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KONA GRAY

FASLA, PLA

Principal at EDSA 

During his 26-year career, Kona has practiced on a global stage, providing inspiration and enhancing professional awareness. His portfolio ranges from large-scale planning to detailed site design, with emphasis on communities, urban parks, hospitality and campus environments. Blending sensitivity and context with creative design solutions, Kona unites a client’s vision with his vanguard viewpoint producing designs with purpose and presence. Currently, he is designing projects in Florida, California, Georgia, Virginia, Arkansas, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, China, Dubai (UAE), Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Antigua. A registered Landscape Architect, Kona earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia.

Lecture: Innovation Matters – “Shaping the Future of the Planet” 

Lecture Description: The world is rapidly changing, and the time is now to reinvent the practice of landscape architecture as a response to environmental challenges. Our planet is stressed due to human impacts and landscape architects have the insight to heal the earth. The intent of the presentation is to discuss how design innovation will mitigate the effects of climate change, urbanization, consumption, species extinction and inequity. We will challenge what it means to be a designer today and how innovation will play a major role for design in the future. This is not about just crazy ideas. It is actually a call to action. So, may I suggest a few questions we should answer. How can landscape architects make a difference? Is it possible to reverse or mitigate the impacts on the planet through landscape architecture? Are we preparing the next generation to deal with the challenge of climate change? As landscape architects, we not are just stewards of the land, we are problem solvers and entrepreneurs. These qualities are essential for innovation. I recently read a definition that “Innovation is the process of creating value by applying novel solutions to meaningful problems.” Source: di.

 

Innovation is the key to our survival in my opinion. The legacy of our craft tells us that the basis of our profession is rooted in history, environment, philosophy, natural sciences and the understanding of people. Ultimately, landscape architects have the expertise to contribute to the “preservation, improvement and enhancement of the environment” ... So, now is the time to boldly challenge what is expected, evoke positive planetary transformations and create places for everyone to enjoy the good life.