|It’s summer, and life is Blacksburg and Alexandria has taken on a more relaxed pace. Most of the landscape architecture students are away from campus for the summer break, enjoying a brief respite from daily lectures and seminars and intense studio investigations. Students and faculty are keeping busy exploring design, planning and other professional endeavors through research projects, special studies, summer employment in landscape architecture and related fields, and travels. I’m looking forward to learning what everyone brings back for discussion and further exploration as the fall semester begins in late August.
The Landscape Architecture Program’s 35-day summer education abroad program in Western Europe began in early June. Landscape architecture professor C.L. Bohannon, architecture PhD candidate Dedee Regan, and I are leading a troupe of undergraduate students as they conduct design analyses and case study reviews of landscape architecture, planning and architectural works in Italian, Austrian, Czech, German and Danish cities. During the fall semester, each student will analyze and synthesize their individual case study investigations into a graphic research pamphlet and curate an exhibition of their work in Cowgill Lobby, the School of Architecture + Design’s primary exhibition space.
Professor Nathan Heavers is off to China in late July to serve as an invited tutor for Tongji University’s international summer workshop in landscape architecture. Our program hosts visiting students from Tongji, located in Shanghai (a city of 26 million + people), in Blacksburg (a large town of 32 thousand +) during the fall semester. This summer’s workshop focusses on “LANDSCAPE REGENERATION: The Revitalization of The Waterfront Portal.”
Faculty are also developing special coursework for the 2017/18. C. L. Bohannon and Brian Katen (Landscape Architecture) and Sharone Tomer and Kevin Jones (Architecture) are developing a joint, 3-credit topics course focused upon questions of urban civic space and memorialization in Richmond, Virginia. Dean Bork, Mintai Kim and C.L. Bohannon anticipate a spring seminar/workshop course focusing on recreation and cultural landscape along the Chattahoochee River. This course builds upon their National Park Service sponsored research project. Additionally, students will have opportunities for directed studies in Scenic Resource Protections, Documentation and exploration of Historic Petersburg Community Gardens, among others.
In addition, the Landscape Architecture Program is preparing to host the Council of Educators of Landscape Architecture’s 2018 Annual Conference in March. Faculty and students are working to create a great program for conference participants from around the world. Look for more information at http://cela.lar.vt.edu and on CELA website: www.thecela.org.
It’s a busy summer and offers many new things to think about, delve into more deeply and a chance to recharge our work. We are looking forward to another exciting year on the main campus in Blacksburg and at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center.
|Terry Clements, FASLA, FCELA
LA Program Chair and Professor