Field Day – Discovery

“If you have an hour to cut down a tree, spend the first 50 minutes sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

SESSION 2 RECAP: Last week’s session on “Discovery” was a great way to celebrate the start of World Landscape Architecture Month. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has started a new campaign this year to highlight the versatility of landscape architecture by sharing a “______ grows here” fill-in-the-blank. In our case, the goals of the camp are that “knowledge grows here” or “inspiration grows here”.

Rachel Walsh
Rachel Walsh – Graduate Landscape Architect, Troyer Group in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

SPECIAL GUESTS: Over the next several weeks, we will meet women leaders from around the country. This last week we were joined by my colleague, Rachel Walsh. She’s a graduate landscape architect in Grand Rapids and she shared a relatable perspective about her experience choosing a career. I particularly enjoyed hearing about how her interests have evolved and contribute to her work now. An important part of career discovery is hearing from a variety of people, to find aspects of their experience that resonate with you. We certainly hope that in meeting so many leaders, the campers will have a more individually meaningful experience.


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WHAT WE TALKED ABOUTThis week we highlighted the difference between appreciative and deficit inquiry. An important part of the Discovery phase of design is the concept of framing, understanding that different individual perspectives lead to different interpretations, and these two types of inquiry illustrate that concept. A helpful way that I think about the difference between the two types is that deficit inquiry looks for problems to solve and appreciative inquiry looks for capacity to support. Here’s a great video that highlights the importance of appreciative inquiry in greater detail.

ACTIVITIES: The Library of Congress posted some great activities for teaching kids to be more observant, including one of the activities we did this week. They do a great job of breaking the activities down by age group and many of the activities translate well to a virtual experience. Check them out here: Challenging Student To Develop Observation Skills.

IMPORTANT! As part of the camp, we continue to raise funds for La Casa de Amistad, an organization that importantly facilitates a community food pantry. As so many people are in need during this pandemic, strengthening the efforts of an organization that is already doing so much good amplifies their efforts. This small support is an opportunity for us to help some of the most vulnerable during this pandemic. If you haven’t already, please donate $25 to their COVID-19 Fundraiser.

UNTIL NEXT WEEK: Every day, when I drop my kids off at school, I tell them the same thing: Be kind, be brave, and be good leaders.

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