The MLA program together with (ab)Terris, the graduate Landscape Architecture student organization, held a Year-End Exhibition and Celebration. The Party took place at Torrent Brewing Company in Ames. We enjoyed a relaxed time after a stressful final week, had dinner, and talked about our summer plans.
LA 604X, a second-year studio of MLA program, redesigned and envisioned future development of Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA. The final presentation took place in Cedar Rapids with the Coe College and neighborhood representatives as reviewers.
In collaboration with the City of Cedar Rapids, Coe College and neighborhood residents, we envisioned a campus master plan the leads to a design solution for the eastern edge of the Coe College campus that creates a student-centric transition to the adjacent neighborhood and broader community. The project included two major parts:
Part 1: Conceptual Master Pan will be used to identify and understand the existing campus fabric (i.e. buildings, connections, physical character, place making, future uses and branding/identity.)
Part 2: Design & Solution, creating the designs that bring to life spaces and places at the eastern edge of campus, specifically for the student body, but with a permeability that blurs the line between campus and neighborhood. Emphasis will be on designing multifaceted buildings/spaces/places within this transition area.
ISU ALUMNI AND FACULTY SPEAKING AT CENTRAL STATES ASLA 2017
Professor Mimi Wagner, Professor Austin Stewart (Art and Visual Culture), and alumni fellow Nuo Man (MLA) were selected to present their project at Central States ASLA Conference. The conference and lecture will take place on Thursday, April 20th in Des Moines.
The project Art & Science of Vegetated Floating Islands was conducted jointly by faculty in Landscape Architecture and Art and Visual Culture. Researchers from Limnology and Agronomy were also involved in the project team for biophysical monitoring purposes. Most parts of the research are open to public involvement.
The research utilized a modest amount of state research funding to implement the first vegetated floating island (VFI) system on a eutrophic small lake in Iowa with a high level of scientific scrutiny. The VFI system was installed and showcased on a highly visible university campus water body in Iowa during the 2015 growing season. The lake is literally viewed and enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors to the campus each year including parents, alumni, students, conference participants and the general public. The research closely monitored nutrient changes in lake water and plant tissue to quantify nutrient reductions. As such, the results of this project will allow the future implementation of the practice on a much larger scale with sound science principles.
This research was successful because it promoted a new technology to a large number of people for a small cost. It also determined that pollutant removal rates here in Iowa were similar to those found by researchers around the world. Standard USDA-NRCS Construction Specifications were developed by the Landscape Architect so cities and landowners can construct their own cost-efficient VFI to address pollution. This demonstration also illustrated the vast plant root network on the native perennial plants that developed over the course of one growing season. Also obvious upon close inspection was a large amount of habitat the VFI created in addition to the beauty of the blooming plants. Habitat included biofilm on the roots, turtle and small bird resting spots and insect habitat.
BIRD-FRIENDLY IOWA WON CENTRAL STATES AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS AWARDS!
The Bird Friendly Iowa project was selected for a 2017 Central States ASLA Awards. The Award Ceremony hosted by Iowa ASLA Chapter will take place on Friday, April 21st at the ASLA Conference in Des Moines.
Bird Friend Iowa was one of our fall studio project which was instructed by Professor Julia Badenhope. A team of eleven students conducted a policy study and set a framework of design guidelines to promote bird conservation. We worked with the Bird Friendly Iowa steering committee to develop a planning approach and design guidelines, using Waterloo-Cedar Falls as a test area. This pilot study will inform how Bird Friendly Iowa develops future programming.
We worked closely with Iowa DNR wildlife biologist, the president of the Iowa Audubon Society, a researcher in EEOB, and the program director at Bird Friendly Iowa’s programmatic home (Trees Forever).
In the process we completed fieldwork, investigated ecological issues through interviews and literature review, and use planning and design studies to figure out how bird habitat and bird appreciation could be integrated meaningfully in urban design and land management.
The purpose of this project is
- to develop a planning framework for urban bird conservation that can be achieved through voluntary action
- to propose a set of design guidelines for healthier bird habitats in the metropolitan region.
- to restore bird populations that have been declining over time due to changes in the habitat structure, habitat quality and land-use activities and practices.
ELWOOD LECTURER TO TALK ABOUT ‘URBAN ACUPUNCTURE’ MARCH 20 AT IOWA STATE
Tim Duggan, founder of Phronesis in Kansas City and New Orleans, will present the 2017 P.H. Elwood Lecture in Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University. The presentation, “Urban Acupuncture”, will be at 6 p.m, Monday, March 20, in Kocimski Auditorium, room 0101 College of Design. Sponsored by the Department of Landscape Architecture, the lecture is free and open to the public.
The P.H. Elwood Lecture in Landscape Architecture was established in 1997 to honor the legacy of Professor Philip H. Elwood, who is credited with developing the ISU Department of Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University. The lecture series brings renowned professional practitioners to the Iowa State campus as guest speakers each year.
