Field Day – Experimentation

“Life is ‘trying things to see if they work.'” – Ray Bradbury

SESSION 6 RECAP: Each year, the month of April flies by. There are so many great ways to celebrate World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM) that dovetails so well with National Volunteer Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, National Find a Rainbow Day, and National Jazz Day to name some of my favorites. This year, the American Society of Landscape Architects celebrated WLAM by asking its members to share their professional journeys. Mine is simple: I love the connective power of the landscape and that inspired me to become a landscape architect. This camp has certainly demonstrated that for me and I hope for the campers as well.

ingres_coronation_charles_viiWe started this week by discussing Joan of Arc, who on camp day some 600years ago, helped to liberate France at the battle of Orleans as a teenager. We then briefly shared the work of Emma Gonzalez, Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, and other young advocates to show the importance of young female voices participating in big things.

study-model-2The focus of this session was the topic of experimentation, the process of testing our ideas. From model building, particularly quick study models, to prototyping (building life-size temporary installations), to storyboarding – we discussed how we can refine our ideas to make them better. The goal of this was to show that our ideas, no matter how good they are, are just the starting point.

TJ Marston2SPECIAL GUEST: Last week, TJ Marston, a professor of landscape architecture at Florida International University (FIU) and owner of Plot Studio joining us from Miami. Her remarkable work on the Visualizing Equity in Landscape Architecture (VELA) in partnership with Samantha Solano and Catalina Dugland brought attention to important narratives about landscape architecture. Additionally, her video about the #PLOTjoy project showed her drawing process and love of Harry Potter, which everyone appreciated.

ACTIVITIES: Our activity this week was building paper airplanes, a familiar exercise to everyone. First, we started visualizing our airplane by sketching it. Some campers quickly realized that their sketches would be different to construct. Next, we had everyone try and build their sketches and test its flying ability. No matter if it flew well or not, we had everyone make alterations to their initial plane. It was fun to see everyone learning from each other, trying out different ways of making paper airplanes.

As a follow-up, we asked everyone to storyboard their “big idea” about a topic that is important to them. Storyboards we noted, are similar to model building as they help us understand different sequences, perspectives, and parts of our ideas. This will help guide our discussions over the last couple of weeks of camp and demonstrate the power of their voice, just like Marley Diaz and the other young advocates we highlighted at the start of camp. I can’t wait to see where this leads us.

IMPORTANT: La Casa De Amistad’s new fundraiser, Rising to Meet The Need, was published last week and is only 20% funded. If you have the means, please continue to support them as their need continues to grow each week and our support helps some of the most vulnerable during this pandemic.

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