2022 Master of Landscape Architecture Capstone Presentations

April 25, 2022

On May 5 and 6, 2022, the Department of Landscape Architecture will host capstone presentations for the Master of Landscape Architecture Class of 2022. Members of the public are invited to attend. View the presentation schedule and learn about the capstones that will be presented below.

All presentations will take place in Rapson Hall, Room 225 and are open to the public. Please note that face masks are required to attend.

Thursday, May 5

Guest reviewers: Kirt Rieder, Principal, Hargreaves Jones; Natalie Ross, Ross Land Studio

10:00 AM | Michael Morrison—Bur Oak Botanical Garden, Minneapolis

The East River Flats is a stunning site along the Mississippi River near the University of Minnesota, and in its present condition it is lawn and parking. With its south-facing, mainly flat orientation the Flats are being reconceptualized in this project as a botanical garden for the 21st century, a public garden with a collection and research focused on climate change.

11:00 AM | Mathias Hughley—Streetscapes for the Regenerative City, Northfield, MN

What is the future we want and how do we bring it into being? Our streets are an extensive network of public spaces that should be re-conceptualized and redesigned to serve as a leverage point for the transition to the regenerative city. This project explores the application of permaculture principles in implementing systems-level change in human habitats to create the regenerative city.

1:00 PM | Blake Slette—Seeing the Falls (Through Both Eyes), Minneapolis, MN

One of the largest waterfalls in North America is in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. In the eyes of many residents and visitors, however, the falls are regarded as lost, replaced by a protective apron after being irreparably damaged by industrial exploitation over a century ago. But are they really lost? To answer this question, this project tells a story of an ongoing personal journey toward seeing the falls from a “two-eyed” perspective. By learning from visual archives, field work, and conversation with individuals and organizations, it uncovers where the falls might still be found, perhaps more visibly than many realize.

2:00 PM | Michael Talerico—The New Zoo Paradigm, Minnesota Zoo

The macaque exhibit at the Minnesota Zoo is antiquated and inept as an animal habitat. The redesign of this exhibit and its immediate area provide an opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what constitutes a zoo. Instead of allocating resources to showing exotic animals in geographic regions that are not consistent with their own, zoos could focus on connecting people to their own bioregion so as to foster a strong empathetic connection and initiate responsibility to advocate for protecting the natural world. Climate change is one if not the most prevalent environmental issues right now, and as such is emphasized in this project.

3:00 PM | Josh Lassen—COHABIT, Rapson Hall, U of MN, Minneapolis

Much like the Industrial Revolution sparked a desire in factory workers for natural settings to escape the cityscape, we are on the threshold of a new revolution—a digital one. We need a new kind of park in which to escape the virtual factories that now represent our work. With most Americans spending 90% of their time indoors, how can the park come inside with us if we won't (or can’t) realistically go back outside? This project tugs at why houseplants come and go out of style, yet are never something we can give up. This project attempts to name the contextual phenomena and future potential that plants have to change our built spaces and overall lives. Through a hypothetical retrofitting of the Rapson Courtyard, I hope to show the power of cohabitation with plants, why it benefits us and them and could be a savior for the future of our cities.

Friday, May 6

Guest reviewers: Kirt Rieder, Principal, Hargreaves Jones, Julie Stevens, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Iowa State University

9:00 AM | Preston McMahon—An Immersive Story of Coral Reefs, Human Connections, and Emotion: A VR Project, drawing upon Key Largo, Florida

Inspired by my childlike dreams of the ocean, which were destroyed by the realities of human development, my project is using VR to bring participants through a story of emotion to inspire, connect, educate, and experience the fragile, alien worlds that lie just below the water's surface. Participants face the death of coral reefs and are guided through the potential for restoration, demonstrating how one can make a positive impact on our coral reefs and in turn, our planet.

11:00 AM | Aubrey Olson—All the Places, Minneapolis

Have you ever returned to a place after many years and noticed how much it has changed? How do you have a conversation with that place? This project examines and highlights the layers of urban spaces, in the context of many changes our cities experience. Understanding the layers of the site, and responding to the emotions stirred by the landscape, the project approaches a design framework through a modern floriography, taking into account the intuitive and ecological.

1:00 PM | John Pierce—Reanimating the Heart of the City, Minneapolis

As Minneapolis questions the equity and civility of its built spaces, its climate future, and its complex history, public urban spaces such as the “People's Plaza” at Government Center represent a potent area for design reinvention. Will downtown Minneapolis’ public spaces act as a stage for an increasingly cosmopolitan civic life, or will they remain indifferent to the public realm and beholden to private interests?

2:00 PM | Anna Pate—Too Much of a Good Thing: Addressing the Sargassum influx in Central America Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, Belize

In June 2018, 20 million tonnes of Sargassum Seaweed washed up on the shores of Central American countries in the Caribbean. This recent Sargassum influx is a perfect example of an imbalance in natural systems caused by the Anthropocene. Small communities like Ambergris Caye in Belize are paying the ultimate price for the actions of the masses with little to no support. This project considers an infrastructure for Ambergris Caye that will reduce the negative impacts to the community, increase the ability to reuse Sargassum as a resource, and offer research and education experiences around this topic.

3:00 PM | Chris Purdy—Post-Industrial Sites as Regenerative Landscapes: Celebrating Dubuque’s Industrial, Agricultural and River Heritage, Dubuque, Iowa

Dubuque has been reinventing its riverfront through new plazas and buildings, while this project takes a different approach to public space and foregrounds ecology and access to the river. Research, learning, and recreation are all part of this new realm that addresses and reimagines legacies of industry.

Help celebrate our students’ hard work by joining the College of Design community for final reviews, exhibitions, and showcases featuring work from across our design disciplines.

On May 6 and 7, 2021, the Department of Landscape Architecture will host capstone presentations for the Master of Landscape Architecture Class of 2021. Members of the public are invited to watch the presentations. View the presentation schedule and learn about the capstones that will be presented below.

Join College of Design students, faculty, and staff for virtual presentations and reviews showcasing final design projects and research from our various disciplines.