A NATIONAL STUDIO PROJECT | UN PROJET NATIONAL D'ATELIERS 2021-22
University of Calgary
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING, AND LANDSCAPE
MLA GRADUATE PROGRAM
LAND 614 | LANDSCAPE STUDIO II
Enrica Dall'Ara is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture with the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Calgary, Alberta (Canada).
She has been Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture and Gardens and Landscape History at the former Faculty of Agriculture, now School of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Bologna (Italy), from 2008 to 2016. There, she has been part of the Spatial Engineering research team of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Engineering, from 2008 to 2012, carrying out studies aimed at formulating criteria for the design of open spaces in rural landscape.
A professional in Landscape Architecture, with emphasis on Urban Renewal, Public Open Spaces design, Landscape Rehabilitation of Industrial Sites. Since 2001 she has her own office P'ARC, based in Cesena (Italy). Among her recent projects: Landscape Project for the ASA landfill (Bologna, Italy), winner of a Special Price at the Brand&Landscape Award 2016 (Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy); Renewal of the historic courtyard of Pavaglione in Lugo (Italy, 2012-2013), with StARTT Office, First Prize of a National Design Competition (2012), and recipient of the S.ARCH International Award 2018 for Completed Projects, Category Urban / Landscape Projects; Redevolopment Project of the Cervia Natural Park (Ravenna, Italy), exhibited at the 8th Biennial of Landscape Architecture of Barcelona (Spain, 2014); Clôtures ephemeral gardens within Think Town Terni, First Festival of Architecture in the Umbria Region (Italy, 2010), presented at the exhibition on Italian Design Contemporaneità del Tutto in Köln (Germany, 2012).
BMA, MLA, MEDes, AALA/CSLA Assoc.
Gordon Skilling brings an eclectic knowledge base and skill set to his work. With a background that spans fine arts to film making and narrative, the path to landscape architecture, through two environmental design degrees, has helped him develop a strong interdisciplinary design perspective. His thesis work investigated how combining modularity with multi-scalar design methods can contribute to more sustainable landscape architecture, and was able to apply his research to several on-the-ground, experimental projects.
Through both his research and practical experience as an artist, designer and writer, in both academic and professional capacities, Gordon has developed a design process that fosters the exchange of relevant, alternative ideas and approaches in developing robust problem-solving capabilities, through a landscape perspective. This has allowed him to execute a diverse range of projects from permanent public art installations to temporary tactical urbanism applications, in creating socially engaging and culturally vibrant environments.
The course is part of the national studio problématiques 2.0 Optimism | Thinking critically about Canadian landscapes, an initiative of the Land|Terre Design Research Network (LT DRN).
The course is divided into the following four broad topic areas: 1) Landscape’s identity, i.e., what makes a landscape unique (analysis and interpretation); 2) Master planning and Concept design, definition of objectives, strategies and design concepts through which the landscape’s identity can be preserved, revealed or enhanced; 3) Design development; 4) Synthesis and communication.
Students will work on the Inglewood and Ramsay neighbourhoods in Calgary (AB, Canada), whose open spaces have an extraordinary potential for landscape architecture projects as diverse and complex interfaces between the City Center, the Bow and Elbow rivers, mobility infrastructures, brownfields and industrial areas coexist. The current implementation of a new Light Rail Transit (LRT) line, the Green Line, will generate additional urban values, and offers a fascinating context to address important topics in the field of landscape design, such as intermodal landscapes, landscape perception at different speed of experience, the human scale of urban infrastructures, bodies’ movements and flows and their relevance for landscape shaping and place making.
The national studio’s brief calls for optimism: "The studio challenges the current worldview of pessimism and decline (Wynne, 2019) by encouraging studio instructors and students to explore an optimistic re-emergence in environmental thinking and design, and the role landscape architects play in creating positive change."
Within our LAND 614 studio course, with focus on Inglewood and Ramsay, students will explore places of hope – places where the inhabitants’ hope for a quality environment and community livability resides. These places need our careful attention and sensitive design to preserve and reinforce the sense of belonging while seizing new opportunities for positive changes. Designing is inherently an optimist attitude and an optimistic action, as the premise of designing is the intention and confidence that, through design, we can make the difference. Design is projective, it is about problem solving and new creation from existing materials and conditions. Design is also about well-functioning and beauty.