Page 1

UW//LA issue#1

S.O.W. Speaking Of Which

department of landscape architecture college of built environments university of washington

Š 2016 Department of Landscape Architecture College of Built Environments University of Washington

table of contents



study abroad




500 studios


300 studios


independent work




1 | foreword

foreword sowing success Design education is much like sowing seeds. One prepares the soil, plants the seeds, and provides nutrients and water – giving the plants and plant community what they need to grow and thrive - and eventually disperse their own seeds into the world. Like tending a seed to maturity, once our students graduate from the program, they have what they need to begin their different career trajectories in the landscape architecture profession.

partnership with the Scan|Design Foundation, MLA students participate in the Scan|Design Travel Program to Denmark. Opportunities are also available for students to study abroad through the Valle Scholarship and Scandinavia Exchange Program. Students may also join UW Exploration Seminars that take students from a range of disciplines to explore remote places in Africa, Asia, South America, and beyond.

At the University of Washington, we take sowing seriously, both literally and figuratively. It begins with the diversity of our student body, building a program with a mix of students from multiple backgrounds, ranging from humanities and fine art to social and natural sciences, and from around the world, with a healthy mix of domestic and international students. This stringent but broad selection process builds a community that provides students diverse cultural and disciplinary perspectives to learn from.

In their final year of study, BLA students participate in the Design/Build capstone program—a two-quarter process that takes students from community outreach and design concepts to construction documentation and construction of the project on site; MLA students have options for participating in a two-quarter long capstone studio, or pursuing individual theses or group projects, which this year range from urban archaeology in Seattle’s University District to a children’s refuge near Nairobi, Kenya.

Next, students navigate rigorous course work that takes advantage of our location in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest region. The Pacific Northwest is one of the most environmentally and socially progressive regions in the country, our location offers a rich array of design case studies and built projects for hands-on learning. In studios and other courses, students and faculty work with city agencies, community organizations, and practitioners on projects ranging from conceptual exploration to design implementation, some projects culminating in physical construction projects “in the dirt”. Beyond the Pacific Northwest, we offer opportunities for students to participate in design/build or field design projects in Cambodia, Croatia, Italy, and Peru. Through

This publication presents work from our students who took advantage of all the options and opportunities offered through our program and more, exploring other programs on campus, from digital art to global health. The landscape architecture program at University of Washington prepares the soil, sows seeds of experience and theory, and ultimately watches their students thrive and grow, dispersing their own ideas, and the values of the program, across a global discipline. As our students graduate from the University of Washington, it is our hope that they will begin to sow seeds of their own, impacting the profession and the design culture in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. - Jeffrey Hou, PhD, ASLA, Professor & Chair

study abroad

The field of landscape architecture increasingly requires cross-cultural knowledge and international perspectives in the face of growing cultural diversity and transnational flow of people and ideas. Study abroad programs at UW enable students to acquire critical skills in working with diverse cultures and geographical contexts. The department’s curriculum supports international exchange through programs abroad and collaboration with partner institutions overseas. Past and current programs include design/build studios in Bosnia, Cambodia, Croatia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru, summer field studios in Asia, quarter-long programs in Rome, and field trips to Denmark and Japan. The following projects present work from the Summer 2015 Valle Scholar Program in Scandinavia and projects from the Autumn 2015 Rome Studio focused on the Tiber River as an urban waterbody and a cultural icon of the past, present and future.

study abroad


of Scandinavia - a journey in watercolor JENNIE LI, MLA In 2015 the Valle Foundation funded Jennie’s proposal to study urban agricultural projects in Scandinavia for the summer season. Jennie documented the alternative agricultural landscapes she encountered with plein air watercolors.

Herligheten Allotment Gardens, Oslo, Norway. This community allotment garden, with over 100 beds, is a small pedestrian island within the middle of a construction zone along the waterfront development area Bjørvika.

The culmination of Jennie’s studies in Scandinavia examined the diverse and comprehensive urban agricultural practices in Scandinavian countries.

5 | study abroad

Vintervikens Trädgård Community Garden and Cafe, Stockholm, Sweden. A community urban agricultural space, Vintervikens acts as a setting for a very successful outdoor café. This model of attaching a business to a community garden is more common in Stockholm as a way of sustaining each organization.


of Scandinavia - a journey in watercolor JENNIE LI, MLA, YEAR III


7 | study abroad

Ă˜sterGro Rooftop Farm, Copenhagen, Denmark A rooftop farm located on top of an old car auction building that operates on a 40 member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) weekly pick-up box model. Ă˜sterGro captures its own water for irrigation.and mixes recycled brick roof tiles into its soil to lighten the load on the roof and aid water retention.


urban connections to the tiber river 507 asks students to develop precedent studies as a means to explore the area where environmental design and art begin to merge. This course asked students to consider the meaning of their actions, how they reflect their own and often the communities’ values, and how each action

EVAN BOYD, MLA The Tevere, also known as the Tiber River, was the focus of our study abroad program in Rome, Italy. Each evening, starlings fly in mesmerizing formations above the Tiber before they settle in the trees.This quick charcoal sketch was made standing on the Ponte Sisto, looking over the Tiber.

is carefully considered as a part of the whole. The projects in this studio are typically based on the competition model and the students are expected to structure their proposals with that in mind.

9 | study abroad

KATIE POPPEL, MLA/MUP past | present | future : ex Mira Lanza (Rome, Italy) overlay of (multiple) plans from the 19th Century. Stretched canvas, gel medium, and inkjet print. At the neighborhood scale, the ex-Mira Lanza industrial site is part of a larger system. ExMira Lanza deepens the conceptual framework of post-industrial spaces adapting to a new mix of land uses; these sites focus on creating more space for the surrounding community residents and businesses. By imprinting the historic building footprints onto the site in their prior locations, ex Mira Lanza can be adapted for civic use, while the historic character is not abandoned.

REBECCA CHRISTY, MLA The plan view drawing shows the site of the proposed Museum of the Tevere, and focuses on the working river in the industrial neighborhood of Trastevere. The exhibits within the museum highlight the history of the Tevere as both an industrial water body and also acknowledges the flooding events, which continually shaped the urban fabric of the city.

