Learning from Students: Geodesign Lessons from the Regional Design Studio

NUcoverJournal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, Published Online 08 February 2013

By David L. Tulloch

“This paper explores potential issues in the emerging field of geodesign by examining key lessons learned through design studios. Presenting three distinct projects as examples from regional design studios in an undergraduate landscape architecture program, this paper points out common learning experiences that repeat despite very different contexts. Recurring issues that can be observed from these examples include difficulty in addressing scale, difficulties in dealing with the volumes of data and information available and complications due to perceptions of the false dichotomy between science and design.

As students worked to develop design interventions that responded to the existing site characteristics, they also found inspiration in the earlier work of Ian McHarg who had also diagrammed the dunes of the Jersey shore in Design with Nature (1969).

As students worked to develop design interventions that responded to the existing site
characteristics, they also found inspiration in the earlier work of Ian McHarg who had also
diagrammed the dunes of the Jersey shore in Design with Nature (1969).

“With the potential to reshape urban planning and design, the need for geodesign to openly embrace a grand vision of itself is evident. However, for these changes to be meaningful, serious changes need to be undertaken in our educational processes developing a generation of urban and regional geodesigners who are better equipped to think scientifically while shaping landscapes and places responsibly and creatively.”

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