Landscape Architecture Students Design for Excellence

Landscape Architecture Students Design for Excellence
To improve an industrial park in South Los Angeles, students proposed adding trees, lighting and built-in seating.
Another group of students studied ways to reconnect residents with Chollas Creek.

Cal Poly Pomona's landscape architecture students captured five awards in the 2008 Student Awards competition hosted by the American Society of Landscape Architecture. The department won more awards than any other university in the prestigious international competition, outperforming Harvard University Graduate School of Design and University of Pennsylvania School of Design.

The university received an Award of Excellence and two Honor Awards in the analysis and planning category. In the communications category, students also won an Award of Excellence and an Honor Award.

“Our students won an impressive 25 percent of the total awards given out this year. Two of the five were Awards of Excellence, which are not given out every year and honor only exceptional projects,” says Jerry Taylor, interim chair of the Landscape Architecture department. “The quality of our students and faculty advisers is truly outstanding.”

In one project, four students proposed a revitalization plan for a dilapidated area in South Los Angeles that includes improvements to back alleys, vacant lots and an industrial park, as well as introducing a new open-air market. Judges remarked that the project demonstrated “professional quality” analysis and could be used as a model to revive similar neighborhoods.

Another student project developed a new waste management system for two small desert cities that would significantly reduce their dependence on landfills. The plan calls for the cities of Shoshone and Tecopa, both in Inyo County, to compost and recycle much of their waste, and use pigs to reduce the volume of trash.

“Students look at important issues in the world, issues that are a challenge in society,” says Susan Mulley, assistant professor of landscape architecture. “They try to come up with real solutions that people can use.”

Other winning projects included the preservation of Chollas Creek in San Diego, the student-produced SUBSURFACE magazine and a film titled “Shoshone, CA,” which documents the design process of landscape architecture students.

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