This year, we celebrated the Lunar New Year in Professor Mira’s house. We enjoyed the delicious dinner together in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. All of us had the opportunity of trying many traditional Chinese and Vietnamese dishes! After the dinner, we gathered around the table in the cozy living room and shared our favorite memories about this occasion in our countries. We then played games, talked about our New Year resolutions and enjoyed the evening together by the fireplace with warm cups of tea.
The goal of this course was to provide beginning and intermediate skills in design representation for incoming graduate students. This is a review of selected course work.
Topics: Composition, hierarchy, layout, typography, color theory, integration of software, fast rendering/sketching, representation theory, portfolio design, scanning, file management, and more.
LA 603X is a second year studio. Presentation of the outcome of the studio took place in the Memorial union with faculty and outside critics as reviewers.
The purpose of this project was to propose a set of landscape practices that will support bird populations in the Cedar Falls – Waterloo metropolitan region, in Iowa. The bird population has been affected over time by changes in habitat structure, habitat quality, and land use activities and practices. The local chapters of the Audubon Society would like to work with city officials to propose changes in landscape design, management, and land use so that breeding bird and migratory birds can meet their needs within the region. Our client was the Audubon Society local chapters, as well as the mute avian residents of the region.
Framed as the interface between urban and watershed systems the studio asked students to explore how watershed processes and cultural processes intersect and create opportunities for new landscape types and forms. The site was located at the North-West edge of campus. Students pursued this project through spatial/visual reasoning rather than a more data driven process.
The project was re-formulated as a competition of 4 teams; “entries” were judged based on their graphic presentation of the watershed/urban concepts and the design resolution.
As is our tradition, the department hosted a welcome reception this Fall on Thursday, October 6th, at Professor Engler’s home. MLA students and LA department faculty had an opportunity to meet and welcome the new cohort. We also welcomed our two guest lecturers from Australia, Jillian Walliss and Heike Rahmann, co-authors of “Landscape Architecture and Digital Technologies: Re-Conceptualising Design and Making.”
Studio Smash Up – the 1st event of GLC (Graduate Learning Community) took place on Wednesday, September 28th. It was hosted by the Graduate Landscape Architecture Studio. All college of design graduate students were invited. It was an opportunity to connect with students from other department and share and discuss our work. We then proceeded to the Architecture graduate studio where we had a chance to see their most recent design work.
With the instruction of Professor Julia Badanhope and Matthew Gordy, second year and Third year MLA students attended a conference in Los Angeles from September 26th to 30th. “Landscape as Necessity” is an international conference which was host by University of Southern California, speakers from all over the world was selected and invited. They shared their perspectives and vision of landscape design, how landscape performs to create possibilities, natural and social values, to achieve specific impacts. On the last day, the discussion revolved around Los Angeles ecosystem and how the city is being transformed through several approaches.
Jillian Walliss has over 15 years experience as a landscape architecture academic in Australia and New Zealand. She works in the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Melbourne where she teaches landscape theory and design studios. Jillian’s research focuses on the relationship between theory, culture and contemporary design practice. Her most recent work explores the potential of digital technologies to produce a new generation of urban open spaces, which feature the explicit manipulation of climatic phenomena.
Heike Rahmann is a landscape architect at RMIT University and has worked with various practices within the fields of landscape architecture and urban design in Germany, Japan and Australia. Her research explores the intersection of landscape, technology and contemporary urbanism with focus on design practice and theory. Her publications include the co-authored book Tokyo Void: Possibilities in Absence (Jovis, 2014), which explores notions of vacancy and transformation processes in one of the largest urban areas in the world.
“Digital Technologies and Landscape Architecture: Re-Conceptualising Design and Making” is the result of a three-year collaboration between Walliss and Rahmann. The book draws on interviews and projects from a range of international designers, including Arup, ASPECT Studios, Grant Associates, Gustafson Porter, LAAC, Catherine Mosbach, PARKKIM, PEG office of landscape + architecture, Philippe Rahm and Snøhetta, among others, to explore the influence of a variety of digital techniques on the design and construction of contemporary landscapes.
MLA 2016 ORIENTATION
We were excited to welcome the new students to the MLA program during the department orientation on August 22nd, 2016. The new cohort is pictured below with the map showing the location of their home towns. We also enjoyed a warmly welcome dinner together with the second and third year current students.
As part of the first-year graduate Studio, with Professor Heidi Hohmann, we visited several sites related to our design project. The first was the Brenton Arboretum, established since 1997 in Dallas Center, IA. The massive and diverse collection of plants was impressive! Our next two destinations were Mary and John Pappajohn Sculpture Park and Grays Lake Park in Des Moines, IA. We concluded the field trip with a dinner at the Vietnamese Pho restaurant, enjoying the famous hot soup.
