Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

Conference Tracks

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)

Conference Tracks

The CELA Conference Track System was launched in 2008-2009 for CELA’s Annual Conference held in Tucson, Arizona. The system is managed by the Vice President for Research + Creative Scholarship along with a structured organization of scholarly experts who provide focused peer-review for research and scholarly works in content areas representing the discipline of Landscape Architecture. These content areas are called “tracks.” Each track can be chaired by one person, or co-chaired by two or three persons.

Present CELA tracks are:
Communication and Visualization Track accepts papers, panels, posters, and personal creative works that propose or explore new approaches or innovative advancements or new forms of expression in teaching, application, and representation.
Design Education and Pedagogy Track accepts papers, panels or posters that illuminate and help improve understanding of the purposes of design education and the uses of curriculum and pedagogy as strategies for serving these purposes. Papers should refer to and build on literature on education, teaching, learning and design. Reflective accounts or evaluations of educational practice, critiques of contemporary educational practices and proposals for more focused and influential educational practices are welcome.
As a scholarly discipline and an area of practice, landscape architecture continually confronts issues of environmental, economic and social justice in academics and in practice. This track encompasses research and creative scholarship in landscape architecture and allied disciplines such as issues and concerns based on gender, race, sexual orientation, sexual identity, culture, ethnicity and/or other perceived differences. Other topics include fairness, equity, inclusion, and/ or cultivating a culture of inclusivity in leadership, activism and advocacy for all people across landscapes.
Align | Realign, the theme of the 2023 Conference, explores these relationships, investigating the overlaps and misalignments between what is both taught and researched in academia compared to what the professional market demands. Submissions to the Align | Realign theme track include research or scholarly inquiries related to comparisons or synergies between design education and professional needs, collaborative research and/or design projects, design impact measurements and techniques, student placement or student skills vs. needs in the workplace, software taught vs. software used in practice, advisory board interactions and activities with programs, or other related phenomena. We highly encourage submissions from landscape architecture practitioners, research departments within firms, and other similar units.
The Geo-spatial and Digital Analytics Track covers research that integrates the creation and analysis of spatial data to build and assess maps, graphs, statistics, cartograms, and/or related outputs to both understand and expose complex relationships related to build and natural spatial features. This track covers research related to foci such as (but not limited to) GIS and mobile technologies, geodesign, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones/fixed winged aircraft), virtual reality, social media data mining processes, big data, and prediction modeling, spatial analytics, and related technology-based data gathering and analysis tools.
History, Theory and Culture Track accepts papers, panels or posters that discuss land use, planning and design from prehistory to the present. Papers are typically presented as a theoretical discourse in areas such as urban theory, social and cultural theory, environmental philosophy, environmental ethics and historical narrative.
Health track accepts papers, panels, and posters that address health and well-being of communities and individuals. The built, natural and social environment that landscape architects and researchers design and study influence public health directly by exposing people to healthy/unhealthy features and indirectly through behaviors/lifestyles. Multiple areas of scholarship, including discovery, creativity, application, and teaching, that address both the direct and indirect pathways are accepted.
Landscape Performance Track (LA CES track) accepts papers, panels or posters that explore the impact of landscape projects of various types and scales through the observation and measurement of environmental, economic and social benefits. Paper topics might include case studies, methods of observation or measurement, predictive models of benefits, new research on the benefits of landscape, and theoretical frameworks for landscape performance.
Landscape Planning and Ecology Track (LA CES track) welcomes papers, panels, posters, or films that discuss landscape theories and practices that have a strong foundation of understanding landscape forms, functions and changes across temporal and spatial scales. Examples of topics include, but not limited to, landscape and urban ecology, biodiversity, wildlife habitat and open space conservation, ground and surface water management, wetlands and coastal margins, urban forestry, land use planning, environment codes and regulations, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions, and other topics related to planning, design, and management in landscapes.
People-Environment Relationships Track welcomes papers, panels or posters that explore the human experience of place and the human dimensions of design. In this approach, the environment is conceived broadly, encompassing not only the natural and the built environment but also the way that social, cultural, political, and economic forces affect the appearance, meanings, livability, and use of the landscape. Topics within this track include the study of perceptions, attitudes, behavior and sociocultural factors related to the design of human spaces, and the effect of public policies and regulation on the quality of experiences and life in the landscape.
Research and Methods Track accepts papers, panels or posters that discuss quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods for landscape design and planning; case studies; design support systems; statistical modeling; technologies and design impact analyses.
Research by Design and Implementation Track (LA CES track) accepts papers, panels, posters, or films that deploy design and implementation as a method for research. This research could be conducted via means including design studios organized around a research agenda, faculty-led research or implementation projects that employ design as a method and critical/reflective design practice. Research on topics such as design ideation, designed experiments, construction technologies and materials, development of new standards, best management practices, planting design, smart landscape technology systems in construction and management, etc. are welcome.
The Resilience and Climate Action track solicits abstracts, papers, panels, posters, and/or films that examine issues related to climate change and resilience across various physical (urban, rural, coastal, etc.) and thematic settings (social, ecological, economic, etc.). The track concentrates on assessment, evaluation, critical reflection, or action research and scholarship, both in practice and in principle, which contribute to our understanding of system interventions and their implications on our changing socio-ecological environments. Specifically, this track seeks original research and creative scholarship that encompasses a broad range of design and planning topics centered on increasing resilience or measuring, assessing, projecting, or developing intervention strategies for climate action. Examples of topics include, but are not limited to community resilience and capacity building, climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainability, emergency and hazard management, anthropogenic pressures, energy landscapes, and adaptive design, planning, management, and governance.
Service-Learning and Community Engagement Track accepts papers, panels or posters that discuss teaching and research-based scholarship resulting from collaborations between university and community partners. This track seeks papers that deepen and promote dialogue and understanding of such things as the theory and practice of interrelating community service and engagement with teaching, learning, evaluation and research, and the pedagogy of service-learning and participatory action research, to name a few.
Urban Design Track accepts papers, panels or posters that discuss issues such as the design of pedestrian space and alternative transportation, sustainable urbanism, active living by design and the arrangement of urban space and place.

* denotes Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) tracks.