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DIANE JONES ALLEN

D. Eng,. ASLA, PLA

Program Director for Landscape Architecture, the College of Architecture Planning, and Public Affairs, the University of Texas, Arlington

Diane Jones Allen, D.Eng., ASLA, PLA is currently the Program Director for Landscape Architecture, the College of Architecture Planning, and Public Affairs, the University of Texas, Arlington. She is Principal Landscape Architect with DesignJones LLC in New Orleans, Louisiana which received the 2016 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Community Service Award. Diane is on the Board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), and participated on the 2017 ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change. Her research and practice is guided by the intersection of environmental justice, identity and sustainability in cultural landscapes.

Lecture: “Open Engagement:  Integrating Community Members into Planning and Design Strategies”

AUSTIN ALLEN

Ph.D., ASLA, PLA

Principal Landscape Architect at DesignJones

My background in landscape architecture, documentary film and mass communication reflect a growing movement of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and creative approaches to the problems of urban and natural environments. The movement also signifies the transformative nature of academe and the need for tying our research to local communities, progressively changing neighborhoods and the cities which the institution serves.In that spirit, I see a specific opportunity as a publicly educated person within public universities. The idea of education as a panacea for social inequities may not be as universal as it once was. Yet, public institutions are still seen as vital to many, many people who are seen as at a disadvantage and particularly for African-Americans and for women. Women constitute the majority of students now, and public colleges to this day, are the most accessible institutions of higher education for the public throughout America.

For this reason, I have enjoyed working in them and gaining my education in a number of public places. We have fully entered the Fourth Period of Higher Education, where I believe one of the greatest expressions of higher education is the beginning of an open forum transferring ideas and knowledge to a wide segment of disenfranchised Americans who need adequate and essential financial and intellectual support and academic civility, to develop theories and practices that make sense of a rapidly changing world. We are obligated to assist students to become the citizens who will shape an open and just society. Colleges should continue to play a vital role linking these technologies with well researched arguments on one end, and the risk of cutting edge creativity and entrepreneurship on the other, and they need to approach it in a welcoming interdisciplinary manner.

Lecture: “Open Engagement:  Integrating Community Members into Planning and Design Strategies”