11 | study abroad

The building section (bottom) features the Museum of the Tevere with a courtyard for visitors that blends interior and exterior spaces. The underground cistern holds and transfers stormwater from the adjacent boulevard to the stormwater terrace system (top).

design/build In this program students are asked to consider design through the “application of building” and adapt their designs based on actual experience and scale. Students develop a balance between the conceptualizing and the making of their design and gain an understanding of the design process as circular, from idea, to building and back to idea. The 2016 design/build studio created and constructed a therapeutic garden for veterans and their loved ones, visitors, and staff at the Puget Sound Veterans Administration Hospital (VA). This vulnerable population is incredibly diverse and complex in age, cultural background, and combat experiences. In addition to research that informed our design, we collaborated with occupational therapy students from Michigan, held interactive participatory sessions with stakeholders and community members at the VA, and listened to their stories through conversation and historic letters. Design Goals: 1. Provide opportunities for reflection, relaxation, and mental restoration 2. Provide a safe and comfortable place to get away and be alone 3. Provide opportunities for therapy (horticultural, physical, psychological) 4. Provide opportunities to socialize 5. Foster a sense of belonging

Phase I: Stakeholder Meeting Concept Development Schematic Design Phase II: Synthesis + Development of Design Elements Final Design Graphics Construction Documents Phase III: Construction

In Phase I, the class split into 6 teams to come up with concepts and different schematic designs for the garden. In Phase II, our class came together to work on a single design with the Synthesis Team leading and small groups working on different elements. The final design combined the concept and elements of two of the six original concepts; the ‘Earth & Sky’ concept with the forms of the Inside-Out’ concept. The design portion took 10 weeks and construction of the project took 9 weeks, the whole project spanning two quarters.



puget sound veterans administration hospital courtyard The 2016 design/build studio created and constructed a therapeutic garden for veterans and their loved ones, visitors, and staff at the Puget Sound Veterans Administration Hospital (VA). This vulnerable population is incredibly diverse and complex in age, cultural background, and combat experiences. In addition to research to inform

our design, we collaborated with occupational therapy students from Michigan, held interactive participatory sessions with stakeholders and community members at the VA, and listened to their stories through conversation and historic letters.

A final vignette for the project, by BLA Lyna Nget, illustrates the intended lush feel of the plantings - as well as the seating and walking opportunities provided by the design. Screens and seating are strategically placed in the spaces to provide optimal opportunities for outdoor respite.

15 | design/build independent work

An early conceptual sketch by BLA Lyna Nget, shows the different feelings and experiences provided by the ‘Sky Room’ concept. The ‘Sky Room’ is about openness, lightness and directing one’s view to the sky, which lends itself to a sense of escape, respite from one’s surroundings.

ABOVE: Early conceptual diagram of ‘Earth & Sky’ layout by Lyna Nget - showing circulation, planting, therapeutic use and visibility. RIGHT: On site construction process. These three photos show the construction process (all work done by the student design teams) going through the initial grading and placement of concrete and metal elements followed by hard-scaping and finally planting.

17 | design/build

PHOTOS: Post-construction photos show two views of the ‘Earth Room’ - during the planting process (top) and after planting was completed (bottom). The ‘Sky Room’ is also shown (bottom, left). SKETCHES: quick generative sketches illustrate the feelings intended by each room ‘Earth’ (bottom) by Colleen Brennan and ‘Sky’ (top) by Yae Lee.

graduate studios The graduate studios at UW provide students with opportunities to work with diverse urban communities, civic organizations, and public agencies on projects ranging from community gardens to waterfront public space. The sequence of graduate studios begins with the Ecological Urbanism Studio that explores the integration of ecological design and urban public realm. This is typically followed by the Design Activism Studio, which for the past five years has focused on developing community infrastructure in the informal settlement of Lomas de Zapallal in Lima, Peru, with projects ranging from the design of school grounds to development and installation of fog collectors to supply the community with a consistent fresh water supply. Other studio options include the Art & Landscape Studio, the Landscape Urbanism Studio, and the Urban Agriculture Studio, focusing on design for urban food production and community gardening. Each of these studios focuses on an integral aspect of contemporary landscape architecture practice, ranging in scale from community garden details to city scale green stormwater infrastructure.

While the themes and focuses of each studio differs, the overarching goals are the same - to train students as designers that utilize the landscape to mitigate some of the worlds most pressing issues - climate change, poverty, food security, urban health and human connections to nature.

500 studios


urban islands + archipelagos THE VESSEL: Of Other Public This 507 studioSpaces. married theFor practices of art,Places. architecture, “There is probably not a single culture in the world that fails to constitute and landscape architecture. The project site, Elliot Bay in heterotopias.” - Michel Foucault connection to Seattle’s water network, was studied for its The objective of this island is to embody the principles of Michel Foucault’s phenomena, relationships, and systems. Students designed heterotopia. Then, using those qualities, to engage Seattle neighborhoods art islands to within, and respond to, the project site. in the conversationexist on environmental equity. The objective was to “craft forms and places that work with A society, as its history unfolds, can make an existing heterotopia function in a very different fashion.

The heterotopia is capable of juxtaposing in a single real place several spaces that are in themselves incompatible.

Grayson Durant Morris Art + Landscape Autumn 2015

natural forces to register and amplify their capacities, provoke wonder, and assert a moral imperative.” Student work was expected to “employ fluid boundaries between science and art, natural and synthetic, cultural and wild, real and imagined.” -Laura Haddad, Artist and Lecturer

21 | 507 studio

GRAYSON MORRIS, MLA THE VESSEL: Of Other Spaces. For Public Places. The objective of this island was to embody the principles of Michel Foucault’s heterotopia. Then, using those qualities, to engage Seattle’s neighborhoods in the conversation on environmental equity. Docking locations and docking frequency of this public landscape are determined by Seattle residents. Votes and public comments are translated into information for future open space planning. The intent being to raise awareness of environmetnal inequities. Wherever the island docks, it immediately provides needed public space in the form of a gently responsive floating plaza.

