April 19, 2018
Beverly Sandalack recognized for lifelong contribution to landscape architecture education
The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) has awarded Beverly A. Sandalack the prestigious CSLA Teaching Award. This honour recognizes individuals who have made a substantial and significant lifelong contribution to landscape architecture education.
Sandalack is a professor and associate dean (academic) with the University of Calgary's Faculty of Environmental Design, and is the founding director of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program. In 2015, she and her colleagues led the establishment of the landscape architecture program, the first new Canadian graduate program in landscape architecture since 1980.
Before joining the University of Calgary in 1999, Sandalack taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and at Olds College. She has extensive professional practice experience in landscape architecture, urban design, and planning with private sector firms in Western Canada, including her own.
Her publications include two books on urban morphology and design: The Calgary Project: urban form/urban life (2006), and Urban Structure: Halifax (1998); two books on sense of place and cultural landscapes (2005); and numerous articles in academic journals and the local press.
Sandalack is dedicated to teaching and the importance of learning. Her teaching methods are innovative, hands-on and exciting; students are provided with experiential learning and exposed to the full breadth of the profession with a combination of highly technical and traditional tools and methods — she emphasizes both high tech and high touch to prepare students for their future careers.
Her cultural landscape field trips were the model for what is now a foundational part of the planning and landscape architecture programs, where students have immersive experiences in the diverse landscapes of Alberta. Her informal CityWalks, which predated Jane’s Walks in Calgary, allowed students and citizens to experience various parts of the city — illustrating the concepts and ideas she was teaching in the classroom.
Sandalack has also chaired the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) Student Design Competition Jury since 2004 and is a member of IFLA’s Education and Academic Affairs Committee. She is unwavering in her commitment to the growth and development of a new generation of landscape architects.
Sandalack’s integration of planning, urban design and landscape architecture is key to her teaching approach. Her emphasis on urban design and the role of landscape architecture was exemplified by her organization of an urban design symposium together with associated publications, gallery exhibitions, and block courses. The symposium was part of an award-winning project in 2005 called Sense of Place, whose ideas continue as a legacy.
The development of the Urban Lab at the University of Calgary is another one of her many significant cross-disciplinary contributions. Founded in 2000, this research lab has employed more than 60 student interns, funded research equipment, and received numerous national awards. Her influence in the profession has been significant.
“Teaching is truly a privilege. I have been fortunate to have had great teachers and mentors who encouraged in me a love for land and landscape, and a love for design," Sandalack says. "As I continue to work with our students, who are tomorrow’s leaders, I am confident of landscape architecture’s role as a profession for the 21st century, a time during which the difficult and complex issues of climate change, sustainability, and sense of place will continue to challenge us.”