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studio v

2017/2018 Studio V is a student journal of Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph. SV aims to support, stimulate and showcase excellence in LA student and faculty work.

Disclaimer Studio V is coordinated by students of the landscape architecture program. The journal wishes to provide readers with useful and inspiring resources and information. Studio V and University of Guelph assume no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organization has been provided by such individual, event organizer or organization without verification by us. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Studio V or University of Guelph. Inquiries All inquiries may be directed to Studio V Journal via email or by writing to Studio V Journal, Landscape Architecture, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 2017/18 Editorial Team Emily Bowerman, Tatiana Zakharova, Marie Tina Asoh, Chen Zixiang, Emily Dixon, Mike Hukezalie, Nathan Perkins This journal was printed in Guelph, Ontario on paper with recycled content.




It is my great privilege as the Lead Editor to open this second annual issue of the Studio V journal, and the first published in both electronic and print form. The brain-child of two forward-thinking LA students, Emily Bowerman and Steffi Baker, Studio V has undergone a year of change and growth, trends I expect will continue indefinitely. The interest in the journal we have seen this year reflects not only the hard work of its Editorial Board, but also the need and desire of UofG’s LA student body to showcase the excellence in design and research that its students have been engaged in. If you count the journal’s age in cat years, we are nearly 24 – the age to get out of school and dive right into the real world! I hope that you, reader, will find the depth and range of work in this issue inspiring. Perhaps you channel that inspiration into learning more about the field of landscape architecture, taking a careful look at the designed spaces all around us, or a visit to the University of Guelph – whether you are a future student or former graduate. I send my sincere appreciation to my fellow 2017-2018 Editors for all their hard work and dedication, having found time and effort to dedicate to the journal while working on completing their degrees and balancing all other extracurricular, volunteer and career pursuits. My deep thanks go to Emily Bowerman who not only founded the journal last year, but worked endlessly this year to see it through its growth period; to Emily Dixon, whose talent and eye for aesthetics enriched this journal, quite literally from front to back cover; to Mike Hukezalie who kept on editing from the remote fields and forests; to Marie Tina Asoh who kept on Studio V meeting despite needing to organize her move to Europe; to Chen Zixiang for always encouraging us to reach further; and of course to Nate Perkins who doesn’t want to be thanked, but whose support and resourcefulness make so many wonderful projects, like the journal you are holding in your hands right now, possible. Most importantly, thank you UofG LA students for thinking, designing, writing, drawing, photographing, imagining, studying, working, walking, and being friends. I look forward to meeting you again on the pages of the future issues of Studio V and in the field of landscape architecture in Canada and beyond. Kind Regards, Tatiana


EMILY DIXON B i o p h i l i a f o r We l l b e i n g

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MAX GATTA Left-Field Reflection on Differences Between Art & Design

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SITA GANESON Delta Junction

p. / 1 5 MARIE TINA ASOH D i l e m m a : S c h o o l o r Wo r k ? I n t e r v i e w w i t h Nadia Amoroso

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QUINN HOWARD Fo u n d O b j e c t

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East Bay Front

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NATE PERKINS Landscape Architects and the Nature of Nature


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CAEL WISHART R e v i v a l o f t h e To m P a t t e r s o n T h e a t r e

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LUKE ELWOOD [Ex] Changed Perspective

CHEN ZIXIANG X i a n y u We l l n e s s

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TATIANA ZAKHAROVA I n t e r v i e w w i t h D a n i e l R o t s z t a i n , E x p o r e r, U r b a n G e o g r a p h e r, M L A

LUKE ELWOOD E m e r a l d C r e e k E s t a t e s - S t o r m w a t e r We t l a n d

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CARA LOZANO B L A Ye a r O n e

VICTORIA FITZGERALD To u r i n g t h e R o c k : W a y f i n d i n g i n S t . J o h n s Newfoundland

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Converge: Mohawk Street- Brantford Landfill Reclamation Project

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The Role of Landscape Archttects in Agriculture? Interview with Karen Landman

Placing the Displaced

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Home that Jack Built: Inter vie w with Jack Milliken

BLA Graduates Christopher Baker & Andrea Graham- Landscape Planning Limited

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Biophilia for Wellbeing: A Photographic Observation Emily Dixon // 4th Year BLA Photography Sample Layout April 15 2018

Biophilic design studies the direct impact of environmental qualities including light, colour, space, shape, air, material and vegetation on human psychology and physiology. It applies the idea of Biophilia- the innate biological need for affinity with nature and its measurable impact on our health, well-being and performance. The term ‘Biophilia’ was first introduced by social psychologist Eric Fromm in his 1964 text The Heart of Man, and later popularized by biologist Edward Wilson in the mid-eighties.The shift towards biophilia as a design hypothesis has increased in the last decade, as outlined in the well known Stephen Kellert text The Theory of Biophilic Design, there are three main classifications of user experiences in the Landscape: Nature in the Space, Natural Analogues, and Nature of the Space.

Experience of Nature in the Space This may refer to direct, physical and ephemeral presence of nature in a space. Physical qualities such as vegetation, water, fauna as well as wind, sound and scent are examples of natural elements in the space. This may include potted plants, flowerbeds, bird feeders and baths, other water features such as fountains, aquariums and water features, or green walls and green roofs.

Dynamic & Diffused Light. The presence of varying intensities of light and their shadows that may change over time and reflect natural light. This landscape mechanism has been found to positively impact the circadian system functioning, and increase visual comfort leading to stress reduction.


Presence of Water. The experience of connection to water through seeing, hearing or touch. The presence of water in the landscape has been found to reduce stress, increase feelings of tranquility, lower heart rate and blood pressure, improve concentration and memory restoration and enhance physiological responsiveness.

Experience of Natural 7


Addresses organic, non-living and indirect evocations of nature. This can be represented through objects, materials and colour, and shapes and sequences of pattern in space. Mimicry of nautiloid patterns, fractal patterns of leaves, and organically shaped furniture, for example can all provide indirect connection with nature as natural analogues for the user.

Biomorphic Forms & Patterns. These may be references to contoured, patterned, textured or repetitive symbols and arrangements found in nature. This landscape mechanism has been found to decrease diastolic pressure, improve creative performance and improve emotional feelings of comfort.


Complexity & Order. Sensory information that illustrates spatial hierarchy, similar to those found in nature. This landscape mechanism has been shown to positively impact perceptual and physiological stress responses on the body.


Prospect. An unimpeded view over a distance, traditionally used for keeping watch and planning land. Prospect in a space has been found to reduce stress, reduce boredom, irritation and fatigue, and improve the perception of safety among users. 10

Mystery. The promise of more information in an environment, achieved through partially obscured views or enticing sensory elements that draw the individual forward. The incorporation of mystery in a landscape has been shown to induce strong dopamine or pleasure responses in users, leading to stress reduction and mood enhancement.

Experience of Nature of the Space Addresses the spatial configurations found in nature. This can be achieved through implementing opportunities to express our innate desire to see beyond our immediate surroundings, explore and experience fascination with natural stimuli.

Biophilia for Health Today, humans’ physical and mental wellbeing appears to remain highly contingent on contact with the natural forces and stimuli, which have the ability to reduce stress, improve cognitive function and creativity, and expedite healing. With this knowledge, biophilic design in healthcare can be seen as a strategy of sustainable design that addresses stress and productivity, patient recovery, cognitive functioning and other challenges faced. By applying this knowledge to practice, Landscape Architects can mindfully manipulate spaces to improve the human experiences that occur when interacting with these qualities.


Rising Up; 2018 Winter Stations Winner Alex Good, Austin Huang, Chen Zixiang, Kevin Sadlemyer, Marc Cote, and Stephan Stelliga // 4th Year BLA Engineer: John Philips Instructors: Nadia Amoroso and Sean Kelly

In January of this year, a team of fourth year Bachelor of Landscape Architecture students from the University of Guelph was named among the winners of the 2018 Toronto Winter Stations competition that brings temporary public art installations to The Beaches to celebrate Toronto’s winter waterfront landscape. Chen Zixiang, Studio V’s own Editor and a member of the winning team, shared his experiences with the journal.

Where did the idea for the design come from?

The topography of the Don Valley inspired us. RISING UP invites users to experience nature’s threshold. The elevating tension between humans and the environment is articulated through deconstructed topographical layers and increasing negative space within the sculpture.


What was the installation made out of and how?

Plywood framed the sculpture with steel rods acting as the support between each elevated layer. I designed the shape and elevation of each layer in AutoCAD, then passed to Alex on structure/support design. Once the form and structure of the work were confirmed, each part was cut through a CNC machine. The whole team pre-assembled the over 10,000 components into 37 different modules before they were brought onto the beach for final build-up.


What was the most exciting part of this project? Definitely the building process. As a student, it’s not often we get a chance to bring a large concept piece to life. Since we won the competition, we have been looking forward to making it come true.

What do you think people can take from RISING UP?

We hope when visitors experience the “wavy tunnel,” they may begin to see how our relationship with the environment is changing. We are not one with nature anymore, instead, nature is rising against increasing urbanization, perhaps against us. Our installation invites visitors to rethink the interrelation between them and their environment.


