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Education Session - Presentation Format

SAT-B01 - Inside the LA Studio SWA Group

Saturday, October 21
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM


Forget everything you think you know about SWA Group. See how *design* DNA coupled with cultural diversity and organizational ingenuity enable the company to evolve and thrive through time. Through research, experimentation, and risk-taking, designers at SWA are proving this is an indelible profession for the curious and the passionate.

Learning Objectives:

Gerdo Aquino

SWA Group

Gerdo Aquino is the Chief Executive Officer of SWA, a studio-based design firm recognized for its creative ideas in the fields of landscape architecture, urban design and planning. SWA has worked strategically in over 60 countries nurturing a critical dialogue of urbanism that integrates principles of design, ecology and technology into a robust public infrastructure for people. Recently Gerdo completed Phase I of the Sava Promenada in Belgrade, Serbia; the San Jacinto Plaza in El Paso, TX, and Milton Street Park along the Ballona Creek in Los Angeles


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Thomas Balsley


Thomas Balsley, FASLA, is a principal of the newly incorporated SWA/Balsley, in New York City, and the founder of the firm it replaces, Thomas Balsley Associates, best known for its fusion of landscape and urbanism in public parks and plazas. Balsley is also a principal at SWA. For over 35 years, Mr. Balsley has created public spaces that enrich the community through landscape architecture and urban design. His work often exists in the margins of the city, the industrial edges, the waterfronts and vestigial spaces found in and around the urban grid.


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René Bihan

Managing Principal
SWA Group

René Bihan is the Managing Principal of SWA’s San Francisco office. René is an accomplished Landscape Architect, Urban Designer and Educator interested in issues of Urbanism, Landscape Design, and their symbiotic relationship to dense urban cities. His studio was recently recognized with the ULI Global Award of Excellence for Beijing Finance Street, a significant urban park in the Heart of historic Beijing. He has an in-depth familiarity with construction, studio arts, and contemporary architecture. René credits this varied background with his desire to synthesize conceptual ideas with practical solutions on a wide variety of development projects around the world.


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Ying-Yu Hung

Managing Principal, ASLA
SWA Group

Public parks are of particular interest to Ying-yu, as they have a direct impact in improving quality of life. Through every design project during her 25 years of practice, Ms. Hung investigates the desires and needs of the project’s ultimate stakeholders in order to ensure a final outcome that encourages the community to be both users and stewards of the park.


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Thomas R. Oslund

Tom is one of the leading design landscape architects in the country. Tom’s interest in art and his passion for design are fueled by a commitment to excellence and innovation. Tom has more than 30 years of experience at a variety of project scales from 800-acre master planning efforts to a 5000-square foot rooftop garden. Tom has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Washington University, Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has also lectured widely on his work for such groups as the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C., the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Chicago Botanical Garden.

Tom is known for engaging public landscapes for some of the most discerning local, national, and global clientele. He creates positive results as an innovator when it comes to solving complex site design challenges. Tom has created engaging outdoor spaces for colleges and universities, hospitals, corporate headquarters, urban campuses, museums, and parks. His belief in the collaborative process of working closely with clients, architects, engineers, fabricators and artists have yielded positive results and international recognition as an innovator when it comes to solving complex site design challenges.


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SAT-B01 - Inside the LA Studio SWA Group

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