What is Landscape Architecture?
Studying landscape architecture. Is that right yeah. That's right what appeals to you about landscape architecture yeah no. I think something that appeals to me about landscape architecture is really the broad range of possibilities that come with it so i guess you could say architectures focus focus primarily on the building and landscape. It's everything outside of that in so that encompasses a lot of different types of spaces and a lot of scale space some really interested in more of the social aspect or like public spaces within the urban city. That's kind of what drew me to study landscape and under god. I was always focused on like thinking about the community people that lived around public spaces or in buildings that we we were designing for and i was really interested in thinking about okay how do people move throughout space or where do they interact and kind of like what are big places places or opportunities to engage communities more and give them access to green space clean air and other opportunities for like socialization shen yeah i think when most people think about landscape architecture they're thinking mostly about greenspan. Yeah parks up things things of that nature. I know here in atlanta. There's we have so many little just pocket parks in a way like little parks just kind of tucked in here and there i think right but now there's a proposal to build sort of part of a park over our highway over one of the highway but what are some of the other sorts of things that make up landscape architecture aside from that yeah. That's a good point. I think it's easiest to describe people like oh you know like park designed but they're actually a lot of different other types of the public spaces plazas one of the most famous places that a lot of people recognize is like the hotline so also thinking about post industrial uses uh spaces there also a lot of power and landscape where we can. We have a lot of control over sustainability so we can impact the environment in a positive way way. There are a lot of initiatives happening right now. New york to kind of protect the city against sea level rise so there are a lot of constructions happening along the the coast and we're seeing that development happened so there's a wide scale to thinking about design both on a regional scale but also they're smaller like hard scape plans and thinking about outdoor malls plazas and transportation kinda gets <unk> looped into that as well. How does transportation you looked into that yeah. I guess that is a big statement but i think now that people are kind of thinking about the future of like driverless cars i <hes> now we're thinking about how we can retake over the street for pedestrians or like. Maybe we will need as many spaces for car so i think there's a a lot of pedestrian centered ideas about read configuring street spaces or like what happens if we take away highways from you we know communities can be transformed those spaces into other types of recreational use or ecological use. I think to bypass a really big and thinking get about circulation so how do people move throughout spaces that can be both through cars <hes> through highlights through aeroplanes but also at the ground sound level like walking or biking dot space so those are factors. I think that a lot of designers try to influence into their designs but also could be it's like the highland is a completely new way of kind of moving throughout new york city so really you're. You're kind of like you have the opportunity to design on a bunch of different types of scales it sounds you can do something really small like a plaza or yeah ab- santa park but even apart can range in size from really small to like central park or something the yeah it's funny said positive because <hes> i guess for our first semester design school we had a design like from the smallest scale so like a courtyard yard and it was like teeny like enclosed space but it was really fun of what we can come up with and there were so many different ideas and it was kind of our first project and and then we ramped up in scale and thinking about boston's city hall plaza in that was like seven and a half acres and thinking about okay like this is a hard scape space like we weren't allowed to use like lawns or anything like that like it's completely like thinking about people moving freely and it had to be accessible supposed to boston's like governmental building and then our final design was ramped up in scale again and it was thinking about like waterfront design and interaction between the city city and also like recreational space say yeah. It's definitely a wide range of scales that you can design and everything in between. I'm glad you mentioned accessibility accessibility. That's been something that's been on my mind lately mostly in the web space and i'll bring this back landscape architecture so just just what would be your. I was reading this article this morning about how <hes> domino's pizza is trying to take a case all the way to the supreme court art because a customer suing them because their websites not accessible to not able to access it on a screen reader and there has been other types of lawsuits that are like this. I think there were people that were trying to sue beyond say because her website was not accessible and granted the web guidelines around accessibility normally normally tend to pertain to government sites in terms of enforceability beyond say side is not a government site. Neither domino's pizza however what i found is in the weapons that accessibility the is kind of a it's a slippery scale. Some people really adhere to others. Don't care about it at all but when it comes to landscape architecture accessibility is super important because all types of people have to move throughout spaces yeah. How do you design for physical accessibility yeah. No that's a good question and i think it varies in the designer what you're trying to achieve and some people are very much like oh. We don't want this to be accessed by like massive amounts of people like it could be very dangerous address. It could pose threats large gatherings but i think to like the more practical answers. Oh like in designing public spaces. There are laws and codes like a._d._a. Accessibility laws that you have to buy four but it's also like okay now you can accept those code standards or like how do you truly remake space open and then it raises more questions about like who is allowed in what spaces in who isn't so that got really interesting and especially in terms of the plaza plaza and how do you make a space feel comfortable for maybe