What was the most memorable experience you had through this project?

Teamwork! It’s our last project in the BLA program and we all greatly enjoyed the time we spent together, whether working through lunch in studio or in the workshop. Using the opportunity, I would like to say thank you to my teammates, to Jada Blackwood and Siena Turnbull, the two students from 2nd year BLA program that helped us; to our senior engineer John Philips, and of course to Nadia Amoroso and SEDRD Director Sean Kelly for their support.

Delta Junction Sita obtained a double major at the University of Toronto in genetics and ecology and evolutionary biology before starting her MLA at Guelph. Her current research interests are in stormwater management, adaptable landscapes, and the reclamation of conflict landscapes.

Sita Ganesan// Course: LARC 6030 - Design Studio II Instructors: Nathan Perkins, Martin Holland, Brendan Steward

The Lafarge Property was a gravel extraction site until it was decommissioned some 50 years ago. The city of Guelph gave their approval for the redevelopment of the brownfield site in 2010, but, for multiple reasons, little progress has been made (North-South Environmental, 2005). The question of what to do with the Lafarge lands was given to the MLA studio class as a design challenge, the only caveats being that the site had to maintain its function as a stormwater management facility in the city-owned tip of the triangle, and that it had to be economically viable. Climate change is predicted to increase both the frequency and severity of storm events in southern Ontario. The Lafarge site can currently accommodate a 100-year storm, or 61,000 cubic meters of water (D.M., 2006). However, in the event of a 1000-year storm, the site would overflow by 29,000 cubic meters and could potentially cause massive downstream flooding and millions of dollars worth of damages. Delta Junction would minimize runoff and strain on the downstream wastewater treatment plant through an increased area of permeable surfaces and constructed treatment wetlands. With a closed-loop, integrated water treatment system for 300 units of mixeduse housing and a water storage capacity of 173,000 cubic meters in a shallow marsh and retention pond system, Delta Junction would serve as a pilot project for a more innovative and adaptable Guelph.


Dilemma: School or Work? Marie Tina Asoh // Interview with Nadia Amoroso, faculty member at the University of Guelph in Landscape Architecture at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, about the choices of pursuing a graduate degree versus going the route of professional work experience upon graduating. At this time of the year, most students are graduating, moving out, obtaining jobs, traveling, or taking a year off. The BLA students, class of 2018 are also faced with the same options. Some have decided to return to their internships from third year, others have decided to take time off to travel, and a select few have decided to work abroad. The choice about what to do after graduation is one everyone faces at a pivotal point in their lives, and often it helps to speak with a familiar faculty member about advice or insight on their own journey. Nadia Amoroso taught the Class of 2018 in their first year at the University of Guelph, Foundation Studio in Winter 2014. She also taught their final studio class Landscape Architecture III, in fall of 2017, and was present as a judge for their Capstone Presentations this past semester. She has seen the class grow in more ways than one, and has been proud to be a part of the journey in leading a talented group of future landscape architects, designers and overall proficient students of the program. Nadia Amoroso, PhD, ASLA is a faculty member at the University of Guelph. She was the Lawrence Halprin Fellow at Cornell University and the Garvan Chair Visiting Professor at the University of Arkansas. She holds a PhD from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London, and degrees in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Toronto. She specializes in visual communication in landscape architecture


(digital, hybrid and traditional), digital design (including parametric design, and 3D printing), data visualization, creative mapping and geo-design. Nadia also operates an illustration studio, Nadia Amoroso Studio, focusing on landscape architectural visual communication. She has written a number of articles and books on topics relating to creative mapping, visual representation, and digital design including, The Exposed City: Mapping the Urban Invisibles,  Representing Landscapes: A Visual Collection of Landscape Architectural Drawings, Digital Landscape Architecture Now,  Representing Landscapes: Digital,  and more recently Representing Landscapes: Hybrid. T: Thank you for speaking to me and Studio V journal, Nadia! You have been teaching at the University of Guelph for just over five years now, and full time for this past year. Before teaching at Guelph, what occupied your time? N: Before the University of Guelph, I actually taught at the University of Toronto for several years and then prior to that, I also taught at Cornell University for a year as the Lauren Helpurn fellow, teaching both graduate and undergraduate studios. In fact, my first teaching jobs were actually at the University of Oklahoma and University of Arkansas. T: Do you belief that your international educational experience aided your ability to teach these different levels and in different locations? N: Well, as soon as I completed my undergrad in landscape architecture, I completed my graduate in Urban Design at the University of Toronto right away so I believe the mixture of these two subjects offered a good direction to aim in my career; so straight out of university, I obtained my first teaching job at the University of Oklahoma and

they enjoyed the mixed background for the position and it went on from there.

moving from a student of the BLA degree to owning your own company?

T: I understand you also did a PhD in London, UK?

N: So in terms of becoming a firm of your own company, I don’t think you necessarily need to have a Master’s. I believe it’s more about the experience and what you produce in the real world. I think it’s required that you are able to prove yourself in the real world and that’s what’s important, like how you engage with clients. I think it’s also getting your license: if you have your license and you have really strong experience, I think that’s very promising. There are a lot of architects and landscape architects in the past that just have their undergrad but they have a lot of experience, in winning competitions, in winning high end projects, and so they prove themselves in that way and that really validates their credibility.

N: Yes, so the PhD came later on after several years of teaching, I went back and did my PhD at University College London, which is part of the Barlette School of Architecture. T: Was your goal always to teach? Is that why your pursued graduate studies right away? N: My goal had always been to get into the academia side of landscape architecture. So, if you want to get into academia, then obviously you need to graduate school experience, and if you can afford to do a PhD, then that’s even better. The more you have the better, but if plan to pursue the more professional route in landscape architecture, it might be good to have a Master’s degree to focus more on your thesis on the particular area you may want to elaborate on what you did for your capstone. But you could probably take a couple years to work in a professional atmosphere first, and then pursue a graduate degree. T: What advice would you have for students considering graduate school and timing? A lot of people say doing a Master’s in Landscape Architecture, if you already have a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture may not make sense…so you should do something else if that’s the case. It is also said that obtaining a degree from an accredited university such as the University of Guelph is sufficient enough, so pursuing a Master’s is essentially pointless. Can you comment on this? N: Yes, that’s actually what happened to us to: so the BLA and the MLA are very similar. The BLA, you obtain your degree in four, sometimes, five years, while the MLA you take all the knowledge obtained in the BLA and pack it into a three year stretch. In the MLA studies, you do more of a thesis approach to your studies, but in terms for the skills developed and knowledge obtained, they are indeed, very similar. So, my advice would be to do something like a Master’s in Urban Planning or Urban Design, essentially something similar but different enough so you have a balance of the two. T: For students that wish to pursue a professional career, in terms of potentially being a principal of their own firm eventually, what steps could they take in the career to get there? Does it still make sense to obtain your Master’s? What offers the most credibility, in terms of

T: What kind of advice would you have for students that are about to graduate right now and are choosing between going right into the field and working, or considering more school, and in general, for students that have obtained this accredited degree, but not quite sure which direction to go? N: Well, I think if you want to pursue graduate school, you should consider why you want to do it. Do you want to enhance some of your skills? Is there something you still wish to develop that you think is worth putting professional practice on hold, then that is something you may want to consider. Again, if you wish to get into academia, I think graduate school would be a good fit right away. If you are not sure about graduate school yet, you may want to consider taking a year or two in a practice, a firm that is willing to accept you into something you are interested in, such as urban design, or something that deals with experimental work…you may want to work for a firm whose interests align with yours, if that opportunity opens up. T: Thank you very much for this conversation, Nadia! I think a lot of students are very curious about how their professors got to their current positions. You set a good example of what is possible in the field, and we are able to aspire and consider the various options that a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture offers. N: I’m glad to have been of help, and it has been a pleasure to watch the fourth year BLA class grow, from when I had them in first year, until now. Congratulations to the Class of 2018 and good luck in all pursuits!