BRITTON SHEPARD, MLA Echoing spoils barges traditionally used on Elliott Bay, the deck of this repurposed barge is a walkable interface where visitors can see and touch the rocks, gravel and artifacts beneath a city continuously remaking itself. It allows for the reading of one story above, and another below. The underground library is a heterotopia where users experience landscape as text to be read, giving voice to stories of the past.

RHYS VAN BEMMEL, MLA Axonometric detail of the wave energy generation mechanism aboard Kinetic Surge. Arms rock with waves powering electric generating cranks and illuminating small lights at the crest of each arm. In this way Kinetic Surge not only collects and stores electricity gathered from Puget Sound, it also respond to changes in weather, creating a multisensory experience.

23 | 507 studio

ROXANNE ROBLES, MLA Critical Phenomena is a critique of environmental phenomena, and a phenomenon in itself. The barge is pulled by mule, rather than dieselfueled tugboats, to places on the Duwamish with the highest amount of air pollution. Its presence provides a place of respite from poor air quality, as well as a signal to residents that air quality is harmful.


mitigating urban problems through landscape 504 is the application of landscape ecological theory to the design of urban environments. Areas of focus for this studio included the strategic design of critical urban infrastructure and an understanding of the cumulative performance of urban sites. The overarching goal was to utilize systemsbased landscape architecture as a way to develop functional


and enjoyable civic spaces that would help mitigate urban problems such as stormwater flooding, urban heat island effect, depleted wildlife habitat, and degraded environmental health. The scale moved from the seasonal transformations across the city, down to the site and it’s associated daily human experience.

25 | 504 studio

Problem Intervention Phase


6” SLR

Hydrophyllic City aims to transform Olympia into a storm resilient community over time through phases of interventions that address a projected increase of stormwater. This design proposes significant infrastructural solutions such as: a berm with floating wetland habitat, consolidated CSO network, and a pervasive water storage network. Far left: Berm with recreation, habitat, storage, and protection. Left: Phasing diagram. Below: Sketch laid over a photo of the existing conditions model.

15-20 years



24” SLR

40-50 years



50” SLR

70-85 years Deep Flooding


Green Blocks

Green Streets

Berm + Access

CSO Network


addressing urban issues through community engagement 503 is a service-learning studio with emphasis on the role of design in community building and placemaking in urban neighborhoods. Exploration of the social, economic, political and physical dimensions of urban design is encouraged through projects focused on real issues facing

BRITTON SHEPARD, MLA Community ideas for the new Jackson Park P-Patch reflect traditional solutions found in allotment gardens across cultures. The instinct to organize and enrich garden spaces is a universal aesthetic, and became the central theme for this design.

community spaces in dense urban areas. The community design studios focus on the participation of the project site’s users and stakeholders. The needs and desires of those who directly use the site are the impetus for student design proposals.

27 | 503 studio

JAMES WOHLERS, MLA Jackson Park P-Patch, North Seattle. Left: Section of P-Patch from street entrance to proposed canopy walk, highlighting gathering space and fire pit in between. Below: Aerial of P-Patch highlighting key design elements. Creek and forest intermingle with the city street to frame the P-Patch and the gardeners within. These tranquil surroundings set within an urban context inspired the design for the garden.


human & ecological health in Iquitos, Peru. Using evidence-based-design techniques and interdisciplinary research across global health, ecology, environmental psychology, and other fields, students examine the intertwined relationship between humans and environmental health. The objective is to design

low-cost, culturally mindful landscape interventions, while exploring the potential of landscape architecture to act as preventive medicine, ecological restoration and community resilience.

29 | 502 studio

SHUYI GAO, MLA & FANG YUAN, MLA This project focused on a floating community in Iquitos, Peru. The objective was to improve upon existing infrastructural systems to address human, environmental, and ecological health issues. Design elements include a covered walkway, agriculture, aquaculture, human waste collection, and lighting network.


ecosystem services in public space The Gehl Studio traditionally adopts a theme inspired by Scandinavian design practices and has covered issues as diverse as urban agriculture, urban play, and public waterfronts. Each year the studio is focused on generating comprehensive design schemes aimed at offering critical interventions and unique amenities to a site in Seattle.

KASIA KEELEY, MLA The Washington Hall Plaza is the Northeast entrance to Harvest Park and was designed as an informal outdoor amphitheater that marries the ground plane plaza with the adjacent community buildings. An ADA accessible pathway navigates through abstract concrete prisms and table-like plinths that serve as places to sit, scramble, and send water to planters.

With generous support from the Scan|Design Foundation, the studio involves two weeks of study abroad in Denmark and Sweden. Traveling around cities by bicycle, students soak in urban design lessons from practitioners such as Gehl Architects, COBE and Schønherr, and many others.

31 | 501 studio

JESS HAMILTON, MLA This interdisciplinary group project explored community building and accessibility in the context of affordable intergenerational housing. The courtyard was developed around the concept of actively growing together.

SHUYI GAO, MLA with Emily Darling, MARCH and Melanie Hess, MLA Adjacent to Bailey Gatzert Elementary School, at the nexus of several diverse urban communities, the “Coop� has the opportunity to meet a variety of community needs as a community commons.

33 | 501 studio

foundation studios The Foundation Studios provide BLAs and MLAs with the basic skills in design conceptualization, development, and understanding of social factors, natural processes, forms, composition and aesthetic in urban ecological design. Students move through a sequence of assignments and projects that explore design in different site contexts and scales, working with different representation methods, media and materials. These studios are intended to create a strong foundation for landscape design in order for students to move forward into more detailed design scenarios in the design/build for BLAs and the 500 studios and theses for MLA students. In addition to fostering critical design skills, these studios also set a standard for the high level of quality and the large quantity of design work expected throughout the program. Learning skills that contribute to good design such as iteration, time management and team work are also founded in 300 level studios.

300 studios


foundations studio

The last 300 level studio required, 303, brings together contemporary ecological theory and landscape design theory to develop a process�based foundation for design at both the site and the landscape scale. Students

explore ecology as a science, a representation, a philosophy, and a design strategy. This studio generally focuses on a real design project in the Seattle area, teaching students about local ecological systems and relationships.



