LABash 2012 at Florida International University

Published: 09/9/13 8:46 PM in Events, North America, Travel.
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In March of 2012, Kevin and I took part in organizing and hosting LABash 2012 at our Alma Mater, Florida International University in Miami, Florida. FIU won the bid to host LABash in 2012 when a few classmates and fellow committee members attended LABash 2010 hosted by UNLV in Las Vegas. Prior to attending LABash 2010, our ASLA student organization put together the following video bid showcasing what Miami had to offer and our theme, Urban Oasis.

What is LABash?

LABash stands for ‘Landscape Architecture Bash’ and it is an annual Landscape Architecture student run conference that is held by a different university every year. The conference consists of professional guest speakers, design charettes, workshops, local tours, and social events. LABash has been moving from school to school since 1970 when the University of Guelph hosted the very first one.

LABash 2012 at Florida International University

After winning the bid at LABash 2010 in Las Vegas, we quickly started putting together and planning how the conference would function when we held it in March of 2012. Instead of hosting the conference on our main FIU campus, we quickly decided to use the newly opened studio facility located directly on Lincoln Road, Miami Beach Urban Studio, or MBUS. That way people would be able to experience the most popular and well-known area in Miami.

This decision quickly fueled the creative direction and visual presence of the entire conference. Since Kevin and I were a part of the Graphics and Merchandise Team, we primarily concerned ourselves with the visual components that would give the entire event a cohesive presence. We wanted to capture the glam and color of Miami while staying true to the theme of the conference, Urban Oasis.

In order to introduce the team and welcome everybody to LABash 2012, we created this introductory video to give everyone a taste of what this year’s conference had in store!

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One of our favorite things to design for the conference were the shirts! We wanted to come up with a design that represented the conference, but was also sleek enough that an individual would want to wear it again way after LABash 2012 was over. For this reason we also wanted have all the shirts screen-printed to ensure that they were light and wearable without that heavy, over printed feel.

The design was a simple mass/void plan of the Miami Beach area with the strip of Lincoln Road highlighted. The shirts actually helped during the conference because people were able to use them to navigate to and from their hotels. Form and function in one t-shirt!


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In order to distinguish between attendees and LABash organizers/volunteers, we designed a ‘Staff’ shirt that helped identify an individual that could help. These were designed as the inverse of the attendants’ shirts, but with the same graphic components. Therefore the shirts still functioned the same, but with an added level of identification.


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Even though we held the majority of the conference at MBUS, we still held the opening ceremonies at our main FIU campus. That way the attendees could enjoy a tour of our studios and get a taste of what the everyday work environment is for students at FIU’s School of Architecture. Attendants registered at the conference in the gallery space where the work of our Landscape Architecture students was on display and then they were welcomed to LABash by the Chair of FIU’s Landscape Architecture program, Roberto Rovira.


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That night we did our first club crawl along Miami Beach, hitting up some of the most iconic clubs along South Beach’s Ocean Drive. These clubs included The Clevelander Bar and Mango’s Tropical Cafe.


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The entertainment for the first night definitely set the tone for a weekend in Miami! The conference attendants had a good time and enjoyed getting into such popular places with no cover charge!


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The next morning, we started the day with active events people could choose to attend, including a bike tour of the Deco Architecture found throughout Miami Beach, or an airboat ride through the Everglades. Both activities provided attendees the opportunity to experience the City of Miami in a different ways and see a side of the city that is less talked about.


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The airboat ride through the Everglades was highly successful. It was fun, as a person that has grown up in Florida, to see people get so excited to see an alligator! They definitely were not disappointed in that endeavor as the show after the airboat ride included a man casually interacting with huge gators as if they were pet dogs.


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During the two day event we had a large variety of guest speakers and workshops including local Landscape Architect, Raymond Jungles. LABash 2012 had something for everyone and was located on the beach! Talk about best academic conference ever!


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Being a part of the planning and execution of LABash 2012 was an amazing experience. I can still hardly believe how well the entire event went and how much fun it was throughout! This was definitely a highlight of my time at Florida International University.


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