Left-field Reflection on the Differences Between Art and Design Max Gatta// The following piece by MLA candidate Max Gatta is a reflection on the conceptual differences between art and design based on writing by the Israeli philosopher Tsion Avital (1992). The article references the 20th century iconoclast Marcel Duchamp and the contemporary artist Olafur Eliason, as well as Carl Jung’s understanding of the function of the artist. An earlier version of this piece was written for a Landscape History Seminar (LARC 6340), 2017, Professor Larry Harder. In the twenty-first century, I have observed much confusion about contemporary art, and a little less confusion about design. Some of the most prominent gallerists, contemporary art collectors, practitioners and art educators seem to have no idea why a given contemporary art work might (or might not be) important, and they probably never will. In part, this is the fallout from the overwhelming influence of the early twentieth century iconoclast Marcel Duchamp (Daniels, 2002), who believed that art was not necessary, just like religion, and therefore should be dispensed with (Duchamp, 1968).  It is remarkable that an iconoclast, someone who wants to destroy art, has had such an overwhelming influence on  generating contemporary art criticism, on approaches to art education and even on art production itself. The resulting confusion that we see today is strongly linked.  Some intriguing reflections on art and design, perhaps provocative and controversial, have come from the


Israeli philosopher Tsion Avital (1992, 2004). In the late 20th Century Avital rejected the development of art from a system of figurative/symbolic representation into practices that were, as he saw them, based in abstraction. He questioned the validity of this development and rejected it (Avital, Art Versus Nonart: Art out of Mind, 2003). Avital saw the confusion between art and design as an offshoot of the general confusion within the domain of art. In the early 1990s he recognized that the contradictions within art were not easily surmountable (he did not view this as a positive) so he attempted to clarify the differences between art and design as a starting point. Avital believed that art and design were the opposite of each other - the complements. The two activities were on opposite ends of the cognitive spectrum, so to speak. This observation alone might raise eyebrows if one considers that so many art schools have combined art and design departments. He did not claim that one was better than the other, rather only that they were two cognitive trends, one the complement of the other in human intelligence (Avital, 1992). He did not seek to create a dichotomy so much as to shed light on the confusion between the two terms. He arrived at some generalizations such as the following: the artist is an annotator, while the designer is a tool maker; art is cognitive while design is instrumental; the artist organizes symbol systems while the designer organizes materials; the artist abstracts from the concrete, while the designer concretizes the abstract; art is intended for communication, expression and metaphorization, design is intended for use; art is the world of universals (which Avital called “holons”) while design is the world of particulars and parts; art is metaphorical and implicative while design is factual and applicative; art functions on a principle of incomplete representation or description while design seeks completeness, perfect finish; art is open-ended and extensive while design is closed-ended and finite; art is totalistic, exclusive and develops on irreversible paradigm shifts, design follows different styles that coexist and are reversible; art is inductive and classificatory while design is deductive (Avital, 1992). To illustrate the inductive (art) versus deductive (design) approach that Avital refers to, see figure 2 and 3: art deals with broad themes/experiences (which you might argue is inductive) while design is deductive – it deals with specific solutions departing from

a broader goal. The above contrasts may sound like an oversimplification but they have a lot of truth in them if you think of “Design Methodology” or process, and then contemplate the much less definable and idiosyncratic processes of art-making. Then there’s the possibility that Avital’s perspective is perhaps dated (the reading is from the early nineteennineties) but since he wrote the piece, contemporary art has increasingly evolved toward minimalist or even spectacle-based practices (Olafur Eliason’s, for example). Arguably, some of the most recent developments in art seem to amplify his discourse.   Avital had a curious impetus for writing this piece: he believed that a paradigm collapses if its ability to generalize gets exhausted — in science, just as in art (Avital, 1992). He also held the belief that art no longer existed because it no longer had the ability to function as a symbol system; it was too steeped in its objecthood and self-referentiality to function as a “pictorial connector”. In this, Avital’s definition of art relies on Carl Jung and his emphasis on art’s metaphorical or symbolic function (van den Berk, 2012). 

Olafur Eliasson’s “Weather Project”, 2003: an example of how art appeals to universal experience and (in this case also perceptual experience). Photo by Nathan Williams. Many design presentations illustrate “parts”, exploded diagrams, specific solutions departing from a general value or goal (aka: deductive reasoning). Image from Fard & Jafari, 2016.

Whether art has lost its ability to function on the level of symbols or not, I think it is safe to say that much of contemporary art is not about reaching the other for communicative, humane or empathic reasons. Contemporary art is a complex and tribal arena, and the curious and sentient outsider is often excluded from the game. Avital, T. (1992). “The Complementarity of Art & Design.”. In C. G., & L. J. (Eds.), Emerging Visions: Contemporary Approaches to Aesthetic Process. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Avital, T. (2003). Art Versus Nonart: Art out of Mind. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Daniels, D. (2002). Marcel Duchamp. Ostfildern Ruit, Baden-Württem berg, Germany: Hatie Cantz Verlag. Fard, A., & Jafari, G. (2016). Conceptual relationship between starte gies, scales and goals defining spatial architectural interventions. In S. McDowell (Ed.), Water Index: Design Startegies for Drought, Flooding and Contamination. New York City, USA: University of Virginia. Gatta, M. (2018, 04 19). Youtube portrait of Marcel. Toronto, Canada. Graff, R. D. (1956). An Interview with Marcel Duchamp. Retrieved from Youtube: Oddos, V. (2016, January 29). (Radio France) Retrieved April 19, 2018, from https://culture versailles-l-ete-prochain-234401 Van den Berk, T. (2012). Jung on Art: the Autonomy of the Creative Drive. New York, USA: Routledge Williams, N. (2006). Olafur Eliasson - Weather Project.


colour between green and violet on the spectrum of visible light, as of the sky caught in your cup or sea on a sunny day Earlier this year, Studio V announced a photo contest with a theme of BLUE open for exploration. We received a number of entries and sincerely thank everyone who participated. We are pleased to congratulate LA students whose photo entries won: Tamara Freeman, Siena Turnbull, Zoe Scott and David Quinn. Your talent for capturing the moment in the vastness is an inspiration!

Photo By: Tamara Freeman



Photo By: Siena Turnbull


Photo By: Zoe Scott

Photo By: David Quinn


Found Object Quinn Howard // Course: LARC 6040 - Landscape Architecture Studio Instructors: Nathan Perkins, Martin Holland, Brendan Stewart

Both of these works were born out of procrastination. Which, I think, makes them all the more valuable. Make a collage, they said. First year masters and we are making collages. I almost laughed out loud. But, after hours of AutoCAD, everything can become a bit fuzzy. In these moments, processes like conceptual modelling can act as a tool. Loose and tactile materials give the mind occasion to wander. Muffling the details and revealing the larger patterns of the site. Models that are informal and playful can allow us a little further down this rabbit hole. Both works represent concept development and site analysis for ‘The Junction’, a 50 acre post-industrial site located in downtown Guelph.

CONTEMPLATING THE SACRED (Collage/ Multi Media) – Explores relationships the location of the flood plain, urban infill and possible relationship between form and water on ‘The Junction’.


TOPO – The Storm is Coming (Cardboard, Card stock) – A preliminary site analysis tool, used to understand topography and water movement on site.


Dokholm Michal Laszczuk, Calum Thomas Morrison Mitchell, Hanne Lisbeth Jehg, Nanna Høgsberg Kristensen// Course: NIGK 15015U Landscape Studio @ University of Copenhagen, Spring 2017 Instructor: Peter Lundsgaard Hansen; with Anna Sofia Falkentoft as Teaching Assistant

Michal Laszczuk is a Master of Landscape Architecture student at the University of Guelph. Michal has a Specialist in Archaeology degree and a Minor in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto. He is interested in the interpretation of historic landscapes in design, experimental 3D modelling, visualisation techniques, and tree planting strategies. In 2017, Michal completed a semester abroad at the University of Copenhagen, where he developed this featured project with his group.


My group was challenged to develop a cohesive district across the islands of Dokø and Frederiksholm in Copenhagen to connect it with the Emerald Island Necklace Park System and soften the dominance of the Copenhagen Opera House. We started by naming the district Dokholm (Dock Island), merging the names of the two islands. We focused on two design interventions to foster coherence. First, our group felt that the straight edges of the harbour are important historic landscape features. Therefore, instead of changing the physical structure of the coastal edge, we developed an inverse edge using paving to represent water, gravel as sand, and a mixture of grasses for coastal vegetation. This inverse edge is found across both islands and constitutes a coherent public space across the district. Second, starting from the grasses along the inverse edge, we develop a planting strategy that constitute bands of orthogonally planted trees that are planted in single species blocks. These blocks serve to further foster cohesion as they dissipate into the interior of the islands, forming a costal urban forest. As the trees mature, the orthogonal bands will give way to ribbons that will still have a semi-ordered structure due to the orthogonal planting base. Radiating from the opera, these blocks will constitute a tapered form determined by tree height, hence anchoring the building to the district. These ribbons will structure an engaging public realm that frames the historic features of the neighbourhood and together with the inverse edge, the district can attain more meaning through cohesion.