Algae decay leads to drop in oxygen levels, forcing Daphnia to produce more hemoglobin to breathe

-Eukaryotic organisms that photosynthesize to acquire energy -Bloom period: May-Sept. -Temperature tolerance: o o 60.8-80.6 F -Wide variety of forms

O2 O2





O2 SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE LIFE CYCLE (during not so ideal conditions)


44.6 F Release of Spores


45.5 F


48.2 F



58.1o F

71.6 F

64.4 F

o 73.4 F


69.8 o F

58.1 F



47.3 F

51.8 F


45.3 F

5 FT


Asexual reproduction (cloning) during algae bloom season = All females


Drop in temperature and decreasing food source = Sexual reproduction to create eggs to survive till next season


-Small planktonic DAPHNIA PULEX crustaceans that prey

mainly on algae and bacteria -Common Peak Periods: May and June -Optimal Temperature: o o 64-72 F -Translucent body, 1-5mm long

Daphnia eggs lie dormant until ideal temperature conditions permit hatching





+ 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s




58 57 o 56o 55 o 54o 53o 52o

250 240 230 220 210 200 190 180


= 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s



JACQUELINE KIM, BLA This exercise gave us the opportunity to explore and analyze the relationship between two organisms. Seasonal changes, temperature, water depth, and light are a few factors that affect the co-dependent life cycles daphnia and green algae.


16 12 8











37 | 303 studio

KASIA KEELEY, MLA This plant palette for Meadowbrook Park looks at the flood tolerance of different plants as well their ability to either remove pollutants or provide food.

KASIA KEELEY, MLA The design for Meadowbrook park addressed a flooding and polluted river adjacent to the elementary school with selective hardscaping to channel stormwater to phytoremediary plantings and serve as a skatable pathway for neighboring students. (Plant palette, previous page)

39 | 303 studio

ARUM CHO, BLA Conflicting cultures of old Ballard, the maritime industry and new urbanites are reconciled in this culutral landscape project. An urban park was designed with aspects of Scandinavian mythology and folklore as a common core. These plants will bloom into the colors of Scandinavia in summer to celebrate the cultures that created Ballard.


foundations studio

302 is the second of the first-year studio sequence, structured to further explore and refine the foundational design skills that are essential in landscape architecture. This studio builds upon the skills acquired in the students’ first studio and introduces new skills and challenges


to help address the complexities of ecological and sociological design in the urban setting. This studio generally focuses on a complex urban site - weaving together political influences, infrastructure, social equity and health related issues as related to landscape.

41 | 302 studio

APRIL MULCAHY, BLA The entrance design for the VA hospital in Seattle provides a welcoming and ecologically-sound gateway to the center. Low mounds of flowing grasses permit views of the Puget Sound, the rain swale provides stormwater infiltration, and a niche for wildlife (left). The inner courtyard contains a large waterfall to mask the sounds of the ventilation fans. A minimalist plant palate of green and white creates a soothing atmosphere for healing and meditation (right).

JENI CHAN, MLA A reimagination of a contentious space under the viaduct that involves keeping the structural beams as a historic remnant while opening the site to the sky for a more welcoming space.

43 | 302 studio

JEAN NI, MLA Form is guided by a dual focus on biomass filtration and channeling of stormwater through the tunnel. A solid triangle above represents opening to the sky plane, while below, a dotted triangle represents a functional overlay on the ground plane. The quick vignette (bottom) illustrates the opportunity to create a dynamic and visually striking waterfall entrance to the tunnel and site.


45 | 302 studio





KEVIN VAN METER, MLA Left: An elevated park on a converted viaduct gives access to new perspectives on the city while connecting a rapidly developing neighborhood to Seattle’s waterfront. Right: An interactive memorial wall at the Puget Sound VA invites long-term patients to honor a loved one with a planting or a memento. The wall grows and transforms as patients come and go. Connecting to the wall facilitates patients’ sense of place and recovery.

JEAN NI, MLA Belltown site concept illustrates vibrant activity at the mouth of Battery Street Tunnel and syncopated meadow planting plan that extends beyond entrance.

47 | 302 studio

MARGOT CHALMERS, MLA The viaduct in Belltown is transformed into a planted pedestrian pathway connecting the Battery Street tunnel with Pike Place Market, featuring spectacular ocean views along the way. The archway forms help shape visitors’ views down the walkway, spaced so as to not impede views to the ocean.

MONICA TAYLOR , MLA + NICKY BLOOM, MLA Site Plan Reimagining automobile infrastructure as human and ecological space.

49 | 302 studio

MONICA TAYLOR , MLA + NICKY BLOOM, MLA This perspective peers out from an enclosed stretch of a proposed Battery Street tunnel park towards an uncapped, open, stormwater collection garden. A wooden pathway and stepping stones made from debris from the former tunnel lid provide exploration space for people walking through the tunnel, and the planted space provides muchneeded habitat within the most densely populated neighborhood in Seattle.


introduction to landscape architecture 301 serves as the first foundation studio (in a sequence of three) for both graduate and undergraduate students. Design thinking is taught through small scale exercises which culminate in a site design project that is typically done in groups. The goal for the studio is to cultivate


the translation of conceptual thinking and conveying intention through graphics that support mindful design interventions. This studio represents many students’ first foray into landscape representation and design. This studio tends to produce unique, often experimental, graphics and designs.

51 | 301 studio

JEAN NI, MLA Left: Exploration of trajectory along a line in section, Ravenna Park. Ink staining represents moisture in the ground plane as well as phenomenological qualities of humidity in the atmosphere. Right: Section across a site with vertical planting plan overlay. The placement indicates time of year and duration that each plant blooms or displays seasonal color. Ink staining shows moisture levels in the earth along section, one factor used to guide plant species locations.

ANGIE OH, BLA In order to merge the segregated industrial corridor of Shilshole Avenue, with Ballard’s historical identity and culture, four concepts are suggested: Celebration of Scandinavian and Nordic Culture, Fishing Culture, the Linkage of the Missing Burke Gilman Trail, and Application of Ecological function.

