This paper develops the author’s “Student as Site” pedagogy, which leverages the design disciplines’ core concepts and methodologies in the construction of a more inclusive design pedagogy. Drawing specifically on landscape architecture’s deep engagement with site and sitedness, this alternative pedagogical model seeks to approach students in the way that Landscape Architecture approaches sites, with careful attention to situation, position, and identity, and as generative agents in the co-construction of their own design education. The paper will begin with a brief overview of the Student as Site theoretical premise, first articulated in the 2020 Amps Conference, Teaching-Learning-Research: Design and Environments. It will then explore expanded conceptions of both “site” and “student” to uncover novel pedagogical parallels. It will explore varying approaches to and framings of “site” in landscape architecture curricula, utilizing the University of Virginia’s landscape architecture graduate degree program core studio sequence as a case study. The various methods of site reading and writing, active definition of site scale and scope, and the resulting modes of site design will be analyzed to distill a catalog of various curricular conceptions of site. These site conceptions will then be paired with various analyses of “students” in contemporary educational theory to frame a series of site/student parallels. Each parallel, in turn, will provoke a specific pedagogical practice that mirrors and expands the design disciplines’ site practices. This presentation and framework forms part of a larger project to employ pedagogical “working models” as a space of design to reimagine and develop an inclusive design pedagogy.
Emily is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Her current research runs in two distinct yet related projects, sharing a foundational grounding in marginalized sites and subjects. In A Student as Site Pedagogy, seeks to approach students in the way that design, and particularly landscape architecture, approaches sites, with attention to situation, position, and identity, and generative of their own specific potentialities to be embraced in the co-production of a more inclusive design education. In her other project, Liminal Landscapes of Reckoning, she researches the potential of liminal sites to facilitate critical confrontation and dialogue, currently focusing on the New Jersey Meadowlands and Morenci, Arizona. Emily was previously a Design Critic in Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) where she taught studios, courses in representation and climate change, and advised thesis projects. She has also taught urbanism and options architecture studios at Northeastern University. She holds both Master of Architecture (MArch) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degrees from the Harvard GSD.