Hello everyone, this is Tony.
Since everyone is talking about their majors, and it is thanksgiving now, let's hit the pause button of the supermarket show. Today I want to talk about my current major, landscape architecture and give a quick glance of what we are doing now and might will be doing in the future.
Just to clarify some terminology here first. The major is called Landscape Architecture, which means it is the art of creating landscape, not creating a house like architecture. This is the professional degree; for undergraduate degree, which is the pre-professional degree, is called Landscape Design and Planning. I'm actually new to the program, I transferred from Journalism to LDP this summer ("From Journalism to LDP? These two have nothing in common, crazy man...") and started my LDP program this term so I can only give some limited information, but my friend, Sarah, is actually writing a blog about the LDP major, with her juicy description and funny tone, you guys can enjoy reading her blog and know more details about LDP program.
Here's her blog, please click the link until you need a new mouse, LOL:
First , why and how did I started majoring in Journalism but then transferred to LDP, which might be the biggest change in my lifetime.
Well, first of all, I'm a sort of artistic person who has some good idea, the work I would like to do is those need to have creative thinking, artistically. Then, becoming a journalist was one of my dream because a news reporter is the one who deals with something fresh, meeting with someone new everyday---I see this as a way to practice my creativity. So I decided to be a journalist, or an advertising designer. I became more passionated to the latter when I was taking my art courses. My paintings were always something new and eye-catching, visually strong enough to impressed the audiences but still had the subject matter to express the messages. I thought this was my strength to be a media designer and I still think it is, I felt I was so close to my dream, there's no barriers between me and my dream.
However, dream can always be beautiful a dream but reality can only be a cruel reality. I was rejected by the program and I still don't know why---maybe I didn't have a strong personal statement, maybe because my language skill was not good enough to be a journalism major student. Anyhow, The fact was the fact, in spite of how many major courses I've taken already or I was a junior already, so I had to find another major to graduate with a degree. I started seeking, and the rule was, something creative.
I thought about majoring in art, since I love doing art and drawing and painting were two of my favorite things to do. But I immediately rejected myself. "You can't major in something you love most, it might run out of your passion one day and you can't risk it" I kept repeating this and looking at the list of all majors in College of Design( CDes). I considered graphic design, which I felt to similar to the artwork I did for my art minor, so I quited. Then, came with Architecture, which I thought it was not fresh enough for me. I like the Chinese traditional architecture a lot and it's to learn anything about that in the United States. Eventually, I saw three words---landscape design and planning. A thought strike me right in my head---"this is what I was looking for!"So, without knowing much about this major, assuming it is about doing something new and creative because there's a "design" in the name, I became a landscape design and planning student this summer.
So, what exactly does landscape design and planning do? the name can tell some stories.
Landscape means we deal with the landscape, either change or create based on the original landscape; design and planning indicate the process, and they are different from each others. In a larger scale like a city, where does the park should be placed; in a community, where does the playground should be built, it is planning; In a smaller scale, detailed enough to each element like a single tree or a piece of brick, that's design. The priority of landscape design and planning is creating spaces, coordinating with the environment and the cultural context, people would better use the land and more efficiently . In a word, landscape architecture is the art of living.
To be more specific, I would like to show two of my work, And again, there's more in Sarah's blog.
1. Using vegetation to create the space.
This is a plan view hand drawing to show my design by using vegetation such as trees and shurbs to create space.
The trees or shurbs work as wall to limit/block people's walkable space, so that the circulation can be controlled. This is just step one, a rough plan. Then, we were asked to consider about the desity of vegetation. Heavy vegetaion can block the way, as well as the view if needed, so what's the density of the vegetation on one side and what's the density on another. What would be seen and what would be visible.
There's more, What kind of trees ore shurb would be fit in the site considering its contexts. what plants can grow together and what plants can not. What kind of aesthetical value can this type of plant create and most importantly, how these vegetation related to the way when people using the site. And there's more elements for one site to be considered when design it. Landform would be considered before vegetation, then comes structure, and the symbolism is another factor needed to be addressed, etc.
So landscape architecture is not a easy work, it is a cross-subject major, which refers to aspects such as art, architecture, hortculture, geology and many other field, and this is another reason why I really like this major---it gives me a great opportunity to explore more and more and keep learning. I'm actually really glad that I was rejected by Journalism.
People always say that, If life closes one door for you, there's always another window open, And this happened to me, which the window is much bigger than the door. I'm very excited about this and for the future, I will get my master degree to be a real landscape architect, I have a really huge dream, create a city, and to achieve that, I will work harder and harder step by step, I'm ready for this!!
The two pictures blow here are another design we make for one of the countyard on campus, Vincent Countyard. We did some huge changes based on the original plan, trying to figure out the way to encourage more people to use this countyard.