Ever wondered about a career in landscape architecture? Meet Jock Gilbert as he explains the structure and key learning outcomes of the Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design, the kinds of projects you can expect to work on as a student and the sort of work you can expect to do when you graduate.
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Jock Gilbert: Hi, my name's Jock Gilbert. I'm the Program Manager of the Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design here at RMIT University. I've been program manager of this degree for two years, and I'm also actively involved in landscape architectural research and practice and work as a landscape architect for many years with traditional owners of their country.
Today, I'm going to tell you a little bit about RMIT's Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design Program, and also a little bit about the Masters of Landscape Architecture at the end of this presentation.
As we move through the presentation, I'll be explaining to you some of the key learning outcomes of the program, the structure of the program itself, and the kinds of projects you can expect to work on as a student, as well as the sorts of work you can expect to do when you graduate. It's my privilege to be a part of this vibrant architecture and urban design school community at RMIT university. And I'd love to welcome you to our program.
I would also just like to say, now, extend a welcome to you all. Thank you. And to extend that welcome in the language of the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung people of the Eastern Kulin nation on whose unceded land, the university conductors its business of learning. And we endeavor as much as possible to make that a shared learning experience. The word Wominjeka as shared with me by our elder in residence, Auntie Carolyn Briggs, is welcome in our English language, but it also has a double meaning. And that extra bit of meaning is really important, particularly for us as landscape architects. That means welcome and what is your intention? So what are you intending to do and be on this country, which is unceded land of the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung. So we're invited into a relationship with this country through this concept of Wominjeka, which is to state our intent, what is our purpose? So we must be very clear about that. So again, Wominjeka, welcome and thank you.
So Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design. Our bachelor program asks you and invites you to investigate and propose better ways of living in a complex and rapidly changing world. For us here at RMIT in the School of Architecture and Urban Design, landscape architecture works with many of the things that we all love the most. Plants, gardens, plazas, seasons, rivers, coastlines, communities, memories. And we engage with these to address many of the things that we fear the most. Climate change, environmental degradation loss of the natural world, disruption possibly through pandemic, drab uniform public spaces.
So when you come to us to study the Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design, you will be learning from a claimed local and international landscape architects. You'll also be learning from architects, urban designers, interior designers, industrial designers, as we come into a very collaborative community of learning. This helps to expand your skills to contribute to the future of design, research and practice with us.
I'd also like to introduce you now to Matthew Kneale, who is a recent graduate of both our Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design program and our Master's of Landscape Architecture program. Matthew studied combined study and work all the way through his journey, through both programs. Matthew has worked for the Victorian government architect. He's worked for major landscape architectural practice offices, and he has engaged in a wide range of community led activities also. I think Matthew sums up what we think of landscape architecture very well when he says, "Landscape architecture is not about pretty gardens, it's about dealing with the challenges of urbanization, such as water, energy, food security, as well as ensuring equitable access to transport work, leisure, health, and happiness." And Matthew has transformed this into a practice, which now sees him working in the government department in the development of policy around landscape infrastructure, which is underpinned by this commitment to equity.
So here we have the Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design entry requirements. We do require you to have successfully completed Australian year 12 or equivalent, including units three and four with a study score of at least 30 in English, or at least 25 in English other than EAL. We also ask you to complete and submit a selection task. What we're looking for in that selection task is your interest in the world. So as I've described previously, our conception of landscape is really about the world. So landscape is not about pretty gardens and fences and borders. It's about the world that we live in.
So we ask you to demonstrate your interest in that world, the world of landscape, the world of cities, of regions, of towns, of grass and trees, of people. We also ask you to demonstrate through that an element of creativity. So we are landscape architects, so we're engaged in landscape and we do things to it and we try and do that creatively. So there is a small task that asks you to engage through your interest in the world to demonstrate some of your creativity. And you can demonstrate that in various ways, really interestingly.
So here we have the core structure for the Bachelor of Landscape Architectural design. Our bachelor program is divided into Design Studio where we learn design by doing design and what we call three core streams. I'll talk in more detail about the design studios in the next couple of slides, but just to alert you to these streams. The environment stream, which is the world around us. And we can think about scales of systems, forests, geology, geo-morphology, the way the world is put together, water hydrology, all those physical elements. Right down when you get to the top of that stream in year three, how things fit together. So we make very, very wise decisions as to how things fit together in relation to where they've come from and what they're part of.
Landscape architecture theoretical framework stream asks you to engage with the world of ideas as it pertains to landscape architecture. So we're not the first ones to have thought about some of the great ideas that we have. Other people have thought about it and we can engage and think with their thoughts. Communications stream is just that. We ask you to undertake a study of how we communicate. Primarily, we do that through drawings because we are landscape architects. But we also write and we also talk. I love to tell people that when I'm at work, especially through my daughter. When I'm at work, all I do is draw and talk. That's about it. We also write, and that's a very important part of the communication stream.
You will also be invited to do two electives and you can choose your electives from our stream or from anywhere else in the university to bring your interests to the [inaudible 00:07:47].
Facilities. In our program, you will be operating out of the design hub Building 100. The design hub is an amazing building. It's an award winning piece of work by RMIT Alumni and architect, Sean Godsell. It's full of every conceivable teaching space. Fully equipped workshops, galleries, robotics lab, and lots of different design studio spaces, as well as your own student focused learning spaces. So breakout spaces where you can learn. All those spaces are equipped with computers, with hard drives, which have already loaded all of the software that you'll need for your programs.