Landscape Architects and the Nature of Nature Dr. N.H. Perkins explores the connection between people and nature through writings of Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) and contemporary Michael Pollen

The old Chestnut, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hear it, does it still make a sound?” was a posed by George Berkeley, an Anglican bishop and philosopher to capture the notion that our perception creates our reality. Philosophers refer to this as immaterialism because Berkeley’s answer was that without our perception the tree makes no sound. In short he argued that nothing is ‘real’ outside our perceptions. The counter-argument that has been posited for centuries is that the tree makes a sound, whether there is anyone to ‘hear’ it or not. These two fundamental philosophies, that of perception and reality, continue to haunt our modern conceptions of Nature and the place of humans (within it). It is almost impossible to discuss or debate the role landscape architects in our present world without skating atop this centuries old philosophical dichotomy. At the heart of the modern conception of Nature is our conservation ethic and our view of Nature as a material, not perceptual, phenomena. I argue below that big ‘N’ Nature need not exist for clarity in identifying our moral obligations and that a simpler conception could help us better tune our actions in facing the host of problems to come. More than 60 years ago, Aldo Leopold articulated his land ethic. The best-known phrase is, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and


beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” This statement is elegant and simple and my understanding of it, as a young professional, was that all humans have a duty to preserve [Nature] and do no harm. This simple framing in which humans have an obligation to preserve the processes of Nature, which I call the outsider view, I suspect is still the dominant philosophy among landscape architects. Modern history and science show that we can and do, in fact, harm Nature. At the same time, we also give value to the words integrity, stability and beauty. The nuance here is that we place ourselves outside of Nature as though we are independent agents. In this way we speak of preserving and conserving ‘it’, not necessarily ‘us’. Some might object to my characterization that Leopold and his land ethic place humans outside of nature, or at least do not squarely place humans within her. A lifetime of casual conversations with my colleagues in landscape architecture, however, suggests that at the very least the land ethic is often understood to frame Nature as holding intrinsic value. I think this causes problems for the simple reason that our actions are further removed from the consequences of those actions. Although Luna Leopold in later years attempted to clarify that his father’s land ethic should be seen as placing humans within nature this is not generally what people carry with them. I rather like a more modern reconceptualization of Nature that Michael Pollen so eloquently posited in his book, Second Nature: A Gardener’s ethic. Pollen’s ethic, I think, more squarely places our relationship with Nature as analogous to that between a gardener and her garden. Nature is therefore to be tended and cared for in our own self-interest and for our own gratification and this may be the key. Perhaps I am stretching the comparison too far but to garden the Nature that is before us, that is a product of our perceptions and imaginations, seems to imply that we do indeed have dominion over Nature, that we need not be apologetic and that we have a duty to be wise caretakers. It may also be that to envision a garden versus an environment is inherently more human as the scale is both more intimate and personal.

Three or so decades ago I noticed the rise of the doomsday Nature narrative in media of all sorts. Rather than portray Nature as beautiful and mysterious the tone shifted to the evils humans have done and the consequences of our actions to a natural world better off without us. With few exceptions, the narrative was that humans have, or are in the process of destroying the Garden of Eden. I was never easy with this as it seemed to suggest that there was a natural Nature that existed outside of us and that natural processes and systems sans humans were somehow more worthy. Perhaps this is the natural consequence of a few centuries of science and all of those ‘-ologies examining nature as an abstract entity with its’ own rules minus the nuisance of humans. But where then is the gardener in these weighty concerns? A gardener it seems is a nurturer – she tries to understand how to guide Nature to a bountiful (and human) end – and through experience develops a sense of within-ness. Nature, to a gardener, is an extension of oneself, not an abstraction. Although wise gardeners realize that they cannot control Nature, they can, through experience, develop a concordant relationship. Aldo Leopold and Michael Pollen, neither a philosopher, have in their own way extended a philosophical dialogue begun many centuries ago. To appreciate both is to see that they have each in plain language exposed a fundamental question about how humans make sense of the world. Berkeley’s question does not have an answer, rather, it does what it was intended to do in forcing one to face fundamental insights about reality. Where this thinking takes us is important because how we face the nature of Nature frames how we act.

P.S. This essay arose out of many conversations as Tatiana was exploring ‘place empathy’ for her graduate thesis. Tatiana asked questions, that frankly, I hadn’t thought deeply about since my student days and

Without a doubt, landscape architects alter Nature and change the land. For landscape architects to be stewards of the land, of Nature, to us suggests that a gardener’s ethic is more apt to become a moral code for what we should do. Leopold’s, ‘Do no harm’ is a start, but perhaps Pollen’s Gardener ethic puts us in a better place to take action and responsibility.

I would like to thank her for relighting that fire.

References: Leopold, A. (1949) A Sand County almanac and sketches here and there. Oxford University Press. Pollen, M. (1991) Second nature: A gardener’s education. Atlantic Monthly.


2018 MLA Conference On March 27, the 2018 Master of Landscape Architecture Research Conference took place at the OAC Centennial Arboretum Centre, University of Guelph. The conference provided Guelph MLA students an opportunity to present their thesis work to peers, faculty members, involved parties, family and the general public. The MLA conference represents the culmination of the students’ formal graduate course requirements and is a celebration of their dedication and effort over the past three years.

Studio V congratulates the third year MLA students on their achievements!





[Ex]Changed Perspective Luke Elwood// As I am preparing to graduate from the BLA program and reflect on my time at the University of Guelph, I think about all the amazing memories made, the experiences had, and the friendships built that shaped me into the person I am today. Among these, one particular experience of my schooling career stands out: the time when I spent six months in Norway as an exchange student. It was an opportunity that I probably will never get a chance to experience again and that’s what makes it so special. As an exchange student, you get a unique chance to really experience a country and its culture from a local perspective, which you’ll rarely get to do as a tourist.

My six months on exchange were a blast! For someone like me, from a small town, who is comfortable staying close to home, a Norwegian exchange was a big leap, but a time I will never forget. Amazing friends and spectacular landscapes will stay with me. It was sad when it all had to come to an end, but it definitely will not be my last time in Norway. My experience on exchange taught me to cherish moments in life, enjoy them to the fullest and do what matters to you. Don’t let opportunities pass you by. The moment you step out of your comfort zone is the moment your life really begins. As I leave the University of Guelph my advice to current and future BLA students is to travel! If you get a chance to go on an exchange abroad, go for it; the experiences you’ll get will be so valuable!

Having chosen Norway for a student exchange, I was traveling into the unknown, a new country, a new language and a culture I didn’t know much about. Nonetheless, I quickly met and got to know Norwegian and other exchange students and made the most of it. I now count as a lifelong friend Thomas, a genuine, kind and caring guy that was thrilled to meet a Canadian. He quickly ensured that I felt right at home and got me involved in all things local. One of the best experiences was visiting Thomas’ family in his home town of Varhaug, where I got a chance to taste Norwegian food and tour Norway’s breath-taking fjords. The most profound time I had while traveling in Norway, without a doubt, was my solo trip to the Lofoten Islands, where I spent 5 days on my own, hiking mountains and taking in breathtaking vistas of arctic beaches and the North Atlantic. The trip gave me a glimpse and true appreciation for the untouched wilderness. It taught me that nothing can substitute for real-life experiences and that sometimes adventure is the best teacher.


Thank you for finding time to speak with Studio V, Daniel, I know things are busy for you. What drew you originally to geography and to urban geography in particular?

Daniel Rotsztain, Explorer, Urban Geographer, MLA Tatiana Zakharova // With two books to his name, All the Libraries Toronto (2015) and A Colourful History Toronto (2017), numerous publications in Canadian print and online media, collaborations and exhibits, Daniel Rotsztain, Urban Geographer, artist, writer, cartographer, is also my fellow MLA classmate. To my eye, Daniel is the epitome of geographer, as I discover the themes of commute and movement in-between in much of his work: as he bikes between sites for location sketching, publishes photos from the upper deck of a bus taking him from Toronto to Guelph and back, deconstructs his route from Malmö to Alnarp, traces roads and highways with his trusty black marker, or reminisces about his frequent ferry trip to and from Toronto Island. I think Daniel measures distances not in kilometers or time it takes to cover them, but in closeness between all the places he has lived in. I recently got a chance to interview Daniel for Studio V journal.


I owe my love of cities to my dad. He loves walking (he walks from home to work everyday, around 8km each day!), and he loves architecture. As a kid, we would walk around and he would point out all his favourite buildings in Toronto. We would also do bike trips on the weekend all over the city. One of my favourite routes he showed me was a straight line from the lakeshore all the way back to our house. In this one line, we would pass through derelict industrial land (now the Distillery district), quaint 19th century cottages (Corktown), modernist social housing (Regent Park), back to quaint little brick houses (Cabbagetown), through towering modernist apartment slabs (St James Town), over ravines, through Rosedale (one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Toronto, full of mansions), and back to our house in midtown. I couldn’t believe how different the city could be, all these different forms of architecture, landscapes, cultures and classes, all jeek-to-jowl, sharing the same space. When I moved from Toronto to Montreal to start my business undergrad degree (how misguided I was!), my first year calculus class was in the architecture building. I would linger after class in the studios, fawn over the displays in the exhibition space. I did all I could to switch into another program, and found Urban Geography. I remember reading Jane Jacobs in a café on Mont Royal avenue, and a tear came to my eye when I realized, “I can devote my life to understanding the city”. I also think growing up in Toronto lead me to urban geography. Toronto is a big, exciting place. But it’s also a city that doesn’t quite know itself. Its ravines are hidden below its streets, its natural topography only reveals itself

