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2019 Conference | Session - 1B Designing Evolving Landscapes

  • BSU Student Union - Jordan Ballroom 1700 West University Drive Boise, ID, 83706 United States (map)

Topic: Designing Evolving Landscapes

Presenter: Daniel Cronan, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture, Art and Architecture 308, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

Approved LACES course

Seminar title: The INFEWS Studio: Cultivating Research and Design through Trajectories of Change


Creating a synergistic interaction between a research project, a student group, and a stakeholder group can have a significant impact for learning, research, and design for resilient futures. Students with an active role as researchers within a landscape architecture and planning studio become engaged through topics pertinent to a concurrent project. The purpose of this project is to integrate landscape architecture and planning education with a research project addressing socio-ecological issues evident in a suite of scenario trends for a landscape. Outputs from the project can potentially be used to define better management and implementation solutions for policy and landscape implementation at multiple scales.

The University of Idaho Landscape Architecture INFEWS studio evokes stakeholder-defined key issues addressed within a funded National Science Foundation (NSF) project in Magic Valley, Idaho. Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS) is an interdisciplinary research project seeking to address issues concerning drought, water demand, water quality, and food security by using a stakeholder-driven geodesign framework (Steinitz, 2012). This studio course applies student research through the geodesign methodology, and evaluates key competencies relevant for planning students (Steinitz, 1990). It systematically evaluates plausible scenarios within the course by analyzing spatially explicit evidence of alignment with stakeholder assumptions at the landscape and site scale. The results aim to inform initial scenario development, scenario modeling parameters for the years 2050, and equip educators and researchers in Landscape Architecture and Planning for a process for geodesign course instruction and revision. Similarly, results intend to provide communities in Magic Valley with actionable strategic plans for trends which potentially impact their region (i.e. drought, population growth, food demand, water quality issues due to agriculture and dairies).

This study presents and interprets the student landscape and site designs aligned with plausible futures for Magic Valley. Findings intend to indicate specific areas for intervention supported by design responses from the research and student group. As an example, student teams focused on resilient design of urban and rural areas with the City of Shoshone, ID as they noted affected areas due to externalities from all stakeholder-informed scenarios. Learning outcomes will guide recommendations for future courses regarding multi-scalar approaches for integrating research in landscape architecture and planning education.

Researchers and students will submit studio outputs for display at the IMASLA Conference in the form of presentation boards to generate discussion. The presenter will generate a pdf presentation and a Storymaps presentation. The presentations will be shared with Conference attendees to further the conversation about methods used and presented.

Learning Objectives:

a)      Systems-thinking and landscape analysis through Alternative Futures Research

b)      Deterministic trend analysis and synthesis

c)      Guidance for solutions to key issues at various scales

d)      Resilient community design to integrate research and plausible assumptions about the future