53 | 301 studio

MARGOT CHALMERS, MLA The piece illustrates an experiential “trajectory” across Ravenna park. The piece was created in layers; first, experiential trajectory “barriers” were identified and illustrated with pencil marks; second, sight lines were drawn to illustrate possibility, openness, and enclosure. Finally, ink was demonstrates wet and dry patches on site. The piece captures the site’s misty, boggy, and muddy feel.

NICKY BLOOM,, MLA These models explore the process of flow, specifically how humans, water, and organic forest debris flow down and through Ravenna Creek ravine. These were test models to play with how different spatial interventions interact with and alter those flows.

55 | 301 studio

SIERRA MILLS-DRULEY, MLA “Site as Palimpsest” de-stabilizes an occupant’s relationship to the site by extracting and concentrating natural processes that extend into deep time. The project explores the impact of the vanished old growth trees to reveal the structural and phenomenological possibilities of their continued presence within or “haunting” of the site. Playing with relationships of growth and decay, mass and void, being and nonbeing, the project disrupts a user’s experience in the park, confronting a deeper, morethan-human story of place.

APRIL MULCAHY, BLA This is an abstraction of Ravenna Creek, based on the idea that you never step into the same river twice. The water flows out of the ground and down the slopes of the ravine gathering and weaving to form the creek.

57 | 301 studio

JEAN NI, MLA Site and planting plan for a nursery “landscape performance” within Ravenna Park . Grouped plantings along a trajectory form “rooms” that shape various phenomenological experiences. Themes include precariousness, enchantment, discomfort, lushness, monochromaticity. Breaks along planting lines allow preservation of existing trees. Ink staining highlights ground-level moisture within site bounds - beginning with a stream and wetland area near the bottom, fading toward drier areas uphill.

independent work

This selection of independent work represents a sliver of the broad array of work students do for classes outside landscape architure studios. These projects range from species relationship studies to art to masters theses. Independent work represents both physical and ephemeral thinking - engaging the designer and the landscape in new ways from different perspectives - sculptural, scientific, tactile and exploratory.

independent work

JEAN NI, MLA ADVENTURESCAPE, CAVE EXPLORATIONS: Visualizing a 6x6� textured plaster mold as a landscape in itself, spaces are created through subtractive and additive interventions. A measuring device was then created in order to accurately measure and draw successive sections.

55 | independent work JESS HAMILTON, MLA


MARGOT CHALMERS, MLA ENCLOSURE + EMERGENCE: This sketch model investigated ideas of enclosure and emergence through both spatial design and materiality. The goal was to create an object that expressed these qualities simultaneously.

577 | independent

SITE 1121

revealing the splendor of the ordinary

BRITTON SHEPARD, MLA Revealing the Splendor of the Ordinary: Site 1121 was a temporary landscape art installation in the University District that brought students, local artists, volunteers, and community activists together in a site exploration that made a closed site accessible to the public imagination.

Working with What We’ve Got Reflections on the Rust Belt KASIA KEELEY / MLA / YEAR II Embedded in flagrant mass consumption and

a rust belt city regain ownership of vacant properties and

rapid production of waste our landscape is being

redevelop the city’s self-image through diverse landscape

impacted in significant and irreparable ways. Coupled

renovations. The rehabilitation did not come from big

with unprecedented increases in population and

business but grass roots farms, artwork installations,

energy consumption, it is difficult to look at our global

and subsequent cafes, shops and community gathering

environment and not see an overwhelming accumulation

spaces. These landscape alterations started small but

of significant changes. Landscape architecture’s multi-

grew to eventually create a new identity and improve

faceted approach and focus lends itself to addressing any

the atmosphere for the two neighborhoods. They have

one of the above issues with the best projects being those that can successfully

“I wanted to step away from being a single operative and begin understanding and initiating community-wide progress.”

address many.

continued to flourish and are evidence to the fact that landscapes can inspire positive

The field must continue to look beyond just designing

growth when people regularly have the opportunity to

beautiful spaces and also focus not on creating simulacra

interact with interesting and progressive spaces. Resident

of functioning natural or social systems but environments

action resulted in better healthy food access, more green

that actually nurture a greater ecological good. LA

space, more creative environments, and more community

must address these above issues while simultaneously

engagement which each offered a host of benefits beyond

focusing its lens on its moral obligation to assist those

their immediate value. Well thought-out spaces have the

environments and populations that have been most

opportunity to provide indiscriminate access to nature;

jeopardized by previous uses.

reduction in environmental pollutants; a supply of natural

My interest in landscape architecture stemmed

from the very specific experience of watching citizens of

resources; and resilience against natural disasters. Wanting to make a similar contribution within other post-industrial towns and underserved communities

independent | 59

inspired my shift in focus from fine arts and agriculture to

of life is within the realm of possibility for landscape

landscape architecture. I wanted to step away from being


a single operative and begin understanding and initiating community-wide progress.

Primarily, my focus has been set on urban

Unfortunately, a common deterrent to action

in the face of obvious need is that post-industrial sites are expensive to rehabilitate using traditional

landscapes that have been degraded, polluted, and

methods and rarely hold a profit for developers. A study

abandoned. These spaces are neglected – if not also seen

conducted by the City of Portland, Portland Development

as a threat – and the communities that surround them

Commission in 2004 compared four different types of

often experience a deficit of resources. Furthermore,

development on different brownfield and greenfield

polluted sites are disproportionately located within

sites, and concluded that the brownfield sites were

minority neighborhoods and jeopardize communities that

always, in total, more expensive to develop upon. This is

are already considered at risk. A multitude of studies

in large part due to the additional costs of cleaning the

exist that equate proximity to brownfields and vacant lots

site before development can occur. These high costs

with a number of health risks such as: increased likelihood

often deter investment but when a polluted site is still

of exposure to pollutants and chemicals; decreased

seen as worth developing upon, this too can come with

access to food and low rates of food security; increased

a host of negative repercussions. Redevelopment for

rates of diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. These

industrial purposes can re-introduce more pollutants.

