Kurt Culbertson awarded the 2016 ASLA Medal

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has announced its 2016 honors recipients. Selected by ASLA’s Board of Trustees, the honors represent the highest awards ASLA presents each year. The honors will be presented at the president’s dinner on October 24, held during the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, October 21–24, in New Orleans.

We are thrilled to announce that DW's Kurt Culbertson has won the 2016 ASLA Medal - the highest honor the American Society of Landscape Architects may bestow upon an individual whose lifetime achievements and contributions have had a unique and lasting impact on the welfare of the public and the environment.

Culbertson, the CEO and Chair of Design Workshop Inc.’s international practice, is a longtime leader in sustainable development, and communities from around the world have benefitted socially, economically and aesthetically from his projects. His skill at navigating difficult but important projects to build broad consensus is clearly recognized by the profession through seven national ASLA awards and dozens of regional and state ASLA Awards. Culbertson has also served as a mentor to hundreds of landscape architects and demonstrated a lasting dedication to landscape architecture education.

Company's Founder Honored with Top Landscape Architect Medal

Joe Porter, one of Design Workshop's founders, received the ASLA Medal in 2008, the highest honor bestowed upon a landscape architect for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the profession, the welfare of the public, and the environment.

Richard Shaw Receives the Distinguished ASLA Design Medal

Richard Shaw, FASLA, a partner of Design Workshop, received the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Design Medal, one of the highest awards the Society presents each year. Mr. Shaw is recognized for his relentless pursuit of design excellence and exceptional work over the years on projects ranging from residential gardens to urban / regional master plans. He has practiced nationally and internationally, and twice, he has earned the Urban Land Institute's prestigious Award of Excellence for The Little Nell in Aspen and for Whistler/ Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia. Other awards and honors include: ASLA National Honor award for the Woody Creek Residence in Colorado, ASLA Colorado Chapter Land Stewardship Designation Award for Ameya Preserve in Montana, and the Nevada ASLA Chapter Project of the Year award for the Nevada Department of Transportation Landscape and Aesthetics Western Highways Corridor Plans.

Mr. Shaw has served on both the national and Colorado chapters of ASLA, Landscape Architecture Foundation, and advisory councils at Utah State University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Kurt Culbertson Named to LSU Alumni Association Hall of Distinction

Kurt Culbertson, chairman of Design Workshop, was inducted into the Louisiana State University Alumni Association 2012 Hall of Distinction during ceremonies at the Lod Cook Alumni Center on the LSU campus March 30.

Culbertson graduated from LSU in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. In 2008, Design Workshop was named the Firm of the Year by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Culbertson was inducted along with distinguished scholar, author and international business consultant John S. Butler, of the University of Texas at Austin, who was named Alumnus of the Year, and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bradie James, named Young Alumnus of the Year.

Also inducted were Joseph D. Fail, of Bay Springs, Miss.; David B. Means III, of Gloster, La.; James P. Richards, Jr., of Fort Worth, Texas; Donald Welge, of Chester, Ill.; and Claude O. West, of Minden, La.

A Fellow of the ASLA and the Institute of Urban Design, Culbertson has received numerous awards for his work including ASLA National Honor awards for his design of Canyon Forest Village at the Grand Canyon and South Grand Boulevard in St. Louis, Mo., and his master plans for Flathead County, Mont., and the Bow Valley of Alberta, Canada.

Other awards include Colorado Chapter ASLA Honor Awards for the Red Butte Ranch Residence, Aspen, Colo., and Chalalan Ecolodge in Madidi National Park, Bolivia, and a North Carolina Chapter ASLA Honor Award for the Inn on Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. His Strategic Plan for Petra, Jordan, won the Pierre L’Enfant Award for International Planning from the American Planning Association in 2012.

A long-time supporter of the School of Landscape Architecture, Culbertson was one of the driving forces in the fundraising campaign to raise four million dollars to name the school for its founder, Robert “Doc” Reich. He personally donated a quarter of a million to the Reich School. He also served as co-chair of the fundraising effort to endow the Max Z. Conrad Lecture Series in the Reich School. A Fulbright Scholar, Culbertson was the Robert S. Reich Teaching Professor in the College of Art & Design in 2004. He also serves on the Sigma Chi House Corporation.

Design Workshop Wins 2012 National Medal of Excellence

Design Workshop was honored with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2012 Landscape Architecture Medal of Excellence for its Design Week.

Design Week is a pro-bono effort launched by Design Workshop in 2004 that is aimed at creating a link between academia and practice. A national program, it joins landscape architecture students with students from other disciplines, faculty and a real client in a collaborative learning environment to pursue a real project. Design Workshop has taken teams of design professionals to more than 10 universities across the United States – including the University of Kentucky, Clemson, Louisiana State and Penn State – engaging more than 1,600 students.