when you look for it. Its history is obscured and eras are quickly forgotten as the city constantly demolishes and reinvents itself. Montreal was always Canada’s biggest city, and Toronto never planned on becoming the big one, so Toronto never planned for the population it now supports. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a big urban place with transit and pedestrian streets, or a suburban place for cars. All these tensions, all this discovery, all this mystery lead me thinking about cities, a lot. Your thesis work looks at the possibilities of enhancing landscapes surrounding strip malls to make them more accessible for pedestrians. What makes you interested in these easily and happily overlooked places? I’m focusing my thesis on Scarborough, but it could be anywhere in Ontario -- we have a lot of strip malls. I’m interested in exploring this topic because I think there’s a disconnect between what we perceive our lives to be like and how they actually are. The idealized version of our lives looks like downtown Guelph or the leafy streets in the old City of Toronto – compact houses, public squares, Sesame Street style. But the reality is, most of Ontario is suburban – it is highways, wide arterials, malls, and strip malls. A lot of this built form is inhumane, designed to accommodate the car more than pedestrians and as a result the spaces are enormous, ugly and utilitarian. But a lot of it is working – the strip malls in Scarborough are some of the most affordable retail space in the city, and as a result they’ve become vibrant gathering places with services clustering for the city’s immigrant communities. I want to acknowledge the way the world is, and find the best parts of it, and enhance those things. A lot of urbanists (planners, architects, landscape architects) think the best way to deal with these parts of the city is to demolish them and start over, fashioning them in the image of the 19th century Sesame Street city. The world doesn’t have to look a certain way to be vibrant, and we

don’t need carte blanche to make these places better. The thesis is an attempt to work with the beautiful things we already have. Is exploring an addiction for you? Absolutely. It’s really hard for me to get to a new place and not try and understand it. I think this manifests most when I’m traveling. I can’t not look out the window as the landscape passes. I can hardly read the book I’ve brought because I’m too busy reading the landscape. When I don’t have the window seat on the plane, and the person who does have it shuts the window while we’re flying over, let’s say, the Rockies, I am deeply offended, and will do everything I can to get that window seat and right the wrongs of the world. If you had to pick your best place in Guelph, what would it be? A lot of my projects have focused on the strip mall at Wellington and Gordon. This strip mall is special, because it is built right on the Speed River. The building totally neglects the natural beauty that surrounds it, but I love the accidental quality of the informal paths that snake along the river behind the strip mall. Even in the most banal, the most transcendental qualities of the world can be found. It’s a place that clearly expresses how I think of the places we inhabit: there is meaning within the mess we’ve made of the world. Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Amsterdam, Guelph and recently Malmö, Sweden, where you spent a winter semester on an exchange: is there another city in the plans for you? A warmer climate perhaps? While I like to travel and have short stints in other cities, home is Southern Ontario. The landscape is just so broken here, I am motivated to join the effort to make it better. If I were to live anywhere else in the world, it would be back in Amsterdam. I love it there – the city of bikes, a place where there’s a high sense of spatial literacy, and urban design is top notch. But then again, they’ve figured it out there, so what would I do with myself? As for a warmer climate – I love the winter. I love the cycles of the seasons in general, but my soul is nourished by the deep calm and subtle beauty of the cold months. Wherever I end up, flurries, squalls, and ice will be a part of it.


City of Drumlins by Daniel Rotsztain


Year One Cara Lozano/ Since the age of 16, I knew that Landscape Architecture was the career I wanted to pursue. Design has always been a passion of mine, and I’ve spent a lot of time working on a wide range of visual and studio art, photography, and technological design throughout high school. I was determined from very early on to enroll in the BLA program at Guelph; so much so that I didn’t bother to apply to any other universities. Even though I was sure about the path I was on, I didn’t know exactly what to expect from my first year of the BLA program, or what it would expect from me. The transition was challenging, but I quickly got used to the projects, and the pace they were assigned at. Needless to say, I haven’t regretted my decision, and doubt that I ever will! As far as technical skills were concerned, I was lucky to be familiar with Photoshop prior to our second semester design studio, and had also been using a graphic tablet since I was 14. Illustrator proved difficult at first, but through TA instruction (and an excessive amount of YouTube tutorials), it quickly became an essential and incredibly useful part of my work, as did Rhino. Having completed different design projects in both my first and second semesters, I was excited and prepared to tackle our final design project - The Artists’ Courtyard. Situated in a 25 by 40-meter, south-facing lot, adjacent to a street, an art gallery and on-grade retail was the site/ client. We were tasked with designing a space that drew upon important elements from an artist of our choosing. This class was taught with an emphasis on creative process to aid in making educated design decisions. By using guides provided by course instructors, my partner and I carefully outlined predicted traffic in the area, highlighted desired site lines, points of interest and relations within the space. Building upon this, we made more specific areas for program and definite division of spaces. Our next step was to take these desired areas and develop them into “shapes” that represented those of our chosen artist, Kazimir Malevich. It was important to us that his art be represented in a way that contributed to properties of a functional space. Throughout this

process, we received constant helpful feedback from both our instructors, TAs and industry professionals as guest critics. Our final design included a clear and welcoming entrance for pedestrians, both high and low traffic areas and multi-purpose spaces, all while incorporating a variety of materials to keep the space interesting without crowding it. With our final design completed, a great deal of time and effort went into creating a physical model of the design that was both to scale and appropriately represented our design vision. We used different colour cardstock, foam board, hot glue, and toothpicks over about three days of non-stop work, but at the end it proved an essential element in explaining our design intent to others. Although I still have many years of the program ahead of me and lots left to learn, I have already come to recognize the importance of the creative process, time management and communication as a part of the design process. I have also developed a better ability to accept constructive criticism and understood that at all times of my daily life I am learning and improving as a designer. My transition into the program was made easier by constant support from LA faculty and sessional instructors, my peers in the program, and the Landscape Architecture Student Society. In fact, I’m looking forward to entering my second year as one of the LASS co-presidents, continuing to develop and grow as a designer, and contributing to the ongoing success of the program.


Mosaic Brianna Collis & Luozijie Xie // Course: LARC 6120 - Community Design Instructor: Cecelia Paine

Working with the existing grid system in Toronto, our community design concept creates pocket areas for live, work and play with open access green space and public space for residents and community members. Our concept links the mosaic pieces together to create pathways for traversing the site. Hopping from one mosaic piece to the next, you can move from low density housing to mixed use streetscapes, onto parks and an open plaza. It is possible to cross the site through the green mosaic network on your way to work, to catch the bus or to meet a friend at the coffee shop. The goal of this project was to create a complete community on a brownfield site within an existing urban neighbourhood with residences, employment and open space. Additionally, we strived to create access to green space across the site by fracturing green areas into pockets that were spatially dispersed across the site and created a linked network for pedestrian circulation. Mosaic patterning on the main road provides traffic calming measures and encourages pedestrian movement throughout the site on paths that take inspiration from the railyard to the north of the site. Storm water management was incorporated into all greenspaces and we provided storm water planters along the main street. We met the prescribed quota of jobs per residential unit by developing several housing types including single family, medium density and high-density apartments. We designed various housing typologies to meet many income levels and family types, as well as space for businesses in the community. This design project successfully demonstrated how urban neighbourhoods might be infilled with consideration of the existing urban fabric and needs of community members, both presently and in the future.



The Role of Landscape Architects in Agriculture Mike Hukezalie talks about his personal relationship with Ontario rural agricultural landscapes and interviews Professor Karen Landman about her connection to agriculture. From an early age, I have felt a deep connection to the rural agricultural landscapes of Ontario. Every time I drive through the countryside, I feel as if I am ‘going home’—no matter where I am headed. My family has had a connection to agriculture for a very long time: from my ancestors farming in Holland, to our farm in Norfolk County, which has been in our family since 1947. There is something about being on the land where food is produced, knowing that humans and the earth have created something vital to our survival… Even the infamous disconnect between urban and rural seems to be changing these days with an increased awareness of where our food comes from. Since the start of my landscape architecture education, I have wondered what the role of a landscape architect within agriculture may look like, and how a design profession could apply to agriculture. Most recently, for my capstone project, I focused on agricultural land management; specifically, how certain methods of conservation agriculture can be applied to the design of sustainable agricultural landscapes. The current model of agricultural intensification which produces high yields has also resulted in a loss of biodiversity, ecological function, and critical ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. I have noticed this trend first hand in the country. For example, I see many farmers removing fencerows to make way for larger fields and equipment. Some farmers overlook the benefits that these fencerows provide, including wind protection for their fields and habitats that can in turn benefit crop yields. Another unfortunate trend is farmers draining wet areas of fields, in order to have more productive land using buried tile drainage. This can have an adverse effect on the quality of water downstream and destroy crucial wetlands. Many of today’s farming practices are aimed at creating larger, more productive fields, but this landscape simplification leads to an unsustainable farming future. For my project, I chose a


real farm as the site of exploration and design, looking at site features that could be improved such as lack of windbreaks, ecological corridor connections, varying topography and low spots which have seasonal pooling. The goal of my project was to create a ‘model farm’ where farmers could explore first-hand the benefits that certain best management practices can have on the land. These practices contribute to a more ecologically diverse and sustainable agricultural landscape, as well as to an increased crop productivity. Prior to working on my capstone project on agricultural land management and practices, I wrote an undergraduate thesis exploring wetland loss within Long Point region. Professor Karen Landman has been an unofficial advisor to me on many projects, including the two above. Karen and I met in 2015, have a shared passion for agriculture and have had many great conversations around the topic. Karen Landman is a University of Guelph Professor and OAC Interim Associate Dean External Relations. She has been teaching as a full-time faculty in Landscape Architecture at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development University of Guelph since 2002. An early passion for gardening led her to a career in horticulture, then landscape architecture, and then rural planning and cultural geography. Her academic research interests include but are not limited to green infrastructure and urban agriculture. Karen has received the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Teaching Award (2016); Woman of Distinction (Education & Training), Guelph YM/YWCA (2016); and the Ontario Professional Planners Institute’s Excellence in Planning Award: Communications/Public Education (2014). I had a chance to interview Karen for Studio V journal.

