The month of March was full of events in the Landscape Architecture department including two very informative seminars. One of them from Scott Bishop, Associate Principal from the Boston based firm STOSS, and the lecture and seminar from the Professor and Chair of the department of Landscape Architecture in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, Charles Waldheim. Both of the seminars were held at the College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA), and students had the opportunity to discuss current project ideas and have their work critiqued by the visiting scholars, in addition to engaging them in a dialogue about issues affecting landscape architecture.
Over 20 students, faculty and alumni from Architecture and Landscape architecture participated in Scott Bishop’s workshop, “Creating a Landscape Urbanism Toolkit for Miami.” Through several hands-on exercises, participants learned how to identify, map and visualize the ecological dynamics of metropolitan Miami, how they affect the city, and how they can be altered to create more productive places. The fast-paced exercises focused on a “unique toolkit” that superimposed networks, strategies and agents ranging from water, transportation and power infrastructures that together contribute to Miami’s urban landscape. “Scott Bishop’s work is ecologically revolutionary. Flooding streets and empty lots to replace existing hydrological infrastructure is the product of innovative thinking and environmentally sound design,” said Brian Vazquez, landscape architecture student at FIU.
Professor Charles Waldheim visited CARTA for a two-day seminar and lecture. Before his lecture, he reviewed a selection of work from the graduate studios. Throughout his visit, he discussed contemporary landscape and urbanism, a topic he has explored through his writings in Landscape Journal, Topos,among others. Additionally Waldheim emphasized the importance of design culture and the relationship between landscape architects and architects, “The best schools put landscape right next to architecture. We should come out of here (school) understanding design culture and the literacy of how architects claim their practice.”
In the seminar, he advised students to consider attending the post-professional Master in Landscape Architecture (MLAII) degree program at Harvard University. Program that focuses on the “design of the built environment at the intersection of urbanization and ecology.” In order to qualify for the program candidates must have completed an undergraduate professional landscape architecture degree or the equivalent.
Lectures and seminars such as these, give students a comprehensive understanding of the state of landscape architecture, as well as the opportunity for students to work together with leading practitioners in the field.