The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has released its survey of design trends for 2017.
The results indicate that the ecological message is getting through. Consumers now prefer sustainable elements for their outdoor living spaces, although at the same time they want tech-friendly design. For the first time in the survey, among the top 10 project types were those with wireless and internet connections.
A whopping eighty-two percent of those surveyed wanted native, drought-tolerant plants; nearly 80 percent preferred low-maintenance landscapes (an oxymoron in the opinion of many designers); and more than 70 percent of respondents expressed a desire for permeable paving, reduced lawn areas, fire pits or fireplaces, water-efficient irrigation systems, and food or vegetable gardens. The most popular outdoor recreation elements included sports courts, spas, and swimming pools. And labyrinths came in at 11 percent.
Nancy Somerville, executive vice-president and CEO of ASLA, said that "Well designed residential landscapes provide social interaction, enjoyment of nature, and physical activity, while also reducing water use and stormwater runoff." She added that landscape architects are "pros" at creating sustainable outdoor spaces that fulfill their clients' dreams for relaxation and activities that are meaningful.