We are designing a community park for Baxter, IA. The new and expanded park will connect an existing park and a new stormwater basin. At the same time, we were looking at ways to connect this park into the social and environmental infrastructure of the town, the county, and the region. The purpose of this project is to generate a range of ideas for the town of Baxter as they move forward with implementing a park on this site. Our images will be used to raise funds for the park.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, URBAN DESIGNER – DAVID FLETCHER – TO PRESENT 2016 ELWOOD LECTURE APRIL 13 AT ISU COLLEGE OF DESIGN
David Fletcher, founding principal of the award-winning Fletcher Studio in San Francisco, will present the 2016 Philip H. Elwood Lecture in Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University.
Fletcher’s presentation, “Ground Control: Fletcher Studio Recent Work,” will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in Kocimski Auditorium, room 0101 College of Design. A reception will follow in the college’s Lyle E. Lightfoot Forum. Sponsored by the Department of Landscape Architecture, the lecture and reception are free and open to the public.
The P.H. Elwood Lecture in Landscape Architecture was established in 1997 to honor the legacy of Professor Philip H. Elwood, who is credited with developing the ISU Department of Landscape Architecture. The lecture series brings renowned professional practitioners to the Iowa State campus as guest lecturers each year.
Kai-Uwe Bergmann, a partner with the award-winning international design firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), will present the 2016 Richard F. Hansen Lecture in Architecture Wednesday, March 23, in Kocimski Auditorium. He also will serve as a guest juror for the Richard F. Hansen Prize student design competition.
Registers of a World Interior
The CEAH Symposium will take place on Monday – Tuesday, April 4-5 in Benton Auditorium Scheman, Iowa State University, RSVP and (Free registration at www.whatistheurban.org)
The urban is an unavoidable condition of contemporary life. The ubiquity of this category as a site of scholarly research may rest on the urgency we face in accommodating ourselves to its contradictions, imposed forms of violence, and the environmental fallout it has unleashed. Yet for as much as it has opened itself to scholarly research in recent years, there is little reflection on the category itself. It appears instead as a kind of background condition–the unquestioned specification for the definition of other problems. The urban, it seems, is a given.
This symposium opens with a simple yet perplexing question: what is the urban? It brings together a range of internationally renowned and emerging scholars not to answer this question but to frame a problem that has yet to be fully constituted…
The lecture was presented on February 10th, as part of the ISU Landscape Architecture Lecture Series. The event was sponsored by (ab)Terris – Landscape architecture graduate student organization, and the Department of Landscape Architecture, the reception and lecture were free and open to the public.
We celebrated the arrival of the Lunar New Year with a winter walk down to the frozen river and games and a feast by the fireplace.
Our Iowa day trip took us this year to Mason City and Westbend, IA. We visited two projects designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, The Stockman House (1909) and the Historic Park Inn and Bank (1910) in Mason City. We also visited the Rock Crest, Rock Glen neighborhood which included a collection of Prairie School architecture, designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Griffin, James Blythe and others between 1908 and 1922 (developers James Blythe and Joshua Melson). Seventeen of the neighborhood’s buildings are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We ended the day at the Grotto of the Redemption in Westbend, IA. It is folk architecture marvel, a series of nine contiguous grottos occupying a full city block, constructed of minerals, petrified rocks, and semiprecious gems, built by Fr. Paul Dobberstein (1872-1954) between 1912 and his death. His successors continued to add to the complex through 1994.
For more images, see blog post GRADUATE PROGRAM IOWA DAY_TRIP FALL 2015
Monday, October 12th
Landforms of Disaster, Assateague Island, Maryland & Virginia
The project involved landscape design for fragile and changing coastal environments. It asked students to develop recreational facilities and access while responding to the effects of sea level rise and associated erosion and shifting coastline on the Assateague Island, off the coasts of Maryland and Virginia. Students combined their exploration landform representation and ecosystems for coastline environment, using manual and digital drawings and physical and digital modeling.
October 8th, 2015
In this construction studio students explore the relationships between form, material, and structure and learn about the detail design process, including ergonomic design standards, material properties, joinery, and fabrication. In the process students investigate and evaluate construction joints and fabrication methods, build prototypes, and use the wood workshop to fabricate. Working in pairs, students design a bench that accommodates two people. The bench is built of at least 80% recycled or reclaimed wood and metal.
This course aims to develop a high level of craft and workmanship that expresses design ideas and sound built structure.
GRADUATE PROGRAM RECEPTION 2015
This year’s reception took place on September 3rd, 2015, at the home of the Director of Graduate Education, Professor Mira Engler. During the reception each student gave short introductions of their backgrounds and interests and accompanied their presentations with slides.
MLA CLASS OF 2015 ORIENTATION
Incoming students introduced to the MLA program during the department orientation on August 21, 2015. On the blackboard is a map showing each student’s home city and the travel he/she took on the way to Ames, IA.