FIU Landscape Architecture student project is selected for Green New Deal Superstudio and ASLA Florida Design Award


The Green New Deal Superstudio reviewers recently selected FIU’s Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design’s (LAEUD) students, Matthew Wagshol and Kevin Chong, for their project, FLOW: A Blue-Green New Deal for South Florida’s forgotten waterways.

The project, which was also published in the JSTOR digital library publication, was selected as one of the top 55 projects out of 670 submissions from 90 universities across 10 countries. Evaluated and chosen through a rigorous two-step review process, the project addresses the significant issues related to water infrastructure and canal systems in South Florida which oftentimes lead to flooding, especially during hurricane season (June-November).

What’s more, in recognition of their work, the project was selected among 55 others to be displayed at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., and online. Their work also received a blind juried honor award from the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in its 2021 Annual Design Awards Gala.

The project was developed during their second-year graduate design studio course (LAA 6655 Graduate Design 3), instructed by Associate Professor and College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts’ Director of Strategic Planning + Initiatives, Ebru Ozer, ASLA, CELA. There, the students worked with Professor Ozer to answer the yearlong open call to highlight their work and participate in the design aspect of the ongoing conversations regarding the issues tackled in the Green New Deal. 

This recognition further amplifies the national and international recognition of FIU’s Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design. In 2019, the department, which is housed within the FIU School of Architecture, ranked No. 14 nationwide in the DesignIntelligence “Most Hired from Architecture Schools” category. This year, the FIU School of Architecture ranked No. 2 in Florida and tied for No. 16 in North America among public universities in the 2022 QS World Rankings by Subject. This exciting news comes as the School of Architecture celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year.

The Green New Deal is a congressional resolution aimed at addressing a variety of issues including climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and other social and environmental issues. The Superstudio is intended to spatially manifest the ideas and principles of the plan through infrastructure, buildings, public work agenda, and landscapes.

“This project was very meaningful to me because it gave us a chance to envision solutions to the ongoing environmental and social issues that are affecting us regionally and across the country,” said Wagshol. “The Green New Deal gives a framework for considering potential interventions such as our reimagining of Florida’s Canal Systems to serve multiple functions and act as a filter while re-naturalizing the edges and creating places for people to be and interact through community hubs. This created a layered approach to address the environment, jobs, and justice by revitalizing these forgotten waterways.”

Learn more about the project here.

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