issues are difficult to address and need to be approached

Redevelopment for commercial use can begin a process

from a number of angles. However, addressing the

of gentrification and cause displacement of communities

polluted spaces that are perpetuating a decline in quality

due to steep increases in property values. In total,

post-industrial sites are very socially, economically, and ecologically complicated.

architecture, preservation, and ecology that is focused on the reuse of previously developed spaces through small-scale community action. These range in scope from harvested land to old houses to small-scale former industrial or commercial landscapes. In rehabilitating smaller neglected properties, there is a great opportunity to create a sum much greater than its parts through the use of alternative, community-driven methods. This is, characteristically, a low-cost and creative solution, and speaks to resource conservation in the face of everIt works with land that has already been developed

Adjusting the perspective of design to focus

more intently on ecological accountability also places an

There is a niche, however, within landscape

increasing urban densities.

interesting emphasis on the temporal and landscapes of flux. Although time is an innate quality to environment, the necessity of landscape architects to design for unprecedented shifts in environmental/ecological change has added a layer to design that demands a greater amount of scientific accountability. Landscape architecture has expanded from collaboration with structural engineers and architects to include those in biology, hydrology, and other environmental sciences as well. In expanding the conversation, we expand our opportunities. Public spaces are serious players in

“The public should not be blind to this either.�

rather than expanding the urban footprint and utilizes momentum of community efforts to push projects forward. Even with small-scale interventions, communitybased urban redevelopment can have a powerful affect

developing community resilience. Through application of scientific measures these spaces can offer greater protection

for the community in the wake of increasingly dramatic ecological events.

The public should not be blind to this either. Even

on residents’ qualities of life. It can also be the driving

if the user is not directly involved in the shaping of these

force for large-scale redevelopment that is controlled

environments, they should still have the opportunity to

by the community instead of enacted upon it. With

experience the benefit of understanding how a space

the mounting strain on resources, urban landscapes

is working with nature. Although immediate enjoyment

need to step up the complexity by which they address

of the space may be the primary goal, knowing more

development and integrate polluted spaces into their field

about the place one experiences on a daily basis creates

of vision. Expanding the focus in this direction has the

a deep bond with the user. Consequently, this bond

opportunity to not just impact an individual environmental

creates respect, pride, and stewardship. Likewise, while

condition but to create a new perspective on how we

providing this level of scientific scrutiny to a site may

address our global condition.

seem to completely undermine the visual and aesthetic

independent | 61 experience, instead, it should used as a means of

focused on the quickest action and most profitable

shaping design decisions. There is a beauty to an honest

yield has resulted in a deficit of resources, health and

landscape that admits its fabrication and utility while still

environmental risks, and deters positive future growth.

remaining on the human scale. There are opportunities

Landscape architecture has the opportunity to re-engage

to create spaces that are surreal or appear unnatural

these properties and shift their perception from a liability

and can captivate users while still celebrating ecological

to an asset. With an infinite number of possible solutions,

function. These ideas are echoed in Elizabeth Meyer’s

what is important is a considerate, collaborative approach

“Sustaining Beauty, the Performance of Appearance: A

that inspires a better quality of life.

Manifesto in Three Parts”, which also recognizes that there is an opportunity for landscape architects to not cover up the ecological processes within a site but to engage users in a discussion about their surrounding environments. In starting this discussion on a local scale, it can encourage people to look at the global condition and better understand the forces at work. It also holds the chance to push for new norms of what is accepted

1. Landrigan, P., Rauh, V., Galvez, M., (2010). “Environmental Justice and the Health of Children.” Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, 77:178-187 2. Campbell, Julia N.M. New Urbanism and Brownfields

as beautiful or interesting. We are living within a world

Redevelopment: Complications and Public Health

that has been radically altered by industrialization, and

Benefits of Brownfield Reuse as a Community Garden.

urban landscape design can now shift the heavy hand of

Diss. Georgia State U, 2012. Atlanta: Scholarworks @

development towards the positive. Spaces can be shaped

Georgia State U, 2012. Scholarworks. Web. 12 Oct.

for optimal performance and enjoyment and, in turn,

2015. <

inspire a sense of appreciation for the location and nature


as a whole.

There is a sense of urgency and necessity of

3. USA. City of Portland. Portland Development Commission.Brownfield/Greenfield Development Cost

action within all scales of ecology and urban development

Comparison Study. Portland: Port of Portland, 2004.

that is at once overwhelming and inspiring. Landscape

Executive Summary. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://www.

architecture is ideally situated to respond thoroughly

and thoughtfully to these ecological and social needs


across a range of scales with specific focus on those communities who are most underserved or limited by their environments. Previous development of properties

4. Meyer, E. 2008. “Sustaining Beauty, the Performance of Appearance: A Manifesto in Three Parts.” Journal of Landscape Architecture, 5(1), 6-23

Joe Mabel and Wikimedia Commons

The continuously growing Danny Woo International

Danny Woo Garden emerged as a way to

District Community Garden is an exceptional example of a

accommodate the physical and social health of many

modernist landscape. It was built with modern intentions,

elderly immigrants who lived in the area. It is both a

responding to and accommodating its target users. The

symbol and an everyday embodiment of efforts to rebuild

modern idea that â&#x20AC;&#x153;gardens are for people,â&#x20AC;? as advocated

the historic ethnic community. The garden was designed

by Thomas Church, is the fundamental principle behind

in 1975 by Dan Rounds and is currently managed by the

the creation of Danny Woo Garden and allows it to exist

Inter*In Community Development Association. It was

prosperously. This specific landscape also follows many

named after its patron, Danny Woo, who was a local

contemporary ideas: it is a communal, social space,

businessman and restaurant owner who donated his

has a dynamic design with concern for space rather

land for the garden. Starting in 1989, the gardenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s design

than pattern, considers its local environment, and has a

began to formalize and address issues of identity and

harmonizing relationship with nature/ecology, society/

orientation through the involvement of the Neighborhood

culture, and art/design. Danny Woo Garden has a unique

Design/Build Studio at the University of Washington, led

adapting and interactive quality that continues to serve

by Professor Steve Badanes.

