Last week, our very own Alexa Ongoco took a day off work to visit a primary school to meet Miss C’s prep and year one students. The purpose of her visit was to introduce the discipline of landscape architecture and what we do to the up and coming generation.
The students were asked what they thought landscape architecture was and these were some of the exciting responses given:
“Do you dig up dirt?”
“You work on projects!”
“You design toilets!”
“You scape the land!”
Alexa explained that as landscape architect, we designed parks, as well as streetscapes, playgrounds (which they loved the idea of), green walls and even zoo exhibitions. The students were then exposed to a whole range of popular landscape architecture projects that help provide a visual understanding of various outcomes. Amongst these projects, featured two TCL projects: ‘Pod Playground’ in Canberra and Carlton Garden’s playground. Upon seeing the images associated to each project the students were getting more and more excited:
“Giant acorns in the sky!”
“I need to remember these for minecraft!”
“Do people climb up those bars?”
Following a presentation, the kids were encouraged to think about what images they liked from the examples shown and try to reimagine and expand upon the designs for a concept for their school oval. They split up into group and they were given a choice of designing up in the sky, looking down like a bird (plan view) or looking out the window in front of the oval (sectional). They were allowed to use paints, glitter, pencils and pens, and had to make sure they worked together when making decisions. (Simulating a design workshop)
The activity lasted for about an hour, and by the end of it their ovals ranged in designs.
o Group 1: A water fountain that pushed out water and bubbles and had four taps (too hot, too cold, just right and bubbles!) and filtered into two ponds – one deep one for swimming, and one filled with rubber duckies. It was a night-time scene, so there were glittering stars in the sky and forests on either side with two blue benches.
o Group 2: A chocolate fountain took the centre stage, with a giant sun and a forest surrounding it. There were also many veggie patches including strawberries, pumpkins and lemons, and a garden bed
o Group 3: A summer and winter garden oval. The summer side had a garden bed, a beach and a pond with boats while the winter side had an igloo cubby house, a beautiful path, ice skating rink, snow and a polar bear!
o Group 5: A giant mini golf (right) area, with dragonflies, water and slides and of course, the Sydney Tower with beautiful green walls and colourful foliage!
o Group 7: Banana trees and eagles were the main features for this design with water fountains and stairs making an appearance. A beautiful 3D, faceted, grassy installation was included for seating and picnic settings.
Alexa’s thoughts after the workshop:
“It was great being able to see the kids take on the precedents shown before and work/re-work those ideas into their designs with enthusiasm, as well as being able to watch their imagination be explored on paper. Who knows, maybe they might be our “budding” landscape architects of the future!”