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LEO ALVAREZ

FASLA, PLA at Perkins + Will 

Leonardo Alvarez, FASLA is Design Principal and Global Landscape Architecture Discipline Leader for Perkins+Will, an internationally recognized Interdisciplinary Design Firm. He holds an MLA from Harvard University and a BS in Architecture from Florida International University. A CLARB certified landscape architect, he holds 15 licenses across the US and has worked on significant projects across five continents. From 2000-2007 he served as Managing Principal of the Miami Beach and Atlanta offices of EDAW. In addition to practicing for over 30 years, Mr. Alvarez was a tenured faculty member at both FIU and UGA. His work has received over 75 regional, national and international design awards.

Lecture: "Critique: The Foundation of an Effective Design Culture"

Lecture Description

While they differ in scope and scale, design fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, graphic design and product design, all share certain common principles and methodologies. Chief among them are the design process—an iterative, feedback-driven activity that synthesizes a client’s desires and a designer’s insights within a specific contextual framework. While no one precise design process is embraced by all designers, we can trace one key common root:  Critique. Design critique is indispensable as a means of evaluating and improving our work. Understanding the design process and the nuances of critique specifically can help us work collaboratively, nurture creativity and optimize positive design outcomes. This lecture will cover background on the origins and evolution of the design process and the specific role that critique plays in creating an effective design culture. A framework for giving productive design feedback and examples of design review practices used in professional design firms will be presented. Case studies will be presented to illustrate how successfully implementing these strategies can lead to compelling award-winning designs in landscape architecture.