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College of Design

Friday, September 30, 2011

From Start to Finish.. An Introduction

229084_1819169691006_1593060438_31902014_432974_n.jpgHello, my name is Eric Maass. I am originally from Freedom, Wisconsin, but have been living in Minneapolis for four years now while attending the University of Minnesota. I come from a relatively small family of myself, younger brother (20) and my mom and dad. I started my college career at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls majoring in Horticulture with an emphasis in Landscape Design. I completed one year there when I transferred to the University of Minnesota to pursue my Bachelor of Environmental Design and later applied for and was accepted to the Accelerated Bachelor of Design which I will talk more about in later posts.

While living at home I got my start in the Landscape Design Industry working for the Freedom Town Parks System and Premier Landscape Services, LLC. Working for the parks system gave me a great appreciation for the time and care it takes to keep local city parks running and in pristine condition to allow these spaces to be positive and enjoyable places for the local population to enjoy. My time at Premier Landscape Services was equally as enjoyable as it was a relatively small company which allowed me to do a great many tasks instead of mastering just one. I was able to work on everything from a brick retaining wall, to installing pervious pavers and planting designs to grading out a person yard according to a predefined plan to control the way water would run on the site. This gave me great background knowledge for my future classes both at UW-River Falls and at the U of M.

Currently I am a 2nd year Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) Student at the U of M. This semester is designed to get us into the more technical aspects of Landscape Architecture in comparison to last year which was geared more towards the art of design and the design process. So I am sure you'll get to read plenty about topics like GIS (Geographic Information Systems, a computer program used for analysis physical environmental data) and another class called Urban Stormwater Management. I was also able to take an elective this semester called Rec 5111 - Sports Facilities taught by Dr. Turman, who is the current director of Recreational Facilities for the U of M. We're going to be talking about funding, management, planning and design of both public and private recreational/sports facilities which I hope to use to help in my Capstone/Thesis project next year as a 3rd year MLA Student.