Sabbatical: Carlos Licon
A Sabbatical with the Kiwis
Beginning in July 2017, Carlos spent his first sabbatical year in New Zealand. This provided him with a unique learning opportunity that allowed him to share, discuss, reflect and review professional interests and work in sustainable development planning and design. Although Western U.S. and New Zealand are different in many ways, both places share core similarities and concerns in terms of environmental planning and design issues.
Hosted by Lincoln University – near Christchurch on the South Island – a small land-focused public institution focused in Agriculture, provides a large home for many applied disciplines, including landscape architecture. The School of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University, one of the three programs in the country, is very similar in size and composition to our program, with a very strong approach to applied knowledge in studio learning environments. There is also a very clear commitment to sustainable development through planning and design. With similar degree offers and number of students, Carlos spent a lot of time meeting with faculty and administrators to talk about their school’s scope and vision. Even though the contrast between the New Zealand and the Utah landscapes and climate are evident, we share interest in water related issues, the urban-agriculture interface, the long-term implications of development patterns, rural communities and lifestyles, and the role of design and planning in advancing sustainable development through real life projects and research activities. There is also a strong sense of collaboration with other disciplines. Conversations were also about possible mutual visits and exchanges with LAEP.
Outside Lincoln University activities, Carlos and his family had the chance to travel all over the South Island to visit incredible landscapes and meet the great people in this place. New Zealand offers a great learning opportunity and a fantastic discovery journey, even if you are not searching for Lord of the Rings locations. You may return with a developed interest in rugby, cricket, tramping (backpacking), mince pies, and hakas…
Conversations were also about possible mutual visits and exchanges with LAEP.