and accommodate its users.

independent | 63

Community Gardens as Modern Landscapes Stewardship and the Danny Woo Garden LYNA NGET / BLA / 2016 Graduate For one of the most influential landscape architects of

and permeable pavement, an educational children’s

this century, Garret Eckbo, landscape architecture was a

space, a toolshed, and a pig-roasting pit area. In addition,

social art. His ideas rejected the garden and the park as

the many narrow dirt paths allow visitors complete access

a provider of mere visual pleasure. Instead, a landscape

the plots.

was the site of the interaction of people and place, and landscape architecture – exterior spatial design – the purposeful formation of that interaction. The multiple interactive features of Danny Woo Garden include, but are not limited to: access to exercise, healthy edibles, refuge, accommodating seating, social gatherings, access for urban wildlife, awareness for sustainable living, and scenic views. As Majorie Sewell Cautley, a landscape architect with the aim to solve contemporary problems through her design, states, “the land should … provide a ready means of escape from the noise, dust, and confusion of the city, and offer an opportunity to relax out of doors or to engage in wholesome exercise.” The encompassing multitude of vegetation, winding stepping paths, and exotic plots peaks one’s curiosity, absorbing his/her interest in all of the features the garden has to offer. Many nodes are to be discovered as one chooses which path to travel. These nodes include: the open entrance area, a seating area demarcated by Oriental structures

There is much importance in modern landscape design on the integration of nature, society/culture, and design. Not only is Danny Woo Garden a refuge where visitors can relax and be relieved from the bustle of the city, it also a place where one can engage in several activities, whether it is taking a restorative stroll, people-watching, or tending crops. The residents have an attachment to their plots and enjoy taking care of them as part of their daily lifestyle. The garden also provides many areas for social gatherings. There are annual events that take place there where both residents and other Seattleites come together to celebrate the crops and meet at the shack and pig roast area. Additionally, the combination of the Oriental themed structures and plants from the resident’s homeland reinforce the cultural identity of their community (comprised of mostly elderly Asian immigrants) . Seasonal crops such as bok choy, winter melon, shiso, and chrysanthemum greens give aesthetic and food all year round. The garden preserves both

nature and culture by being a place where cultivation of


Church, Thomas, Hall, Grace, & Laurie, Michael.

crops exists to provide a sustainable living. And, it gives

Gardens are for People, Third Edition. Berkeley and Los

the Asian dominant residents an outdoor space where

Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1995.

they can feel at home and have a sense of ownership.


Furthermore, the variety of interactions available to


the users with the garden reinforce the modern idea of public engagement, as advocated by Lawrence Halprin. He explains, “modernism is not just a matter of cubist space, but of a whole appreciation of environmental design as a holistic approach to the matter of making spaces for people to live … Modernism, as I define it, and

Gardening with Ciscoe: Danny Woo Garden. King

5. 2012. Online Video. 5 Feb. 2013. 3.

Hou, Johnson, and Laura Lawson. Greening Cities

Growing Communities: From Seattle’s Urban Community Gardens. University of Washington Press: Seattle. Print. 4.

InterIm Community Development Association.

practice it, includes and is based on the vital archetype

Danny Woo Garden and Children’s Garden. Web. Feb. 19,

needs of human beings as individuals as well as social


groups.” Danny Woo Garden is the perfect example as it is a space supplemental to those who live in the next door apartments. The garden continues to be lively with the activities that follow the seasons, change in colors in the cherry blossom trees, and the weathering of structures. Stewardship is a contemporary activity regarding landscapes; the nurture


Teri, Hen. Stories from Seattle’s Parks. Seattle.

Gov/Parks. Web. Feb. 19, 2013. 6.

Trieb, Marc and Imbert, Dorethee. Garrett Eckbo:

Modern Landscapes For Living. Berkely and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1992. Print. 7.

Walker, Peter and Melanie Simo. Invisible

and care of the neighboring residents keep Danny Woo

Gardens: The Search for Modernism in the American

Garden active, sustainable, and beautiful. All aspects of

Landscape. Cambridge: Mass: MIT Press, 1994. Print.

this garden reinforce the idea of a modernist landscape, especially the community that cultivates it. Reflective of its community, Danny Woo Garden exhibits vibrancy, cultural identity, and sustainability.

independent | 65

Prospects for Landscape Comments on following architecture into the digital age IVAN HEITMAN / MLA / Year III The digital age is changing design, and today this shift

Future developments are auspicious, as continuing

moves as fast as ever. This generation of professionals

advancement in computer science has made new families

share the opportunity and responsibility to incorporate

of algorithms available widely, often in open source

new methods into mainstream practice. Technology


represents an opportunity in design because it can provide new sources of information for design decision making. While information or its analysis will never replace expertise and training, they certainly will enrich both. That means data and systems modeling are significant resources available in facilitating results oriented design. Hence incorporating tech is also a responsibility for professionals who believe and represent design to be a social agent. Though landscape design has been slow to recognize

Early and simple algorithmic implementation in design focused often on geometrical concerns. The most elementary form of parametric design involves computed geometric dependencies. That is to say, the designer builds a relationship between some of those aspects of the design which are extended in space, those attributes such as dimension and volume. This allows the design intention to sustain edits to particulars of size or placement without requiring redrawing. This is easily conceived in the context of a structure, particularly

this, architects of buildings have undertaken significant

when assuming a level foundation elevation. In principle,

advances in shifting the organization of their craft

geometric algorithms could be quite useful in landscape

toward close incorporation of digital tools. While ‘90’s

design. There is a significant hurdle, which is that no

trends could be generalized as aesthetically focused (cf.

landscape design intervention is ever perfectly flat—thus

Folding in Architecture), visions extant since the ‘70’s of

flat representations are necessarily abstractions. Any

computation as enabling outcomes simulation became

geometric dependencies must elegantly incorporate the

ever more within reach as tools have increased in power

influence of terrain.

and ubiquity. Today, computation is utilized for both aesthetic and performative goals in designing buildings.

