At the end of the spring semester of 2016/2017, nineteen graduates from the Chair of Landscape Architecture presented their graduation project during the Landscape Graduation Exhibition 2017, including six work-in-progress projects that will be finalized in November 2017. The exhibition in the BK Expo at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment in Delft was fully organized, designed, and constructed by the students during the final exam period. The exhibition displayed a unique look into the Flowscapes graduation studio, with a broad global view (students originate from China, Cyprus, Greece, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, and Slovenia) and a diverse display of not just final products, but also work-in-progress and raw working materials. The Flowscapes graduation studio deals with the theme of ‘Infrastructure as Landscape and Landscape as Infrastructure’ and served as a guiding theme to the students in order to explore spatial, societal, and environmental issues through research-by-design, in various context and through all scales. The display of these materials invited visitors to experience this research process for themselves, through seeing, touching, studying and engaging with the materials. Translucent curtains hid a wealthy world of models, sketches and drawings, materials from the design locations, and revealed an exquisite display of film material. The students created the films during the research processes, to help the research on movements and transformation processes and to present the final projects.
The exhibition was officially opened on July 5th, 2017, by Berno Strootman, independent governmental advisor on the physical environment of the Netherlands. With a short lecture on the wordy portfolio of the advisory work, he introduced the visitors to the current major landscape architectonic challenges for spatial design in the Netherlands: energy transition, social care, cities and highways, climate adaptation, declining biodiversity, sponge cities, space for flexibility, soil subsidence, and new forms of agriculture.
According to Berno Strootman, these topics should be addressed with vision and through all scales, combining our knowledge and skills of garden design and the engineered landscape to create new futures.
Together with the audience, Berno Strootman took the time to reflect upon the presented graduation work. The presented work clearly applied the typical Dutch layer approach, with a large diversity of themes. Some projects were more conceptual, even theoretical, other projects showed social engagement. Most projects used strategic concepts involving ecologic, cultural, and societal issues, which were tested on specific sites. All projects adopted the idea of the studio that landscapes are systems. The projects show integrated approaches of green, grey, blue, and urban systems through all scales. Especially the urban focus in the projects is typical for Delft graduates, Berno mentioned. Wishing all graduates good luck for their future, the independent governmental advisor concluded with some essential tips to the young professionals, fully endorsed by staff of the Landscape Architecture Master Track:
- Organize your tools: know all design software, including GIS
- Train your design skills (take part in competitions!)
- Fill your library: read, travel, measure, keep thinking and exploring
- Work through all scales
- Work with other designers and other disciplines
- Go beyond your comfort zone, experiment in maximizing your creativity
- Train your senses for aesthetic by looking at beautiful things
- Ensure a good balance between your right (creative) and left (logic) half of the brain
- Keep looking for inspiring tutors
- Enjoy what you do; it’s a great field of work!