On Sunday, March 10 students of the University of Minnesota MLA program made their Netherlands rendezvous to commence their field studies for “The Cultural Ecology of Water in the Netherlands” traveling studio. With backpacks and bikes, sketchbooks and snapshots, for the next four weeks students are immersed (get it?) in a direct experience of how the Dutch landscape is a symbiosis of culture and water. Follow their blog to experience daily narrative and photographic accounts of their progress.
Nearly three years after traveling to Itasca State Park and commencing their MLA program of study, 25 MLA students are currently focused on their capstone studio projects. The spring semester LA8555 Capstone Studio is the culmination of the MLA educational process and is the first step in transition from the academy to a professional role in Landscape Architecture. The studio allows students an opportunity to pursue an independent course of inquiry into a variety of contemporary issues and project sites, of their choosing, within the discipline of Landscape Architecture.
This year, the capstone projects focus upon a broad range of complex issues, including: climate change, environmental justice, healthy living and urban agriculture, design advocacy, urban ecology and hydrology, ecological resiliency, brownfield contamination and other pressing topics. The work also demonstrates a broad range of scales and locations, from a post-Hurricane Sandy urban resiliency proposal in Brooklyn, NY to the investigation of alternative methods of public housing in Seattle, WA; from a study of the impacts of oil drilling in rural North Dakota communities, to the prospect of retrofitting urban infrastructure in Los Angeles, CA. The students enrolled in the LA 8555 studio are:
Eric Alward "Multifunctional Urban Systems" Cleveland Public Square, Cleveland, OH
William Brohman "Spatial Polity of Public Housing" Yessler Terrace, Seattle, WA
Ally Czechowicz "Changing Perceptions of Urban Nature + Ecology" Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Brendan Dougherty "Integration of Stormwater Metrics as Redevelopment Strategy" East Downtown, Minneapolis, MN
Coal Dorius "New Frontier: Urban Pioneers and Neighborhood Resiliency, Safety + Health" Lowry Ave. North, Minneapolis, MN
Cort Eidem "Design Catalysts" North Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, MN
Forrest Hardy "Bicycle Infrastructure in the 21st Century City" Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN
Liz Hixson "Urban Industrial Redevelopment and the Legibility of Human Agency" UMN Research Area and Southeast Minneapolis rail corridor, Minneapolis, MN
Kammeron Hughes "Connections Across Time and Space: Scaffold Responses to Neighborhood Identity and Reinvestment" Kinsman Neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio
Jen Krava "Materials and Memory" Highland Park Ford Assembly Plant, St. Paul, MN
Jessica Lannoye "Radical Spark: Competing Perceptions of Nature" Vail, CO
Eric Maass "Los Angeles State Historic Park: Past Meets Present" Los Angeles, CA
Mary Matze "Collaborative Communities and Public Space Programming" Midtown Exchange + Greenway, Minneapolis, MN
Andrew Montgomery "Water Infrastructure Displacement/Replacement" Silver Lake Neighborhood, Los Angeles, CA.
Eric Olsen "Urban Water Margins: Resiliency and Adaptation of an Urban Coastal Neighborhood" Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn, NY
Jessica Paine "Perpetual Life: Urban Cemeteries and Contemporary Memorialization" Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN
Bianca Paz "Cultural Diversity as a Model for Inclusive Riverfront Redesign" Mississippi River, North Minneapolis, MN
Nicole Peterson "A New North Woods: Iconic Landscapes, Cultural Heritage and Climate Change" Superior Hiking Trail, Grand Marais, MN
Catherine Riley "Reversing the Flow: Alternative Futures for DC CSO’s" Georgetown and Rock Creek, Washington D.C.
Mike Schumann "Healthy People + Healthy Land: Transformation of a Music City Brownfield" Cumberland River, Nashville, TN
Anna Springer "Boom + Bust: Oil Extraction and Landscape Strategies to Guide Change in Rural Communities" Williston, ND
Matt Traucht "Desire Lines" Newark Earthworks, Newark, OH
Nissa Tupper "Public Health and Environmental Design: A Framework and Neighborhood Strategies for Change" Phillips Neighborhood, Minneapolis, MN
Tianfang Wang "Pig’s Eye" Mississippi River, St. Paul, MN
Han Zhang "New Relationship of River Management and Urban Development for the Mississippi River Floodplain" St. Paul, MN
The list of summer internships has been updated for 2013: Apply!
Sara Grothe is available to answer all questions about the MLA program or the application process. Best way to contact Ms. Grothe (for fastest reply) is via email.
The Executive Summary report is now posted here. Look for the full report in near future!
During the fall semester 2012, students of the LA8201 graduate studio studied paradigm change and future scenarios for dwelling and settlement in the Lower Duwamish Waterway in Seattle, WA. The lower Duwamish is an urban landscape that has experienced tremendous change. No less than 150 years ago, the river was home to Chief Seattle and the Duwamish Tribe. Fast forward to today and what was once a 19-mile river is now a 7-mile channelized “waterway” that is home to heavy industry and logistics in support of an active international port.
From the manufacture of the 20th century “war machines” by Boeing, to current Superfund contamination estimated to cost over $2 billion to remediate and return to healthy river and community function, the Duwamish persists, albeit faintly, in the mind of local residents as a river.
During the week of October 8th, 21 graduate students traveled to Seattle to visit the project site and to listen to various community stakeholders, such as the EPA, Boeing, City of Seattle, DRCC, and ECOSS so as to broaden their understanding of the complex issues surrounding the valley and its future. As part of the trip, students were required to document the emotive ephemeral and visceral qualities of the site/city and to produce a video describing their “findings,” which can be found here.
The Garden Club of America offers scholarships and fellowships for the study of Landscape Architecture and many others. For information, applications, and deadlines go to their website: http://www2.gcamerica.org/.
Design Intelligence ranks the graduate landscape architecture program at UMN among the most admired “for its community engagement, strong environmental focus and scholarship aligned with education.”