This studio focuses on the integration of sustainable technologies into the design of a public space on campus. We will explore this integration at various scales: the human scale, the site scale, and the campus scale ––while covering subjects like materiality, people’s behavior, and innovative sustainable solutions for landscape applications. The work of the studio will be a combination of creative exploration and research supporting this exploration. The methodology will include experiential learning ––learning by doing, research through direct observation, and research using library resources. Through research and use of library databases, students will gain a broader perspective of the context of sustainable design and generate design ideas based on knowledge obtained from case studies and research into new technologies and materials.
The work of this studio will be based on the UMass Amherst campus. We will use the campus as a source of resources and grounds for observation and experimentation. The first project will look at upcycling, through the innovative use of waste materials from the Campus’ Waste Transfer Station to create seating prototypes. The second project will focus on observation of human behavior on outdoor public spaces across several campus sites. The final project will focus on the re-design of these sites to create engaging public spaces that incorporate some of the sustainability goals of the UMass Amherst Climate Action Plan (CAP). The final projects will be submitted as proposals for the Campus’ Sustainability, Innovation and Engagement Fund for potential funding and implementation.
The studio will ask the question: how can public spaces be more than spaces for social gathering and actively integrate sustainability principles such as renewable energy production, air purification, food production, stormwater management, and behavior modification to create a greener campus?
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