Thank you for taking time to speak with Studio V today, Karen. What was it that first intrigued you about agriculture? I grew up on a dairy farm, so agriculture has always been a part of my life in some way. My brother took over the farm from my father, and his son – my nephew – is now working full-time on the farm, and will likely, eventually, take over. So agriculture is a part of my life and my family history. I’ve always been interested in growing food; my earliest memory is of sitting in my father’s vegetable garden while he hoed the weeds. He always had a very productive vegetable garden and beautiful ornamental gardens as well. When I was a young teenager, I was always part of a 4H club. One summer I had to grow my own vegetable garden, for my 4H club; I and my fellow club members took our prized vegetables to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Once I was on my own, I always had a garden, and especially enjoyed growing veggies. My niece grows vegetables for her on-farm dinners as part of her business; she and I discuss food production a lot – not just growing food but also processing food. Since becoming a professor, I’ve had a strong interest in urban agriculture and work with students on this subject. Since 2007, I’ve been part of an interdisciplinary research team called Nourishing Communities. Much of your work involves ecological connections to landscape architecture, such as green infrastructure. When did you start to focus more on agriculture, specifically urban agriculture? I have been interested in urban agriculture for about fifteen years. When I first talked about urban agriculture, people didn’t understand what it was. Some people think that it means large farm equipment, dust and manure smells, but it’s more about market gardening, in terms of production. No-one is suggesting large animal herds or flocks, or large fields of grain. That’s best suited to the rural landscape. Instead, urban agriculture is more typically about vegetable and fruit production, with perhaps beehives and maybe a few chickens for interest. Urban agriculture is not just community gardens, although that could be included. Urban agriculture is

food production on a larger scale than a community garden, and usually results in economic gain for an urban farmer – it’s possible to make a living as a farmer in the city. Urban agriculture contributes to green infrastructure through the maintenance of healthy soil, permeable surfaces for rainwater absorption, biodiversity due to crop diversity, and pollinator habitat. One of your current research projects is looking at how rural landscapes and agriculture intersect with urban communities. What challenges do you see with the disconnect between urban and rural, and what role might a landscape architect have? The biggest challenge is our perception that rural and urban are separate entities when in fact they are very much linked. Cities rely on rural and remote landscapes for resources, and this is increasingly understood in organizations that deal with issues such as hunger. Cities offer knowledge and innovation centres, such as the University of Guelph. The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, signed by 163 cities in 2015, identifies that cities host over half of the world’s population and have a role to play in developing sustainable food systems. The Pact acknowledges “that urban and peri-urban agriculture offers opportunities to protect and integrate biodiversity into city region landscapes and food systems, thereby contributing to synergies across food and nutrition security, ecosystem services and human well-being.” I think landscape architects can see a role for themselves in that statement. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals also offer insight on the role of a landscape architect, particularly in Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities and Goal 15 Life on Land. Do you see a need for more education on agriculture related issues in design programs, specifically landscape architecture? I think all programs would benefit from some education on agriculture, and especially on food. We all require food – it’s one of the things we all have in common, and we can all benefit from learning more about food and agriculture.


There is interesting work being done on urban agriculture infrastructure design – an example is that of Andres Viljoen and Katrin Bohn, who developed an interesting concept called CPULS, or Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes. They’ve considered food production possibilities across the extent of the city. I think CPULS could figure more importantly in landscape architecture education and practice, and in other design disciplines as well. And landscape architects can play a role in food production infrastructure design in peri-urban and rural landscapes as well. I’ve worked with farmers in the past to create biodiversity and improved planting design at the farm landscape scale. Agriculture is also a cultural landscape element and should be considered as we work with clients at municipal and regional scales as well. Landscape architects have long done this kind of work but I think the imperative to consider agriculture as part of our green infrastructure has increased as we face challenges such as climate change, loss of diversity and population increases.

wildlife and in birds in particular; and he knew that there was a connection between good stewardship practices and biodiversity in the landscape. The memories that resonate most for me are those times when my father was teaching me something, simply by modeling his love of landscape. He was an immigrant from the northwest of the Netherlands and he had a great love and nostalgia for the landscape of his youth, but he also came to love the Canadian landscape as well. Memories of my father’s appreciation for landscapes resonate in my work today.

What do you see agriculture within Ontario looking like in the next 50 years? Would this outlook be different with a greater involvement of landscape architects? Well, gee, that’s a big question and I don’t have a crystal ball. I do know that there is increased interest in, and concern for, soil health in Ontario these days. Generally, our society does not value soil enough; we pave over and build on good agricultural soils, which is forever lost to us as a food-production resource. Farmers need our support in their efforts to steward arable soils, because we all rely on that soil. Landscape architects can contribute to this by acknowledging that urban soils, too, have a role to play in food production as well as rural soils. And landscape architects can contribute to sustainable communities in many ways – ways that can support sustainable agriculture. On a more personal note, what is your favorite aspect of agriculture? I know you grew up with farming in your blood -- is there a memory that resonates with your work today? My father knew his farm at a very intimate level. He loved his work as a farmer; he was very interested in


Above: My grandfather’s team of horses working in a tobacco field, c. 1930s. Below: From my capstone project: masterplan

Congratulations to all students and graduates of the SEDRD Programs at the University of Guelph! Visit the OALA website to learn about membership options, access resources, job postings and upcoming events. Membership is free for all students studying landscape architecture in Ontario.

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Home that Jack Built Carleigh Pope & Tatiana Zakharova// Jack Milliken, OALA, FCSLA, helped found Canada’s first school of Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph. He was an early practitioner of the profession in the country and, apart from his many years of involvement with the University, was the secretary of the newly-formed OALA. Jack, now 83, retired from the University over twenty years ago, but kindly agreed to sit down with MLA candidates Carleigh Pope and Tatiana Zakharova to talk about his years in the profession and the early years of the LA program at UofGuelph. The driveway leading to Jack’s house is winding, and opens to a small clearing in the woods. The house is wood-clad and situated at a steep drop. We sit down in the living room with Jack’s art on the wall and a picture window overlooking mature forest. Thank you for having us at your beautiful home! JM: We lived just south of the University when my wife found this land. I designed the house for the location and built a lot of it, mostly during my sabbatical year. Some of the work, like roof, windows and doors and such were done by contractors, but virtually everything else was done by me. I’ve been in this house about 35 years now. Inside, too, is much of my work: art, the table, birds… The bird sculptures are not driftwood, but pieces of a stump of Thuja occidentalis that was cut to build rail fence some 100 years ago. How did you start in the LA profession? JM: My home was originally in Sarnia. Then I went to Queens University for about a year but left and worked for a firm that did highway surveys all over Southern Ontario. I was a land surveyor primarily in Kitchener-area, but I was looking for something else, and landscape architecture appealed to me. That’s what brought me to


the school in the US. I carried a few courses from Queens into University of Michigan, so I was able to do an abbreviated degree, then followed into a graduate degree. We didn’t do a thesis at the time. Instead, the last construction project I did, I was given two intersecting line and an elevation at each and told to design a clover-leaf interchange and grade it. My wife worked and helped to put me through school before we had kids. Afterwards, I stayed on in Michigan and taught for about a year and a half. Afterwards, I went to Ottawa to join Don Graham. I worked on Expo 67 in Montreal, where I did the Canadian Pavilion and the Brewers Pavilion. It was a great big project to work on my early career! How did you come to University of Guelph? JM: One day I was looking at the Globe and Mail and there was an ad there for a person with my qualifications to teach at the University of Guelph. I enjoyed teaching in Michigan, and I looked forward to coming back to it. I came to Guelph and interviewed with, as I recall, Vic Chanasyk and Roman Fodchuck. This would have been around 1965. I enjoyed the design part, and I was good at construction, so I got the job. Bob Hilton was Department Head of Horticultural Sciences at Guelph at the time, and also worked on the creation of Guelph’s landscape architecture program. Dozens of great people came and went since, of course… We worked hard to build the school’s reputation. We decided that a bad reputation was very-very difficult to overcome, and a good one was tough to break, so all of us worked hard to build a good one. How were those early days of the program? JM: Honestly, it was a pretty grim existence for a long time: there was a lot of work and not enough people to do it. But I loved teaching graduate students. I was in charge of the graduate program for years and taught graduate studio which was design and construction. … It was very practical. A lot of it was real work that I

have been involved with in one way or another, national and provincial parks. I remember one project involved RCMP barracks in Regina. I’ve been out there to look at the problems they were having. For example, the pathways were too narrow and since everyone had to march everywhere, they would walk off the side, so mud was everywhere. We got the seed cleaning building from the crop science folks as a place for the program to live, and construction of studios and offices went on for about six months. Afterwards, I got to design the LA building courtyard and built the driftwood bench. I also sat on the University Senate, and was also on the Board of Governors for several years. I remember one year William Winegard was retiring as President, and he didn’t want a building named after him, so that’s how we got Winegard Walk... How was Guelph at the time? JM: In the early days, I enjoyed the downtown, the stores right in the square. Large offices were down Douglas Street, and there was a lot of life and activity right in the center of the town. For two of three years, I was also a chair of the Planning Board for the city, and Guelph was exploding. The Woodlawn road auto mall was at the time just being built, and it was a pretty big project to plan. I stayed at the University of Guelph for 28-29 years… I’ve been retired, gosh… since I was 59, and I’m 83 now! My son told me about the three ways to stay young: eat well, sleep well and lie about your age. What is landscape architecture for you? JM: It was always a release, a way of expressing myself, and getting paid for it. I didn’t come to the profession from an artistic background. My father was a wholesaler of groceries, actually, and I don’t know how I fell into the design side of things but I have enjoyed in thoroughly and was good at it. What is one piece of advice you can give to LA students now? JM: Enjoy it, that’s the main thing!


