01 November 2009

Why am I studying Landscape Architecture?

Me: Why am I studying landscape architecture? 

Myself: Because you want to be an architect. 

Me: Well, do I? 

Myself: I don't know, don’t you? 

Me: I don’t know. . . maybe.

Myself: Well, it's a little late for this now, don't you think?

Me: Yeah, I guess you're right.  

This is a conversation I have with myself about once a
semester as I’m panicking about my chosen major, as I did early last week.  What if I want to be a painter?  A musician? 
How about a tornado chaser?  I do
like tornados.

I remember feeling this way a lot when I was a senior in
high school and a freshman in college—which is probably why the feeling stands
out so vividly to me: shouldn’t I be over this by now?  I mean, really, I’m in my fourth year of
school.  I’m graduating next
year.  I feel like these questions should
be answered by now.  But try as I might,
tornados are still cool.  And they always
will be.

The good news is I’ve had these feelings enough that I’ve
developed a system to handle them when they do come.  First, I completely freak out: I investigate
other majors, look into other career options, frantically hypothesize different
career paths with my [unfortunate] friends.  I
make firm commitments to go to the authorities and change my major.  Then I go to sleep.

Perhaps your parents used to tell you to “sleep on it”
before making an important decision? 
This is a GOOD IDEA!  Apply its
principles to your life and you will find you make fewer mistakes.  The next phase of dealing with my cold feet
is to focus on the reasons I decided to study landscape architecture in the
first place.  Last week, I decided to go
through some of my old sketchbooks; do some reminiscing about the days when
everything was fresh and new—you know, young love.  

So that’s how I ended up finding some of my old studio
work.  I thought I’d share some of it
with you.  I hope you enjoy it. (Please note how the drawings get progressively better. . . I'm learning!)

 2nd Year: Interior Perspective of a Proposed Peace Garden

This is the interior to a Peace Garden I designed in my second year.  I pulled some inspiration from Jerusalem's Western Wall.

2nd Year: U Street Urban Plaza

2nd Year: Detail of Fountain in U Street Urban Plaza

2nd Year: Section of Neon Light Sculpture in U Street Urban Plaza

These are images from an urban plaza I designed for the U-Street district in Washington, DC.  I rendered the images with bright colored pencils on my boards-- nearly every surface has some sort of neon lighting (including the entire spindly-thing in the bottom image-- yeah, it would be cooler than anything ever if they built it).  :-)

3rd Year: Community Plan (North of Muncie)

This is the plan for a community I designed my third year.  It's supposed to be located just north of Muncie.  There's an elementary school near the southern-most round-about;  the neighborhood has townhouses, apartments, and single-family homes.  The reddish roads are woonerfs, my favorite kind of street. 

3rd Year: New Rail Station (North of Indianapolis)

3rd Year: New Rail Station (North Side of Indianapolis)

3rd Year: New Rail Station (North Side of Indianapolis) 

This is a project I did my 3rd year for a new rail station for Indianapolis's proposed Greenline project.  I did all of it in Google Sketchup, which is a free download if you want to give it a try yourself!



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