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Curatorial Statement

In landscape architecture we research issues that operate at the brink of change in the environment, in social systems, in survival and adaptation of human and non-human environments. We look at climate change, changing cities, aging infrastructures, the human impact on environmental systems and the impact of these systems on human culture, to understand how the built environment can bring together forces that often act counter to each other. We design over a range of scales in time and space, addressing the human body within larger forms and systems in the landscape that are constantly changing and continue to as we act.

Before we design we seek to understand through research the critical factors at the core of what we are looking at, and the potential impacts of a design. Research in the discipline plays a role in forming new theories, new design approaches and new material technologies that work within an environment that is constantly changing. Research in landscape architecture requires us to draw from a full spectrum of expertise and research methods across the sciences, humanities, social sciences, arts and design in order to understand what we need to know to design.

This exhibition features work from the three landscape research studios this fall: The Future of Dams, Reciprocal Assemblies and Queens Boulevard: Future Roadways. Each studio poses a specific research question that stems from larger concerns of ecology, environmental systems and urban spaces that are at the forefront of landscape practice today. The research models used in these studios join methods across a range of fields with design thinking in order to address the specific questions that define the site, context and potential impacts of the issue being explored. As the advanced studios landscape students take before their final graduate thesis studio, these studios provide three models for the ways landscape architects use research to design. The following thesis semester will combine research with critical making in order to generate new bodies of knowledge in the field.

January 20-February 26, 2017, Closing reception February 24, @017


Exhibition Poster, RISD, Sol Koffler Graduate Student Gallery, Landscape Architecture


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