Community as Design Consultant/Landscape Architect as Facilitator: Shifting the Design Relationship - 1.5 PDH (LA CES/HSW)

Recorded On: 10/27/2023

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Centered in the knowledge that nobody knows a landscape better than the people who live in it, three landscape architects discuss elevating community voice to a position of expertise within the design team. This session showcases built projects in various communities of the African diaspora in Seattle, Philadelphia, and northeastern Brazil.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn ways to build trust during the design process, from new charette models to leveraging collective community expertise that can inform construction efficiencies.
  • Learn to operate in a community with awareness of the landscape architect's own positionality—as an insider or an outsider.
  • Learn about the challenges and opportunities of public-realm landscape architecture in neighborhoods that are experiencing chronic displacement, environmental injustice, and an absence of governmental support.
  • Learn how the "design expert" can become a "design facilitator" and how the landscape architect should inform and guide decision-making, but often defer to the community to make their own decisions.

Sam E. Valentine, ASLA, RLA, LEED AP

Senior Landscape Architect

Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA)

Sam is Senior Landscape Architect at the BPDA in Boston, Massachusetts. He has extensive experience in landscape architectural practice and recently returned from a year-long research program at the Federal University of Bahia, in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. He studies self-built landscapes in informal neighborhoods, as well as the community-driven design processes that shape them. His research was supported by the Fulbright Commission and the Sinclair Kennedy Traveling Fellowship from Harvard University. After earning his BLA at University of Georgia, Sam’s career began at a desk in Olmsted’s old bedroom at Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Biruk Belay, ASLA

Project Manager

Site Workshop Landscape Architecture

Biruk is a project manager/project designer with diverse experience on a variety of project types including urban plazas, affordable housing, public parks, and national design competitions. He possesses broad cultural interests and an enthusiasm for creating holistic and thoughtful places for our community and future generations. In addition to his academic and professional contributions, Biruk has been a frequent contributor to his community with a focus on giving back by working with underserved and immigrant communities.

Alexa Bosse, ASLA, AIA


Hinge Collective

Alexa Bosse is a registered architect and founding principal of Hinge Collective, a public interest design firm focused on bringing the power of design to all people. With master’s degrees in both architecture and landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and professional experience working across design disciplines and both non-profit and private sectors, Alexa has honed her skills as a convener and a facilitator to realize ambitious community-driven projects. Alexa has taught graduate and undergraduate level studios focusing on public interest design at The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Design, Jefferson University, and Drexel University.


Video: Community as Design Consultant/Landscape Architect as Facilitator: Shifting the Design Relationship - 1.5 PDH (LA CES/HSW)
Open to view video.  |  93 minutes
Open to view video.  |  93 minutes
12 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  9/12 points to pass
12 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  9/12 points to pass Successful completion of this quiz is required to earn PDH for this webinar.
1.50 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
8 Questions
Session Guide
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.