Landscape Architecture Student Raises Awareness on Sustainable Construction


Selene Basile’s admiration of nature and environmental preservation developed while living in Costa Rica for six years. Now as a master’s candidate in FIU’s Landscape Architecture + Urban and Environmental Design program she is able realize her passion and raise awareness on sustainable design practices.

“Landscape Architecture is a growing profession that has the potential of shaping the way people interact and perceive their surroundings. Now, more than ever there is a need for a profession that raises awareness as well as addresses the greatest problems of our time through design,” said Selene.

Selene, an international student from Italy, recently participated in a week-long course organized by the Italian consulate of Costa Rica. The course called for ten passionate students or recent graduates in the field of architecture, interior, and landscape design interested in learning about sustainable construction with bamboo.

The course involved learning about different applications of bamboo design, as well as hands on experience with construction of a warehouse built exclusively from the material. Throughout the course, the students worked alongside a local, family run construction company, Bambu Tico, who guided them step by step throughout construction. The goal was to better their individual understanding of bamboo and how it can be applied in their work as designers.

Selene hopes to raise awareness about the feasibility of building with a material which is still rarely utilized in construction. Bamboo is a durable material that when successfully applied in construction can have positive impacts both on the environment and overall livability.

“I had the opportunity to visit several built projects which really opened my mind to the infinite possibilities that such a material has to offer. Many countries where bamboo is not readily available are hesitant to use the material due to negative environmental impact through transportation. However, the positive outcomes of using bamboo could still be preeminent,” said Selene.

After graduating Selene hopes to work alongside a firm which will allow her to explore different aspects of her discipline and delve more into urban design.

“I encourage everyone who is pursuing a career path in Landscape Architecture to get their hands dirty. There is no better way to learn about our profession than being on site with professionals as well as seeing a project come together from beginning to end,” said Selene.

To learn about the Department of Landscape Architecture + Urban and Environmental Design, please visit their website.

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