BACK TO SCHOOL: DANCING IN THE DRAGON'S JAW DESIGN STUDIO, UNIV OF TN, with CHAD MANLEY & STUDENTS
Chad Manley is a fellow and lecturer in the school of Landscape Architecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Nora Jacobs and Carlos Velasco were two of the Masters of Landscape Architecture students in Chad’s spring 2023 Landscape Architecture Design Studio entitled Dancing the Dragon’s Jaw – a deeply imagined course of study designed by Chad “inviting students on a smokey dance of space-making along a continuum of Northern and Central California landscapes, and will result in an accretive semester’s long individual-collective physical and digital collage.
As a culmination of their learning and creative term, the studio group traveled to California to “dance through its communities, meadows and mountains, meet with fire keepers; land managers; scientists; artists; and designers, situating the journey within both the urgencies and poetic potentials of a land-on-fire.” The studio-developed ‘pyro-loci’ worked to consider and “re-imagine an empathetic landscape architecture born of regenerative fire – and regenerative, inclusive, and expansive learning mindsets.
They learned from books, from other designers and design history, from the drawing board, but they learned on and from the land and people for whom their design might be of greatest benefit.
On a rainy day in March of this year, the studio class visited with me and my partner plantsman John Whittlesey on his land just south and east of Paradise, which burnt in the Camp Fire in 2018. While the landscape architecture students were learning about land, fire, and designing from a much wider perspective than we often contain our learning to, I was learning so much more about the very nature of plant and land education.
Speaking of educational days – I have two days of visits and talks coming up in the Cincinnati, Ohio area that I am so thrilled about.
Thanks to the invitation and organization of Cincinnati Public Radio, WVXU, (which airs Cultivating Place Saturday mornings!), The Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati, and the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art & Plannin , I will be spending Wednesday Sept 6th in conversation with the horticultural and ecological programs at the University of Cincinnati, including a free lecture open to the public for the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at 4:30 pm that day, and an evening lecture at the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati at 6:30 on Thursday September 7th, in advance of their annual Fall Native Plant Festival and sale happening on Saturday the 9th. The Thursday lecture is sold out but media partner WVXU in Cincinnati still has 20 tickets to give away – tune into the station's social media accounts for more information on these. Information on registering for the Wednesday talk at the Univ of Cincinnati can be found in this week’s episode show notes or at cultivatingplace.com/events.
You can follow The University of Tennessee, Knoxville's Landscape Architecture program online here:
IF YOU LIKE THIS PROGAM,
you might also enjoy these Best of CP programs in our archive:
Back to School Special, The Little Gardener with Julie Cerny
JOIN US again next week, when we welcome September, the end of summer, and two weeks’ of virtually visiting New York City in advance of The Garden Conservancy’s Garden Future’s Summit at the New York Botanical Garden on September 29th and 30th. To prepare, We’re in conversation next week with artist and author Ngoc Minh Ngo whose newest title, Green New York profiles and celebrates aall things green space in the Big Apple’s five boroughs.……. That’s next week right here - listen in.
Speaking of Plants and Place is on summer vacation - back soon!
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This fall, the Conservancy brings us Isabella Tree, the author of The Book of Wilding, to discuss how spectacularly nature can bounce back if we only give it the chance through wilding. And what comes is not just wildlife in super-abundance, but also solutions to the other environmental crises we face. The speaking tour takes Tree to New York City on September 29 for the Garden Futures Summit and then to Middleburg, VA on October 2 and St. Louis, MO on October 4. For tickets and more information, go to garden conservancy dot org slash education.
Thinking out loud this week:
Having good teachers is something we are all indebted to. In the aftermath of the Lahana fire on Maui, maybe the universe is asking us to all go back to school?
Maybe all of our gardens and public land management are in fact experimental and invitational design studios, and if we are cognizant of this - just think how much more we can do with them, we could learn from them, we can support them.
Seems to me, a good place to start in any learning endeavor is just what Chad built into the concept of his course: what can we bring rather than what are we searching for?
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