ASLA-MN's Top Award Goes to Duwamish Studio
Over the past 100 years, the lower Duwamish River Valley of Seattle, Washington has been dramatically altered. What was once home to Chief Seattle and the Duwamish Tribe has become one of the largest and most complex EPA Superfund sites in the United States.
During the fall semester of 2012, graduate students in LA8201: Everywhere Nowhere Duwamish, a studio taught by Matthew Tucker and Craig Wilson, traveled to Seattle to work with local non-profits to generate design proposals for the Duwamish River Valley. Their models contemplated ecological resiliency, sea level and climate
change, urban agriculture, environmental justice, carbon sequestration,
blue-green infrastructure, and superfund clean-up.
This allowed them to broaden their understanding of the complex issues surrounding the valley and its future. As part of their trip, the 21 students were required to document their findings of the site and produce a video. The example below is by student Elissa Brown.
Work done by the studio was submitted to the Minnesota chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA-MN) and evaluated as professional work side-by-side with professional offices. This spring it received ASLA-MN’s top award in the Unbuilt Works category with the 2013 Professional Award of Excellence, the highest honor that can be bestowed in the state annual awards.
“For the students’ work to receive professional acknowledgement of such
high regard is indicative of both the sophistication of their work as
well as the importance of landscape architecture in leading change in
response to pressing global issues,” says Tucker. “The graduate work
that emerged from the [studio] is critically important, not only for its
impact on the students and their ability to think creatively and
responsibly in response to issues of massive change in our cities and
neighborhoods, but also for its impact on the residents of the Duwamish
Valley in helping them envision a future whereby a legacy of
environmental injustice can be reversed, and a compelling and healthy
future for the Duwamish can emerge and flourish.”
ASLA-MN’s 2013 Awards Celebration and Spring Gala took place on Friday, May 3, at The March in Minnetonka.
- Download the Executive Summary for LA8201: Everywhere Nowhere.
Participating landscape architecture graduate students:
Stefano Ascari, Kevin Belair, Nate Bond, Elissa Brown, Ryan Coates, Stephanie Erwin, Solange Guillaume, Montana Harinsuit, Amber Hill, Stephen Himmerich, Erin Garnaas-Holmes, David Kerber, Matthew Kessler, David Kowen, Emily Osthus, Jeffrey Olson, Alex Pratt, Michael Richardson, Ryan Ruttger, and Michael Schiebe
Thanks to Seattle, WA community partners:
- Alberto Rodriguez, Project Manager, Lower Duwamish River Clean-up Coalition
- Kevin Burrell, Executive Director,
Environmental Coalition of South Seattle
- Renée Dagseth, Community Involvement Coordinator,
Environmental Protection Agency
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