaged with the university where she earned a BLA and MA in Studio Art in 1976 and 1979. These degrees as well as her curiosity and commitment to lifelong learning prepared her for a diverse career with opportunities to work in multiple geographies on diverse projects at a variety of scales in global consultancies, national. regional and local firms as well as local and state government including as adjunct faculty at the University of Washington.
Fischer started her career at JJR, Linsmier, and Wirth Associates where she worked until starting her own practice in 1982. In 2003 she merged her practice with EDAW and served as a practice principal and led the Seattle and Portland Planningand Design Studios of EDAW/AECOM through 2011. Thirty two 35 of her career were spent leading firms she founded Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest and successfully transitioned ownership of. Fischer's design work has been recognized with over 30 professional awards including ASLA and APA. Most recently her work has been published in Monocle Magazine, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Dezeen and Monacelli Press. She has spoken at local, regional, national, and international conferences. Throughout her career, Fischer has served on many professional, local and state government and non-profit boards focused on the profession, arts, education and conservation issues including service to ASLA, CLARB, IFLA, and States of Michigan, Washington and Montana.
Semi-retired or perhaps better stated "reinspired". Fischer lives with her husband of 48 years on Bainbridge Island, WA. She continues to advise on landscape architectural projects and serve on boards and committees including as current president of LAAAB, Pacific Horticulture Board, Bloedel Reserve Grounds Committee and University of Washington Professionals Council. In her free time she has discovered the joy of plants and enjoys gardening, traveling, skiing, sailing, painting, printmaking, and engaging with her two entrepreneurial adult sons who are product and UX designers.
Stephanie Onwenu is the artist and founder of Ijeomalandartscapes LLC, a landscape art experience that explores the intersections between art, design, history, and culture. Her creative approach to design uses natural materials, 3D art and modeling as an expressive tool to convey ideas and concepts. Onwenu is a Detroit native and an alumna of Michigan State University, where she graduated with a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture degree in 2018 and a Masters of Arts in Environmental Design degree in 2019. Her work explores the intersections of human needs and the roles they play in the natural and built environment, while also connecting spaces and places to the people who define it.
Kenneth Weikal has been a licensed Landscape Architect since 1986 and formed Kenneth Weikal Landscape Architecture in 1989, and Hagenbuch Weikal Landscape Architecture in 2015. The office's work has included master planning, conceptual and final site design for campuses, multi-family and single family communities, recreation areas, parks and private residential projects. HWLA has participated extensively in the “Team Approach” to project design and implementation, working as the Landscape Architects/ Site Planners with the client, architects, engineers, and environmental specialists. As the head of a focused design firm, he has overseen these types of projects from concept through installation throughout the east coast and mid-west. Weikal also has an extensive background in working with partnerships composed of diverse members, bringing groups to consensus and moving projects forward into implementation.