Building to Learn, Part I
Design/build studios enrich students' understanding of the entire
design sequence as nothing else can. So why do so few landscape
architecture departments offer them?
By Lolly Tai, ASLA, and Baldev Lamba, ASLA
Design/build studios in landscape architecture schools offer hands-on
experience geared toward the understanding of design, site, and
materials. Such studios challenge students to be responsible, teach
them respect for those in the trades, and build their confidence.
Unlike conventional design studios, design/build studios enrich
students' understanding of the entire design process by using an
applied teaching model, which demonstrates the critical link between
design and building. Thinking and making become interrelated components,
and service learning projects, which are often undertaken by students
in design/build, provide amenities for communities in need.
Courtesy Rob Cardillo
Students have the opportunity to design, prepare construction documents,
build, and implement elements of their design. They learn about
the possibilities and limitations of materials through hands-on
construction work. Students have direct exposure to landscapearchitecture
drawings and learn how to interpret them. They also acquire "real
world" experience and understanding of every aspect of the profession,
including coordination, teamwork, communication, project sequencing,
cost estimations, and code issues. "It's great to see how our design
translates into reality from 2-D to 3-D and to see all the stages
in between," says Janet Salsbury, an alumna of a design/build studio
at the University of Washington (UW).
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