More advanced algorithms are used to simulate environmental concerns. For example, computational fluid

dynamics are very useful in approximating air flow within

analysis. This will require interdisciplinary work and use of

a containment. Hydrological models have long been used

models developed in natural sciences research.

by engineers to provide feedback on decision-making in the outdoor realm. These workflows are essential to good landscape design, and should not be the provenance of outside consultancy. Separating design process from environmental simulation forces a back-and-forth, in which the designer is always guessing based on rules of thumb and experience, waiting days or longer to see the results of his or her decisions. Environmental models must be made accessible to design, and designers must learn to understand their use. Algorithmic methods which are presently in ascendance include machine learning and neural networks. Architects have used neural networks for multivariate optimization. This means that a design problem can be structured

Machine learning offers a possible counterpoint to systems representation in models. On large enough datasets, machine learning algorithms can return very accurate models of associations. One well known example is machine vision. Software can recognize a human face and identify it as like a known set. Machine vision can achieve sophisticated spatial data collection, such as that created in videogrammatry. Given significant data on landscape phenomena, interactions could be modeled by machine learning methods, supplementing manual

“If landscape really is infrastructure, then it is no more peculiar to imagine smart landscape metrics than smart electrical grids.”

with several variables which are

composition of models by experts. In the long run, ecological health in urban and nonurban landscape could be monitored and analyzed for incorporation in design practice. If landscape really is infrastructure, then it is no more peculiar to imagine smart landscape metrics

considered to interact and to represent trade-offs.

than smart electrical grids. In fact it is vital to do so in

The algorithm then tests many cases for outcomes on

order to sustain livability and pursue environmental

particular goals for each variable, returning those cases

justice in the age of urbanization.

which result in an ‘optimal’ balance of goals. The designer then uses his or her expertise to select from the optimal cases. This workflow is very well suited to landscape design, though effective implementation promises difficulty. A paradigm of landscape as interconnected systems maps well onto multivariate optimization. The challenge is to represent systems interactions with sufficient rigor that the model results in actionable

Civil service is beginning to understand the value and urgency of such efforts. Famously, the UK is transitioning by 2016 to require all public architecture projects to be delivered in a Building Information Model format. Landscape Information Models are still a dream. While few U.S. governing bodies are likely at this time to legislate such requirements, industry pressures will continue to mount toward better data collection and management,

independent | 67 as well as toward design delivery in digital modes which allow data incorporation. Already there a projects which are bid out to design firms only on condition that they can complete the design in BIM. In parallel with development of digital means by architecture firms, a likely way forward calls for particular enterprising firms to begin shouldering some investment risk. Exploration will require hours paid to staff nerds which cannot always be billed directly to a particular job. Development of new workflows will require investment in tools and knowledge. The advantage to the bottom line will not always remain crystal clear. However by paving the way these firms will gain the expertise and know-how to convert exploration into value propositions which will distinguish them in the marketplace. That know-how will become a currency in demand widely, resulting in a marginal advantage and a demand for skills and supporting services as a business model. The foundation has been laid, both by ACE professionals and by academic institutions’ research. The future of computation is bullish, with extraordinary value being pursued in many other markets and industries. The time to invest in technological know-how and application to landscape design concerns is now. 1. “Regulations of Building Information Models PERFORMER Project.” PERFORMER Project. N.p., 23 Mar. 2015. Web. 09 Jan. 2016. 2. Vyzoviti, Sophia. Folding Architecture: Spatial, Structural and Organizational Diagrams. Amsterdam: BIS, 2003. Print.

class of 2016 dispersal map

after graduation, many students will move home or pursue work elsewhere - dispersing around the globe

copenhagen california

minnesota virginia

berlin seoul


china hawaii

ecuador peru

59 | afterword

Some last words (and a lot of thank yous)

This project emerged from a series of discussions with students during happy hour, in hallways and stairwells, and through various meetings. Thus, a great debt is owed to the many tremendous minds and hands who helped create this publication. The goal was to start something, and we have collectively done that. As such I owe great thanks to: Kasia Keeley, Jennie Li, and Hailey Mackay—these three women have served as invaluable organizers and the most judicious doers I could have possibly hoped for. Further thanks are also greatly owed to: Jess Hamilton, Kelly Douglas, Monica Taylor, Kevin VanMeter, Grayson Morris, Roxanne Robles and the many other contributors who offered their time and energy to help make this happen. As for faculty, we are indebted to Department Chair Jeff Hou who recognized this effort and put forth his support to guide and help realize our goal. We also owe great thanks to the rest of the faculty who offered their critiques and insights as we attempted something close to impossible: to create a student publication, from scratch, in less than a year. To the students that submitted their work and to our generous panel of jurors—thank you, this never could happened without you. It is my sincere hope that future generations of students are inspired to not just continue this project but to improve and revise upon this first iteration. This is a very satisfying first round of what we hope will become a larger project. The students of the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Washington are a unique

collective of individuals—a group who continues to push the boundaries of landscape through alternative outlets, engaging critical design and thinking across disciplines. This publication was both inspired and created by this incredible group of people. I count myself as lucky to be among them. We are poised as both a department and a discipline at a unique crossroads of practice and academia. Our goal as a collective is to push our boundaries, to move forward in practice with vigor, compassion, and insights garnered from earnest exploration. While this publication does not yet represent all of the complexity and brilliance that thrives within our program, it is the first iteration of what we hope will become a tradition of celebrating student work. Our instructors have fostered and cultivated a design culture that acknowledges mistakes as opportunities and successes as the first steps in an on-going process. As students, we are part of an ever evolving consortium of theorists, designers, and researchers, tirelessly investigating the world we inhabit. And with that spirit, I give great thanks to those who have helped realize this first publication; and to those who pick up this torch and carry it further than we were able. As with any act of cultivation: it is always just the beginning. - Andrew Prindle, MLA, Editor in Chief

UWASLA UW CBE - S.O.W. vol.1  

This is the first student organized collection of student work at the University of Washington, College of Built Environments, Department of...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you