Back in the Studio, CHEAPecologies, LAF research concludes, ASLA State awards, and more.

Medium-Mega Superscapes in studio and CHEAPecologies in Programming. The semester is off to a quick start and the summer was crazy busy. The past 6 months have been fast paced and very full.


My fellow third years and I (graduate students) have been busy in studio creating. We are exploring the yet to be imagined potential of Knoxville, TN and its urban realm. In a type of free-association exploratory process we have been soldering copper wires to create shapes and spaces which help progress our chosen terms and ideas. 

Model 1 - Based on term 'Amalgamated Interchange'

After a few models we photographed our models and took our imagery into Adobe Illustrator where we explored mapping systems through annotations annotational iterations. We worked multiple iterations and let our transformations take on characteristics of their own so that new spatial configurations and languages could be developed. We are in the process of overlaying our mapping systems over a post-industrial section of the city where we will then create ideas for future imaginative schemes.

Graphical mapping of potential trajectories. 

By this point in school I have learned to go with the flow of ambiguity and non-concrete direction. It is a much less stressful way of working as there really is no wrong way of interpreting something, rather there is just more exploration or less. I look forward to where our studio is going and I hope to keep up with our experience here this semester. Watch the Works – Studio – Fall 2014 page for more imagery and photography. 


We have also been very busy in programming. Since I have elected not to complete a thesis, I will not be using this class to develop a thesis idea. Very glad to have made this decision. Anyway, we have three primary assignments where we explore 3 topics of interest. Our first phase is working through ‘Identifying’ a topic. Here we are focusing on the communication methods and visualization methods for bring a topic to people’s view in a clear and concise manner. Our second presentation will be focused on ‘Framing’ the topic of choice, while our third presentation will be on ‘Proposing’ a topic of choice. The class has worked out very well so far. After getting back in a work mode from a light summer things have finally hit a good workflow groove. 

The first topic that I focused on was CHEAPecologies. Here I have explored the interaction of economic and social systems in gateway communities outside of national parks. Often times we find that these types of bedroom communities over-develop and lose their sense of identity, turning into kitschy renditions of what was once there or of the ideals and values which lay dormant and are subjugated to an out of control capitalistic system.

Pg. 1 of Cheapecologies presentation

Senior-itis has definitely hit by the way. 

This summer I and a team of three other students, one faculty member, and a team of employees at Perkins+Will (Atlanta) completed our Case Study Investigation for the Landscape Architecture Foundation. My site of study was the Mid-town Atlanta office for Perkins+Will. Our research is due for release in the next few weeks and my blog on LAF’s website has already been released. We also produced a webinar which covered every teams three projects. No clue where that is at though. Landscape Architect's Network also let me write an article on the site. 

Perkins+Will // Atlanta Office

The Landscape Architecture Foundation has a strong mission for research and scholarship. Our research focused on three different sites. Renaissance Park by Hargreaves Associates, the Atlanta BeltLine (East Side Trail) by Perkins+Will and the Perkins+Will office in Midtown Atlanta. I focused on the office studies. My primary focus was on the stormwater management aspects of the site, the sociological aspects of creating urban open space, and a variety of other fascinating parts of the design. I can’t say that I minded eating their blueberries from their blueberry bushes while on site either. 

Medicinal and Edible plants on site. They taste awesome!

Over the summer I and a team from a previous studio (Fall 2013) submitted works to the Tennessee American Society of Landscape Architects State Conference Competition. I wasn’t able to travel and attend the conference this year as we had a death in the family. While there our team learned that we were awarded with an ‘Honor Award’ for our Norris, TN Master Plan (see Works – Studio – Fall 2013) and I was also awarded an ‘Honor Award’ for my Camp Montvale Therapeutic Designs/Design Theory (see Works – Studio – Spring 2014). I feel very honored to have been a part of these studios and learned so much from my classmates and professors. There is no way that I/we could have done it without one another. 

Montvale Design Theory - Entry selected page

Norris, TN - Master Plan

Well that is more typing than I can handle tonight. I look forward to picking this blog back up as the semester finds a groove.

Have a great fall!