As populations gather in urban areas, landscape architecture has emerged as the one creative and practical endeavor capable of initiating, configuring and cultivating the design of inhabitable land. Our human history is written in the land, an existential and physical ground that each generation occupies and shapes.
Landscape architecture operates on this ground, which holds the memory of cultures and must also be the vessel of contemporary society. It embodies a mix that defies easy categorization or representation, for it is specific to place. It is always a glass half-full abound with possibilities limited only by our own imagination.
If landscape architecture demands imagination, it also requires virtuosity in the way a scientist or an artist delivers technical understandings with ease. In order to re-shape the ground of cities, hands and minds must be the crucible in which we stir earth that is often polluted, used up, laid to waste, and unloved.
Like scientists who make the microscopic and abstract visible, artists who transform ordinary matter into extraordinary beauty, and conductors who lead those they assemble to moments of brilliance, landscape architects must engage the material of place.
This virtuoso performance must be hot on the trail of toxins, cool in the terrain of water, and sensitive in places that all others have abandoned. This landscape architectural performance must breathe into places where others only exhaled. It requires that landscape architecture situate itself in the land, on-site, within systems, for the public, and in the making landscapes. Making and thinking in landscape architecture must remain flexible and responsive, even protean, as they embrace, together, the land and its inhabitants.
The faculty and students of Virginia Tech’s Master of Landscape Architecture Program in the National Capital Region work to understand these conditions of site. Our conversations turn on issues of land and landscape, of material and sustenance, of the plain and the overlooked. Like all conversations the discussion is one that constantly and continually evolves with new discoveries, inputs, and voices.
We welcome you to join us.