Final semester iterations.

It is my final semester…My last studio, my last class, my final time to be a student at UT. To say that this is bitter sweet is an understatement. I am glad to see the end of school approaching. I look forward to not working through the nights and into the weekend. I yearn for more time with my family, my wife, my children, my friends, nature, my church family. I will miss time with my classmates in the retreat that is academia. A different kind of deadline and urgency. This semester I will be picking my blog back up and walking through this journey one final time. I am not sure what my website will become after graduation. One designer that I follow (Alex Hogrefe) turned his site into a site for architectural visualization. I don’t think I will go that route. I am also not sure if I will seek writing opportunities once more with Landscape Architects Network or other outlets such as the PLACES journal or ASLA or another less formal outlet like Archinect, inhabit or

For now, I will be creating an account of my time in my final design studio and Professional Practice courses. So here we go.

Our studio has been off to a great start. I chose to attack our assignments without abandon this semester. By this I mean that I am creating and experimenting without reserve…I am just making moves and exploring freely. I have chosen to explore the material ‘concrete’ which was given with the word ‘soft’. So my task is to make concrete soft.

After exploring Google and Pinterest for ‘soft’ ‘concrete’ (and finding some intriguing imagery) I starting mixing. To accomplish more in less time I began working with Plaster then moved to concrete. I have never worked with concrete before so found myself very intimidated and at a loss for how to make it do what I wanted it to do. Here are some images of my experiments.

learned a few things. The latex from the balloon makes a neat matte sheen on the latex and the balloon softens the concrete nicely. The plastic makes for a high gloss sheen. Depressing both materials gives the illusion that the material is soft and pliable as does the creation of bulges.

I hope to create a few more experiments with the concrete this week. I have a huge piece of latex rubber which could be handy and I hope to melt some plexiglass with a heat gun to create a mold which may generate a soft sheen and shape. Here’s hoping.

This past week also marked the beginning of Professional Practices. I am looking forward to interacting with numerous industry professionals over the course of the semester and learning the backend of our profession.

We had the opportunity to chat with Shawn Balon, ASLA, who is now the Professional Practice Manager with the American Society of Landscape Architects. Shawn’s journey to his current position has been circuitous and very interesting. I learn with every new professional interaction that there are so many paths that we can take as professionals. I am eager to move into the professional so I can experience new opportunities and begin to more clearly understand those niches which I enjoy and those which I do not enjoy.

I hope to reflect more on each week and each experience and learning as they come about so stay tuned to my blog to see these take place.