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Suburbia Transformed 3.0


2013 Call for entries: One Garden at a Time

Exploring the aesthetics of landscape experience in the age of sustainability. An international cpompetition for built and unbuilt residential landscapes in professional and student categories sponsored by THE JAMES ROSE CENTER for landscape architectural research and design

Co-Sponsors: American Society of Landscape Architects, New Jersey Chapter; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Background For most, James Rose is remembered as one of three Harvard students who rebelled against their Beaux Arts training in the 1930s, helping to usher landscape architecture—kicking and screaming—into the modern era. Yet somewhere after Harvard and well into the real world, Rose lost faith in the modern planning and design professions he had helped to inspire. By the mid 1950s he had retreated from public practice and spent most of the latter part of his career designing private gardens that were in direct contrast to the environmental excess and cultural banality of the emerging contemporary post-WWII suburb.

These built critiques were made with found objects, recycled left-over materials, native plants and whatever he could scavenge from the sites themselves. He called them “space-sculptures-with-shelters,” and they reflected the creative, spatial and artistic nature of the garden in ways that were greener, more economical and less wasteful of resources. In doing so, Rose incorporated a conservation ethic into a modern design aesthetic, skillfully choreographing outdoor spatial experiences that inspire us to better perceive our relationship with the environment. Today, in the age of sustainability, it is equally, if not more, important to employ contemporary green technologies within the context of the aesthetics of landscape experience.

The Competition The goal of Suburbia Transformed 3.0 is to promote and celebrate residential designs that go beyond “green” by explicitly using sustainable strategies, tactics and technologies to enrich the aesthetic spatial experience of people. ST 3.0 will assemble contemporary projects achieving this goal into a travelling exhibition and catalogue. The emphasis is on how such sustainable landscapes can be beautiful, inspiring, perhaps profound; and serve as examples for transforming the suburban residential fabric, one garden at a time.

Eligibility: Open to all, including landscape architects, landscape designers, architects, individuals, teams or firms…and students of design whose work will be judged in a separate category.

Submission Requirements We seek solutions to the ubiquitous small-lot, detached single-family, residential condition in the hope that we may better understand how to transform suburbia. Therefore, submissions must be for two-acre or less residentially-zoned single-family properties. A submission with a newly built house is allowed as long as the lot was part of a pre-existing subdivision or town property. Distance from an urban center is not relevant for the purpose of this competition.

Each entry must be submitted on a CD to include the components in the order listed below and sent to: The James Rose Center

506 East Ridgewood Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450 Attention: Design Competition


Main submission:
A multi-page PDF document that includes the following in the order listed:

A 250-word or less description of the overall project specifically addressing how the project responds to the competition goal and design criteria

Existing Conditions Plan showing topography, planting, and structures (including first floor plan where appropriate), as well as any other relevant site and immediate context conditions

Site Design Plan

Eight to fifteen images keyed to the site plan with captions describing relevance to the competition goal and design criteria.*

*For visionary/unbuilt projects on real sites only, to better communicate the intended spatial experience, a minimum of two detailed cross sections at 1”=10’-0” or larger is required.

Supporting files:
A folder consisting of separate image files for all images used in the main submission. This will be for exhibition and publication purposes, and files must be of high quality and high-resolution. All photographs, drawings, plans, and cross sections must be in .jpg or .tiff format at a minimum of 300 ppi (pixels per inch) at 16” x 20”. **

**Entrants are responsible for obtaining permission for photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by the James Rose Center. The James Rose Center will provide proper credit for photographs and other images, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. The James Rose Center retains the right to publish, exhibit, and publicize all materials submitted.

The CD shall be identified only by the number you have received upon confirmation via email of your Entry Form. Place the CD in a transparent case also labeled with the entry number. No logos or other form of identification shall be seen on the submissions. CD submissions must be received by March 20, 2014 no later than 5:00 PM. All submissions become the property of the James Rose Center.

The jury will review the submissions and select up to twelve outstanding projects in each category: built work; professional visionary (unbuilt) work, and student visionary (unbuilt) work. Those selected shall receive notification shortly after the jury makes their selection. The James Rose Center shall assemble exhibition displays and an exhibition catalogue from the submitted work. (See for images from the ST1.0 and ST2.0 exhibitions) Exhibited work shall become the property of the James Rose Center.

Design Criteria for Judging The competition goal is to promote and celebrate residential designs that go beyond “green” by explicitly using sustainable strategies, tactics and technologies to enrich the aesthetic spatial experience of people; in so doing projects should:

 Make the most of what’s already on the site (earth, rocks, plants, structures, water) before importing or removing anything

 Use local, inexpensive, low-energy-consumptive, non-polluting materials and construction techniques before others

 Consider the landscape’s potential to create useful resources rather than consume them

 Consider the relationship of the site to larger environmental systems

 Consider means for guiding future growth and evolution of the garden


 Andrea Cochran, FASLA, Principal, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, San Francisco, CA

 Tobiah Horton, LEED AP, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

 David Kamp, FASLA, LF, NA, Dirtworks, PC, New York

 Keith LeBlanc, FASLA, Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture, Inc., Boston, MA

 Darrel Morrison, FASLA, Ecological Landscape Design and Management, New York

Selected Outstanding Projects Receive

 Public exhibition at the James Rose Center
 Publication of work in select design periodicals
 Publication of work in exhibition catalogue
 Copies of catalogue at reduced rate
 Recognition on the James Rose Center and NJASLA websites among others  A framed custom awards certificate, presented at the opening reception
 Professional photograph of award presentation for publicity purposes
 Further exposure through traveling exhibition


Entry Form and fee due: February 18, 2014

To Enter Fill out the Entry Form available on the website, An entry fee of $115 ($50 for students) must be received together with the Entry Form by February 18, 2014. You may either return the form electronically using PayPal, or mail it with a check payable to the James Rose Center to:

The James Rose Center
506 E. Ridgewood Ave. Ridgewood, NJ 07450 Attention: Design Competition

We will confirm receipt of your entry form via email and assign you a number to identify your submission. This number must be placed on your CD submission. No other identifying marks are allowed.

Questions Please email questions to by February 1, 2014.
We shall reply via email asap. All questions and answers shall be posted on the James Rose Center website by February 13, 2014.

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