a single person who's walking there or in their wheelchair and then also can the space <unk> accommodate like large art gatherings of protests like does the public have a right you know to gather and protests and speak in kind of connected large groups yeah. I don't know if that answers your question. No this is my question. It also made me think a little bit about sorta this concept that i've heard of with defensive design where sometimes certain public spaces like you say designed to keep people out yeah like for example park benches that may have a middle railing so no one can lay across them or four. Maybe low to the ground services. They'll put like little bumps or spikes on them so no one can sit comfortably on it. Yes what it reminded me that that definitely light comes up a lot in designed to in. It's like then. It gets extremely political suicide in like yeah okay. I'm just wondering design like this nice space that maybe people could have like a lunch break oregon but then i think too in the era of like public safety and security people get really like nervous about okay like who sitting sitting and lingering in these spaces and yeah. It's a fine line but i think it's also kind of exciting because you're giving a space where you would not you don't necessarily know what will happen like an park and prospect park in brooklyn. It's like a wonderful space. When i go there. I see people by gang doing tai not doing yoga with their dogs and like there's not a set like programmed area for that to happen. It kind of just is able to happen and there are like political local statements that also happened there so i think it's an exciting platform to be able to design kind of within that one thing when you when you sort of talk about spaces like this i'm thinking of how a few years ago there were a lot of public protests in the streets blocking highways and and blocking major thoroughfares thoroughfares and things like that and i know like here in atlanta for example there was a big complaints that people could walk down onto the highway. Yeah they're like oh. Why is that. Why is that possible which doesn't make sense like why wouldn't they you can drive down there. You walk down there but no it's interesting about the the sort of governance of different spaces for different types of people or even different modes of transportation. There's more that i want to dive into with the topic but i want to take it back a little bit. I'm really curious to know about more about you and how you came to be studying at harvard talking about all this stuff so where did you. Where'd you grow up yeah definitely so i was born in new jersey but i grew up my whole life and south west virginia. A little town called roanoke doc. Anybody knows it and i'm the youngest of three girls and so my mom. She's a new yorker. My dad was from chicago. They're both from big city and then when they have made they decided they wanted to move down south and kind of slow things down and so i grew up in roanoke must of my life i went to school with a lot of my friends like kindergarten through high school and even some in college. I think it was a good community where everyone was really well connected. It and everyone knew each other and so grown up in a place like that was really unique as i'm learning and then i went off to school to study architecture at the university of virginia i think tau i got there was like not a linear path at all listening like oh. How did you have it figured out yet was curious. Here is like has designed been like a big part of your childhood growing up where you're surrounded by it. Yeah i think one since i was surrounded by it i didn't really realized that until later and now like looking back. I was like oh <hes> my parents did a good job at like teaching me how to do this or that and so oh my dad did many things that he also briefly worked in furniture procurement in my mom went to fashion school for a little bit and then decided that wasn't for her but they in my grandma on my mom's side like always painted and drew and so my parents were good at like exposing me to the arts very early but i didn't realize what's that there were possible careers through design until high school and so i kind of was always interested in drawing and painting in but it was kind of like something i did just for fun and then i thought i wanted to be a doctor. I thought that was like what is going to do and i very it. Quickly realized like i don't like hospitals. I'm very scared of blood in bali fluids and so then i said oh my goodness like what am i gonna do. Who i think was like fourteen. I was like man. I just don't know what i'm going to study and my dad actually said what about architecture and then at that time i had no. I know i dea what that field was an. I was like what is this and <hes> in high school. I got to go to a couple of design camps at <hes> virginia ginny tech university. What was other school. I went to another school north carolina state university and they had like the summer design her rams that my dad found his co. You you should go in and you can kind of test and see if he liked it and so at first it was just such a different way of thinking and i was not really excited about it <hes> but then i went on to study it in college and it was very hard at first has a lot of people seal when i studied architecture but <hes> no now it turned out to be really amazing from people who have had on the show we've had a couple of of architects on before and they have always talked about i mean the difficulty of i think just yes of course learning about the subject matter but also a lot of those spaces are not super diverse and so if you're coming in there as quote unquote the other and that sort of just adds an element to the difficulty of studying and being a space like that yeah absolutely so no one in my immediate any family or anyone i knew of really studied architecture and so that was a whole new learning environment for me. I went to school in a lot of people the parents had studied architecture like they're punctual and so they were kind of already looped in the field and yeah it was very hard to understand the language <hes> just even what architecture it was <hes> it was a difficult amount of learning that you have to do a friend like learning the software but also a lot of technical skills that you need to choir but overall though what was your time at university of virginia yeah i think overall the wall. It was really great. 'cause then my first year the kind of restarted i think as my first year right before i got they restarted their no muss chapter. I know ma says the national organization