The 2021 Studio
The Landscape Architecture Dissertation Projects run over the second semester with the development of a research proposal starting in the first semester. The project is individual in the choice of the project scenario exploration, yet the method of guidance and interrogation is reliant upon shared learning and group discussions.
As the making of interventions is understood within this studio to be an integrated reiterative process, the relationship between conceptual thinking, strategies, detail design and site resolutions are seamless and interdependent. Technology explorations were integrated within the various explorations, and artefacts generated within the structured studio tasks were interrogated from the abstract, conceptual through to the implications for the making of landscapes. The first phase in the dedicated dissertation studio assists the students in shifting their mode of engagement with their topic from writing (explored in the research proposal), to visual, spatial and material thinking. During the first few weeks all thesis students were required to engage in an explorative exercise in which we endeavoured to explore the process embedded within their enquiries. These informed their Manifestos which underpin and support their explorations. We are fortunate to have been able to share this early phase with the Master of Urban Design Programme over the last few years.
As designers, we each bring our concerns, queries, passions, agendas, and skills to the inquiry we table. The way we enter and the lens through which we perceive and interrogate the hypothesis and inquiry guides and informs the process of designing and making. This resulted in a rethinking of the entry process into the thesis, and a restructuring of the threshold of entry.
Following the initiating phase the projects were then developed with more individual engagement with the supervisors, and the specific nature of inquiry each project embodies gets refined and adjusted. The process this year was directly influenced by the early development of a material / making exploration starting with a detail developed in the early process explorations. This detail was then developed into a section and ultimately into a plan representing a portion of the developing project.
We were fortunate to have landscape architects Dr Finzi Saidi from University of Johannesburg, Abel Mosweu from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and Ancunel Steyn of the City of Cape Town as external examiners.
Tarna Klitzner is a Professional Landscape Architect, who works as a consultant in her firm TKLA and is a part-time lecturer in the Landscape Architecture and Architecture Programs at UCT.
Tarna holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Architecture from UCT.
Amy is a Landscape Architect with experience in both academia and private practice and is a director at Yes& Studio. Amy has a special interest in informality and self organised systems. She graduated top of her Master of Landscape Architecture class and has won both national and international awards for her designs.
Christine is a Professional Landscape Architect and is currently working at UCT as a full-time academic. She holds a Bachelor in Architectural Studies, a Master of Landscape Architecture and has recently completed a PhD in landscape architectural education at UCT.
Clinton Hindes is the Convenor of the Landscape Architecture Programme at UCT. He graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Landscape Architecture (by research) from the University of Pretoria. His masters degree focussed on teaching in landscape architecture. Before joining UCT Clinton taught landscape architecture and architecture at the University of Pretoria. He is currently wrapping up his PhD focusing on the interface between ecology and design in landscape architecture.