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LandDesign tries a new approach to bring children to landscape architecture.

While they don’t portray the likes of a Mike Trout or a Max Scherzer, a new set of “baseball cards” can get kids excited about careers in landscape architecture. Developed by the multidisciplinary firm LandDesign, the cards each show one of the firm’s designers on the front and a short question and answer period on their work on the back, as well as a signature project.

Cards are just one part of the company’s new Studio Toolkit, which includes a collection of physical tools and project tips to give kids a hands-on design experience long before they enter. in a college classroom. The idea was rooted in the racial justice dialogues that followed George Floyd’s murder last year. “We wanted to do more than just issue a statement; we wanted to take action, ”says designer Rita Schiller, a member of the toolkit team. “There is a lack of diversity within the profession. We discussed how we might impact this and start changing the look of the industry for the future. “

Discussions about a college mentoring program quickly gave way to a plan that would engage children much earlier in their life journey. Support for the project came from the company’s in-house MatterLab grant program, which provides seed funding and studio hours for staff members to develop passionate projects.

The design team is working with community groups to use the toolkit as part of existing mentorship and outreach programs. One organization is ourBRIDGE for KIDS, a charlotte, NC-based nonprofit that provides tutoring and other opportunities for refugee and immigrant children. The company is helping to pilot a series of workshops that will use the Studio Toolkit. “With COVID, in-person mentoring is really hard to do,” says Schiller. “So we thought, ‘How can we show what landscape architecture and civil engineering look like?’ [in a pandemic]? ‘ We decided that a great way would be to make the baseball cards.

The Studio Toolkit contains typical tools of the trade, as well as a range of sample projects. Photo courtesy of LandDesign.

Will Talero is one of the landscape architects depicted on a map. “The whole idea is this human connection,” says Talero. “Not just by educating children about landscape architecture, but by giving them a more personal touch with basic questions and information. The kit also includes an introductory video, accessible via a QR code, combining digital and tangible learning modalities that can reach children with different learning styles.

In addition to cards, each box includes lesson plans, wax paper, Play-Doh, engineering scale, circle template, colored pencils, sketchbook, and board pen, almost all of them. tools of the trade, except a computer. Activities include setting up a series of parks from small to large, learning to read a plan view, creating a bubble diagram and creating a water pipe. miniature. “For the kids to see how their messy, scribbled bubble charts could one day turn into a real swimming pool,” says Amanda Cole, the company’s business development representative, “it’s exciting. “

Baseball-style cards educate kids about landscape architects, civil engineers, and other real-life design professionals. Image courtesy of LandDesign.

Posted in EDUCATION, NOW, PEOPLE, PRACTICE, SCHOOLS, STUDENTS | Tagged baseball cards, discipline, education, grant, Kim O’Connell, LandDesign, MatterLab, ourBRIDGE for KIDS, students | leave a comment


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