East Bayfront, Toronto LARC 3070 -Landscape Architecture III Instructors: Nadia Amoroso & Shirley Hall

Students: Ashley Hosker, Ryan Adams, Conrad Thibeault The historical facade on the ground level creates a historical feel amongst the modern architecture. The streets between the buildings on the west side of Quayside have pedestrian streets with limited vehicular access, allowing only service and emergency vehicles.


This 4th year BLA studio project challenged students to develop an urban design community masterplan for an area of the East Bayfront in Toronto, Ontario. For years, this 23 hectare (55 acre) site that extends from Lower Jarvis Street east to Parliament Street and from Lake Shore Boulevard south to the edge of Lake Ontario has been a reminder of the city’s industrial past. Now, according to the city of Toronto, East Bayfront is one of the first new waterfront neighbourhoods to be developed. Three team and one individual projects featured on the following pages focused on the East Bayfront redevelopment, with each offering a different take on the future of the site.

Students: Marie Tina Asoh, Cole Goudie, Brittany Baverstock, Lindsey McCain Considering the role of the street car, we have designed an interconnected street system which allows for efficiency and proximity to commercial services and residential properties. These images illustrate the street hierarchy through the site in which the TTC is able to move through with ease and a courtyard as an example of the varying pockets of green space that provides a haven of public and private open spaces for its users; this strengthens the pedestrian system in terms of walkability and equal access to green space throughout the site.


Students: Emily Dixon, Mike Hukezalie, Luke Elwood, Chen Zixiang East Bayfront sits at the base of the green corridor formed by Toronto’s Don Valley. From an abstract perspective, the site is part of the roots of this green system. People always have a special emotional connection with their “roots,” from where they were born to where they start their career. From a design perspective, the concept aims to connect visitors/residents and space through its commercial, residential, and entertainment programs. The experience of visiting evokes people to understand their emotions on the land, green corridors, and the vast Lake Ontario.


Student: JoĂŁo Bicudo My proposal seeks to create a sustainable, human scaled neighborhood where people of all ages and a wide range of incomes are offered opportunity to live, work and play. The outcome is a compact, ordered and unique location, bustling with life. It is a community that balances culture and modernity providing an exclusive experience specific to the city of Toronto.


River Ephemeral Aidan Fudge & Ashley Millar // Course: LARC 6440 Environmental Design Instructor: Robert Corry

Gorrie is a small town located in East Huron County in SouthWest Ontario. The Maitland River bisects the town on its SouthWestern meander towards Lake Huron. For over 150 years the Gorrie Dam has halted the Maitland River and intrinsically altered its course. On June 23rd, 2017, an extremely intense storm dropped 175mm of rainfall up-stream of Gorrie, causing a torrent of water to move down-stream where it collided with the berm and caused a breach which flooded the MVCA grounds and Gorrie Park, causing significant damage to property, buildings and existing vegetation. The Gorrie dam, berm, and mill have been important cultural, and recreational features of Gorrie for a century and a half, and this should not be understated; however, in order to create a resilient and ecologically functioning river course through Gorrie the dam infrastructure must be removed. Ashley Miller, MLA candidate, writes: “Our goal for the site is to improve the ecological function of the Maitland River within the MVCA grounds while providing for resilient recreational opportunities for the citizens of Gorrie and visitors to the area. Our design offers a new way of activating the Maitland River and provides a means of showcasing its dynamic and ephemeral nature. We propose a free flowing, restored river that exhibits great visual interest throughout the changing seasons and variation of hydrological activity. Native plantings, earthworks, and natural river form will not only provide practical solutions for slope stabilization and water quality improvement but will also add to the aesthetic value of the site.” Aiden Fudge, also MLA candidate, continues: “As part of this Environmental Design project we were asked and encouraged to consider a broad range of issues pertaining to our site; there were strong ecological, cultural and recreational concerns pertaining to the failure of the Gorrie dam and the Maitland Valley Conservation Area lands in which the site exists. Added to the complexity of the site and design objectives was our restriction to one chroma for final presentation materials. We decided on blue as we identified the Maitland River as our primary client- by using blue we were able to emphasize the river in our design approach and concept development. It was a challenge, but a rewarding one.”



Revival of the Tom Patterson Theatre Cael Wishart As communities grow and change over time, many landscapes and cultural elements that were once the driving forces of economic growth and social interactions are forgotten and left unkempt. Slowly declining over decades, Stratford’s Tom Patterson Theatre and its surrounding landscape have become an uninviting, unused space with issues of accessibility, safety and activity for its employees and patrons. With Stratford striving to become a leader in tourism in Ontario and North America, the inadequate elements of the existing theatre site limit the potential for such success. The aim of this project is to redesign the site of Tom Patterson Theatre to bring life back to a neglected landscape. This will be done by reflecting on the existing surroundings and Stratford’s culture, and emulating those characteristics through design elements. The organic qualities of the surrounding landscape such as the Avon River influenced the site design. The intent was to contrast the very formal, Shakespearean gardens around Stratford and give the new landscape of the Tom Patterson Theatre its own identity. Supported by a shared street along Lakeside Dr., an outdoor amphitheater, a dock, and many pedestrian walkways through shrubs, wildflowers and grasses, drive this design. The result is a space that can stimulate usage and support the theater’s and the city’s successes.



Xianyu Wellness Chen Zixiang With over 3,000 years of history, Xianyu is shrouded in mythology. Its name, “where immortals’ houses on the hills�, is drawn from this ancient folklore. Surrounded by lush forests, hills, and terraced fields, the 56-hectare site of Xianyu Wellness is a tourist community where design calls to respect the land, embrace the sense of away-ness and follow historical stories and myths. Inspired by its name meaning, Xianyu Wellness invites travellers to reflect on the depth of the site, as well as to explore the surrounding heritage and natural attractions.





Emerald Creek Estates – Stormwater Wetland Luke Elwood Stormwater pond systems have become a norm in today’s landscape. Although they can serve a practical purpose, they have limited benefits to ecological function and water quality. Furthermore, they occupy vital open space within urban areas that are underutilized by the communities they serve. With all of this, there is an opportunity to better use the natural ecology of the landscape to provide services such as water filtration. This project proposes the implementation of constructed wetlands in place of stormwater ponds, allowing for better filtration of pollutants from runoff, while returning clean effluent back into the local hydrological cycle in a natural manner. Along with improving water quality, the site offers a natural space for the surrounding community to enjoy. The site contains two constructed wetlands, both consisting of five ponds and a filter. The system is comprised of a sediment pond, a series of three filtration ponds, an effluent filter, and finally a holding pond where water is returned to the local water course.




Touring the Rock: Wayfinding in St. John’s, NF Victoria FitzGerald St. John’s Newfoundland has become a main tourist destination within the East Coast of Canada. Known for its oceanic views, jellybean houses, colorful characters and historical landmarks, the once seasonal fishing community has evolved into a thriving capital. For tourists however, navigating the unconventional roadways and outports can be a challenging ordeal. To help tourists find their way around this historical district, a wayfinding system was created for downtown St. John’s. Wayfinding refers to information systems that guide people through a physical environment, thereby enhancing their understanding and experience of the space. Wayfinding is particularly important in complexly-built environments such as urban centers, educational campuses, and historical grounds. As the architectural environments become more complicated, people are in need of visual cues such as maps, directions, and symbols to help guide them to their destinations. The proposed signage will create a consistent identity and aesthetic throughout the downtown core while directing tourists to landmarks and businesses within the community. The signs range in contents depending on their location and requirement while offering the same blue palette representing the surrounding ocean, calmness, and stability. Concrete stamps resembling a cod fish have also been placed in and around the community at historical locations with traditional Newfoundland speech to reveal character true to this unique island. The St. John’s wayfinding system is directed primarily at those travelling on foot and offers information, guidance, personality and clarity while moving guests and local residents through the downtown community. Welcome to St. John’s!



