Designing and building with Studio V

As we have a lull in major activity (we are currently in the individual design phase of our project), I thought I’d take a step back to reflect on a couple of the differences between this design-build studio and all of the previous Landscape Architecture studios I’ve been a part of.

At Clemson, our studios are loosely based on the concept of starting small, and expanding our scope each year we progress. The idea is that we understand the basics, and ultimately the regional scale will make sense as we understand all of the intricacies taking place within it. Being a fifth year student, my previous studio focused on the community scale where we looked at the city of Charlotte as a whole, and developed a community for the South End district.

Fast forward to this semester, where I am smack in the middle of looking at a section of a half-basketball court and wondering if I need to make my idea smaller?! You have now been introduced to major difference #1. Scale in a design build studio is VERY intimate, but also allows for much more detail and license in materiality.

The second major difference is that we are actually going to see our project all the way through to the finish. This, from a student’s perspective, is extremely exciting! The idea of actually seeing something you designed come to fruition is like our passage into adulthood – where we are no longer told we don’t know enough to do things on our own, but are given the trust and support to make it happen.

Our colleagues at Auburn University (ps… I hope we destroy you guys this weekend) have established a very successful design-build studio known as the Rural Studio, where students get a very tight grip on this feeling of making their own ideas into realities, and every time I look at the projects they’ve done I look forward more and more to our installation date in November.

So there you have it – a student’s take on the benefits of a design-build studio. Take it or leave it, we here at Studio V are in for an exciting ride.  Wagener Terrace, I hope you’re ready, because there are ten creative minds exploding with ideas of what your playground could be, and you’re going to get the best we’ve got to offer.

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