“Design Workshop was founded 40 years ago in academia,” said Design Workshop Chairman Kurt Culbertson. “We have always sought to maintain a strong relationship with the academy to build frameworks for collaboration. In addition to our collaborative research efforts with a number of universities, we see Design Week as a wonderful way to give back to the profession. We’re so honored by this recognition from ASLA. Design Week is program we’re very proud of as we work to help shape the education of future professionals and to develop relationships with future graduates.”

American Horticultural Society Honors Richard Shaw

The American Horticultural Society (AHS) presented its Landscape Design Award to Richard W. Shaw during the Great American Gardeners Awards Ceremony and Banquet, held in summer 2012 at AHS’ headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Landscape Design Award is given to an individual whose work demonstrates and promotes the value of sound horticultural practices in landscape architecture. The award is one of the Great American Gardeners Awards presented annually by the AHS to individuals, organizations and businesses that represent the best in American gardening. Each recipient has contributed significantly to fields including scientific research, garden communication, landscape design, youth gardening, teaching and conservation.

Shaw is a principal and partner in Design Workshop’s Aspen, Colorado office. He has devoted his career to residential design, resort design, tourism development, transportation planning and community development throughout the world. His designs rely on native plants to enhance the sustainability of the constructed landscape and they incorporate a deep respect for the regional setting. A Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Shaw has received numerous awards, including the Award of Excellence from the Urban Land Institute and the Design Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects recognizing his lifetime contributions to designed landscapes.

Speaking Engagements


National Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference

St. Louis, Missouri
Oct 5-8, 2016

Amanda Jeter

Illinois ASLA’s Ignite! Lecture Series

Chicago, Illinois
Nov 3, 2016

Kurt Culbertson

Making Maps with Meaning: Geographical Information Systems in Professional Practice

Guest Lecture, "Intro to GIS" course at the College of Architecture + Planning, University of Colorado
Nov 15, 2016

Kathleen King

New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

St. Louis, Missouri
Feb 2-4, 2017

Kathleen King and Anna Cawrse
View conference details

Texas Trees Symposium

Dallas, Texas
Mar 23, 2017

Steven Spears
View details

SMPS Heartland Regional Conference

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Apr 5-7, 2017

Jay Sabatini
View details

2017 National Outdoor Recreation Conference

Scottsdale, Arizona
May 1-4, 2017

Carly Klein
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American Planning Association’s (APA) National Planning Conference

"The Comp Plan’s Done…Now What?"
New York, New York
May 6-9, 2017

Anna Gagne
View conference details

Blueprint Houston


Renderings for Proposed Redesign for Calder Plaza


First-Ever RiNo Music Festival Kicks Off New Development


The Cultural Landscape Foundation conference: Leading with Landscape II: The Houston Transformation. Design Workshop's Steven Spears presents with Douglas Reed of Reed Hilderbrand.


Interview with Design Workshop founders Joe Porter and Don Ensign

Using "Little Bets" to Create Change: A Pilot Project to Benefit the Future of Austin, Texas

Design Workshop's Philip Koske highlights a case study for bringing healthier trees to Austin.

Read the article on the Land8 website »

Planning Magazine: Slight Change of Plans: How the Original Planned Communities are Meeting Modern Day Plans
by Rebecca Leonard
Land8 Article: Place Value: Empowering Landscape Architects to Measure the Economic Benefits of Designed Landscapes

Landscape architecture and urban design, in their placemaking capacity, are central contributors to the economic vitality of cities. As designers, we all have an interest in studying the economic benefit of our projects and learning how to communicate the value of the landscapes we create.

Read the article by Allyson Mendenhall »

Woodlands Township transit plan focuses on improving Town Center parking, mobility

With a mobility plan underway in south Montgomery County and a countywide thoroughfare plan on the horizon, The Woodlands has maintained its focus on the community’s transit issues.

Read the article »

Transportation Discrimination and a Call to Change

Design Workshop's Dayton Crites discusses the need for transportation improvements that accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.

Read the article on the Landscape Architecture Foundation website »

Austin Business Journal Interview with Rebecca Leonard

Design Workshop President Rebecca Leonard discusses factors that helped to shape her career and her goals for the next couple of years.

Read the interview »

Greenroads Certifies First Project in Texas

The Greenroads Foundation announced that the Bagby Street Reconstruction Project in Houston, Texas has become the first project to achieve Greenroads Certification in the State of Texas, receiving a Silver Rating for its design and construction sustainability efforts.

Read the Greenroads press release »

The Measured Response, Landscape Architecture Magazine

Design Workshop, known for its site-specific plans and designs, is setting measureable goals project by project.

Read the article »