Converge Jiwei (Rita) Huang Converge: Mohawk Street - Brantford Landfill Site Reclamation The area of this project encompasses a 72.8 hectares of a landfill site that has been in operation since 1975, and originally was the land of Six Nations. This land was granted by the Crown in 1784. The landfill had buried a tenth century’s indigenous village named Porteous Village. The adjacent Six Nations of the Grand River is the largest Indigenous reserve in Canada; however its reserve area is only about 5 percent of its original granted treaty land. With its rich heritage, the site is a place of significance for First Nations, and especially the Six Nations people that also known as Haudenosaunee. The site has great potential to be a spiritual and gathering place for people of all backgrounds, and to be rehabilitated into a diverse ecological site. The proposed design aims to reflect the traditions and culture of the Haudenosaunee and responds to Ontario’s commitment to reconciliation. The design goal is to create a cultural celebration hub and a destination for local residences and visitors, to integrate institutional, environmental, recreational and commercial land uses, and to celebrate both the rich cultural history of the land and the Grand River ecosystem. “The Edge of the Woods”, a tradition of the Haudenosaunee greeting outsiders to their homeland, is the central idea behind the design. Visitors experience the site by moving from its more public element, the Land Right Park, through the “ritual” of obtaining food and education in the main activity area, and finally to the private woodland teaching and communicating area.



Placing the Displaced Nicola Moffat Current refugee camp models are not able to offer adequate quality of life for residents. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who overlooks majority of refugees, focuses on short term solutions often neglecting the social, cultural and environmental elements that play a key role in the well-being of people. These current models are mathematical and generic in nature, addressing only basic human needs which do keep people alive but often prevent them from living. Looking at refugee camps as settlements, instead of temporary solutions where people are without connection to a community, can begin to mitigate the issue. By changing the way we think about camp setup, we can build an adaptable framework that puts forward for an opportunity to establish a sense of place for residents. The proposed modular solution focuses on providing open spaces (private, semi-private and public) as these are critical areas for social and cultural spheres. These areas offer camp’s residents the ability to change and personalize spaces, to form micro-communities that better suit them and improve their well-being. The proposed design also addresses the lack of long-term planning with an adaptable and sustainable solution that has the ability to be personalized to residents’ unique needs. An access to a framework that accommodates social, cultural and environmental elements would allow the settlement to grow and prosper over several years, if necessary. This affordable, efficient, adaptable and sustainable solution can offer people a chance to establish a sense of place within a space of displacement.




Where are they now? Do you run into Guelph BLA and MLA graduates at all the cool places? We certainly do! Studio V wanted to celebrate the work of Guelph graduates by starting a series of articles that talk about the former students’ work.

Landscape Planning Limited of Richmond Hill, Ontario, employs Christopher Baker and Andrea Graham, both graduates of the BLA program. Since its establishment in 1972, Landscape Planning Limited has been providing comprehensive landscape architectural services to both the public and private sectors throughout southwestern Ontario. The firm’s services include design of parks, trails and specialty sports facilities; playground and waterplay facility design; environmental planning; master planning and community identity; corporate and commercial landscape design; urban and civic landscape architecture; and residential, estate, mid and high-rise development among others. Andrea Graham, BLA 2017: With a great love for the arts and the outdoors, landscape architecture was the perfect career for Andrea. She writes, “My understanding of natural sciences and design motivated me to want to transform spaces and aid in the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. I was attracted by the opportunity to see a process from beginning to end, while working collaboratively with others.” Project: Nestled at the corner of Caledonia Road and Innes Avenue is a small urban parkette to serve community members and the residents of St. Clair Village in Toronto, Ontario. The front gateway sign and unit paved walkway provide a point of entry from Innes Avenue with an addition public access point from Caledonia Road. The park features a unique play opportunity with both sand play and rubber play surfacing to accommodate children of all ages. A water spigot and vertical mister add an extra level of fun for all to enjoy. A decorative shade structure with community game tables serves as a gathering space. Fencing and decorative paneling has been used throughout to ensure the safety and protection of all users. Various seating opportunities such as rubberized seat walls, square cut benches and standard park benches are introduced throughout the park. The use of four season planting provides interest year round.


Christopher Baker, BLA 2010: At Landscape Planning Limited, Chris plays an active role in all facets of project design and development for a wide variety of project types. He has an eye for detail and a strong inclination towards construction detailing and providing contextsensitive solutions. Originally from Alberta, Chris’ love for landscape architecture began when he was working, and playing, at a golf course. That passion only grew stronger when he started working for a landscape construction company embracing a hands-on approach to building and modifying landscapes. Project: Andrew McCandless Park. This community park is located within the City of Brampton and is a component of an open space campus including Huttonville Creek tributary, a future secondary school and an existing heritage property that surrounds the Andrew McCandless heritage farm house. Programmed to include a valley-land naturalization in addition to traditional park features, the park includes, for example, a playground, splash pad, shade structures, pedestrian bridges, a skate park, two multi-purpose courts, parking facilities and LID strategies. As part of the valley-land naturalization portion, the environmental initiatives included wetland creation and riparian zones along the valley corridor with integrated recreational trails.



development in Waterloo, where her works have been displayed in Kitchener Waterloo’s Art Gallery for consecutive years. Her landscape architecture work focuses on harmoniously balancing the ecological needs of a site with the social dimensions of human For the past three years, Tatiana interaction. Similar to developing a roll Zakharova has been pursuing her of film, she believes each step in the Master of Landscape Architecture design process requires patience and degree, a creative education meticulousness with an eye for detail. adventure that concluded with her Emily is currently maintaining multiple thesis investigating environmental gardens across Guelph, and enjoys education and place empathy. Having visiting each property owner personally come to the LA program from a career to understand their needs and in Risk Management, more recently maximize the potential of their outdoor Tatiana has worked with Evergreen space. Previously, Emily was part of Canada as a school ground design Scott Torrance Landscape Architecture, consultant and is looking forward a division of FORREC Ltd, where she to further pursuing her passion for worked on both local and international design for children, participatory projects. design and play theory. Tatiana resides in Guelph with her family, Mike Hukezalie has a multi-faceted dog and ever-expanding vegetable background and many interests which garden. he brings to the editorial board. A

lover of outdoor adventure, the natural world, construction, and all things Emily Bowerman is a graduate of design, he is never at a stand-still. Prior the BLA program at the UofG. She is to attending the University of Guelph, an opportunist with a strong passion Mike received a diploma in art and for design and travel. She is interested design from Central Saint Martins in in adaptable infrastructure and the London UK. In 2017, Mike and his team ways communities can embrace and won the first place prize for a quarry work with natural processes. During rehabilitation design. The same year, her time spent in New Zealand on Mike completed a design internship exchange, she was afforded several at NAK Design Strategies in Toronto. unique opportunities to work in the A private pilot, he sees landscapes field with Landscape Architects. from above, using this vantage point Her participation in cross-section, as an inspiration in his designs. Having a student-run journal at Unitec, lived in rural and intensely urban sparked her inspiration for SV. She environments, Mike learned first-hand is now studying Rural Planning and to appreciate the connection between Development under the supervision of people, places and nature. Dr. Sheri Longboat. And if she isn’t in studio you can find Chen Zixiang was born in Hunan, her running around in circles… China, and was drawn early on to the

Emily Dixon is passionately

curious about the way people interact with nature. Before entering the BLA program, Emily practiced film


fine arts, both sculpture and Chinese painting. He spent a year studying architecture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in China before coming to the University of Guelph. Chen accredits

his cultural background and fine art experience as strong influences in his work in the landscape architecture profession. He has spent the last three summers, as well as a co-op semester, working at various landscape architecture firms including Forrec Ltd. where his duties included preparing construction documents and concept design. Chen brings an artistic and critical eye to the team.

Marie Tina Asoh, known as

Tina, completed her fourth year of the Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Guelph. While in school, she spent eight months on exchange in the Netherlands at Wageningen University, and hopes to return one day for her Masters degree. When she is not involved in school, Tina can be found djing at local bars, writing poetry, or planning her next trip. Tina’s interest in graphic and web design fueled her interest in the position of Production Editor for the journal.

Professor Nathan Perkins is the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and faculty advisor for Studio V. Nate’s interests are eclectic and ever-changing, but, professionally, he has a longstanding commitment to understanding and serving the disadvantaged and under-represented. This includes research, design and community service for hospital patients, school children, abused and neglected animals and the poor. Nate has a BLA and MLA from the University of Illinois and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. He has been at Guelph since 1990 (before many of the Studio V team were born) and although old and creaky still pursues flying his gyroplane, Stella II, playing with his Yellow Labs, Mr. Boags and Brüne Hilda, and working his modest garden at home.


SV 72

Studio V journal - 2017/2018  

Studio V is a student journal of Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph. SV aims to support, stimulate and showcase excellence i...

Studio V journal - 2017/2018  

Studio V is a student journal of Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph. SV aims to support, stimulate and showcase excellence i...