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College of Design

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Studying Abroad!

Well I've made it back from Seattle, Washington in one piece and with all of the luggage I left with (which is sometimes a success in itself haha) I wanted to give you an overview of the trip my studio class took last week to Seattle Washington.

On the first day we visited Gas Works park a former industrial area now turned into a public park. Afterwards we walked to the University of Washington and visited their College of Design and Landscape Architecture Department. We went out for a studio wide dinner and then called it a night early as we had a big day ahead of us.

Day two brought design firm visits to both SvR Design and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, each had high quality work to show us and quality information and advice to share but it was most interesting to see how different offices work on a daily basis or the "office culture" if you will. We visited the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation complex which is both a quality example of architecture and landscape architecture as both the complex and the site are LEED Certified. The building/adjacent landscape received a LEED-Platinum certification and the parking structure recieved a LEED-Gold certification.

The third day we were fortunate enough to visit the Olympic Sculpture Park, and Vineland Place. Vineland Place we especially intriguing because it is comprised entirely of a community garden with only a small helping hand from the city in terms of utilities for the site like electricity. We then took the city bus out to "High Point" a community development project that has received numerous sustainability awards.

Our fourth day we took a day long trip out to the Bloedel Reserve Zen Garden.jpgwhich was nothing short of spectacular. We received a guided tour around the facility and to say it was difficult to choose just one picture is an understatement. If you're ever able to make it out to Seattle, I highly suggest you do not miss the chance to view this extraordinary landscape.

While my trip wasn't the standard study abroad trip it still carried the same ideals of seeing new places, meeting new people and experiences new things. The Landscape Architecture Department at the U of M is committed to its students to provide such chances to have these experiences. For the U of M Study abroad center click on the hyper-link where you can find more of the traditional study abroad programs offered.

Until next week..!