The hub features also lecture spaces where prominent local and international architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and other interesting people in the world present public lectures throughout the year, which you're very welcome to be a part of.
One of the cores of our program or a core feature of our program, are traveling studios. Very often, at least once a year, a traveling studio will be international. This is an image of a recent studio that went to Berlin with Brent Green, looking at some of the leftover spaces in Berlin and how they are colonized by both people and plants working in tandem. So it investigated the city's postwar heritage. What happens when we're confronted with economic collapse, spatial and political division and are left with an extensive legacy of bombed sites? These all influence a particular framework of urban ecology and that's Brent's research interest. And he brings you along with that as a student. So you become part of a bigger research project, which is very often international.
So many of our design studios engage with high end digital technology. Hollow lenses, laser cutters, 3D printing are all part of the repertoire and it's all found within our workshops. We use these to design and fabricate complicated assemblies, but also complicated landforms. 2D drawings are incredible useful and they describe two dimensional geometry. But as we all know probably by now, non-plain art geometries, things that do this and not so difficult to describe with a pen and paper or with a flat sheet.
So through hollow lens technology, through 3D printing through laser cutting, you can view your 3D designs in context and make quick changes and iterations within this immersive virtual environment. Importantly, you can also use that to communicate your design decisions back out to your audience.
Another aspect of the traveling studios is those that travel within Australia. And very often the traveling studios within Australia visit regional communities. And very often those regional communities can be Aboriginal organizations, land councils, Aboriginal corporations. So our own country series of studios, sees Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design students spend time on country with elders and community members. Undertake projects always of shared learning. Understanding whose country we're on. Understanding how we give back in to that community. They're really exciting projects to be a part of. Often very impromptu. You can see from this image that the side of the bus becomes a gallery in situ and everybody becomes part of that conversation.
So now I'll unpack for you what the design studio is and how we do it here at RMIT. It's not a delivery model that is used everywhere, and we're very proud of the way that we offer studios this way. So we learn design and we teach design by doing design. So right from the start, you are engaged in design projects. And we have what we call a vertical studio model. So you will be in design studios with your peers from levels one through to three. So years one to three, all come together and divide up into very small units of perhaps 20 students. And you all investigate one design issue.
In studio one, it's only your first year colleagues in first semester. So you come together, all of you and you work in small groups to pursue an agenda. Often working with a stakeholder, and that could include PACS Victoria. It can include the Riverkeepers Association, very often focused on the Melbourne metropolitan area.
For studios two to six is when you really get into the vertical studio system. And you start to explore some of the bigger issues in the world through a very grounded landscape issue. This is one engaging with greening the West from a couple of years ago. And you can see that the resolution of a design has carried over into consideration of how migratory birds are related to that site. So all of a sudden the whole world comes into that one very little site.
This is a much more urban studio dealing with issues on the Moonee Ponds Creek. So you can see this relationship between bigger hydrological, water and rocks and geology, between those systems and what we might think of as the urban realm or built form.
This is a studio that brings the scale in very, very tightly so that we are into a very personal space. We're designing form in relation to the human body. How does it feel to be in a space like this? Very evocative work.
This is an example of some studio work, which is on the face of it, a lot more technical. But really what this one's describing is how, what we can do on a very small scale in a city has ramification and can make influence and effect out into the entire city fabric.
We also have a range of other activities that you can engage with in your time with us. One of those is Kerb Journal. Kerb is one of the outstanding landscape architectural journals internationally. It has an international audience and international contribution. It is entirely led by a student editorial board. So as a student, you are part of the board who makes the decisions about the theme for a year and then invite contributions in on that theme. It's an extraordinary piece of work to be involved with.
Related to Kerb is what we call SLAB, our Student Landscape Architecture Body. And they have been absolutely fantastic and very active over the last few years in getting out into the university and into the wider world with projects that involve landscape students coming together with communities, with other disciplines and really just enjoying life by unpacking some of the issues in the world. With exhibitions, with book readings, with trips, with all sorts of fun stuff.
So our industry connections are very tight. They are very broad. So we have very specific connections with landscape firms within Melbourne and internationally, so that you will undertake design projects with leading landscape architects, both national and international. You will be able to attend field trips as part of your studio practice. So the studios don't sit in the building, they go out and engage with the landscape. That's what we do. You will work on industry projects with real clients and you'll engage with communities in real life projects.
And of course you will have the opportunity to enter project competitions judged by leading industry experts. And that's a really great way to hone your skills, communication skills and drawing skills as well. We do have a significant range of industry partners from huge multinational organizations like Lendlease down to very small community organizations like the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation, and then everything in between. Doing significant work with UN Habitat, Zoos Victoria, the Venice Biennale Ali and ArchiFest, as well as a range of others. And all of those projects, you will have the opportunity to be involved in.
Some of them are here. So we've worked on the Greening the West initiative with City West Water to improve community connection and amenity in water delivery systems in the West of Melbourne, directly through studio. Next semester we're embarking on an industry partnership with Melbourne Zoo and Zoos Victoria, where students will be redesigning areas of the Melbourne Zoo, exploring ways that visitors move through the dynamic landscape, encountering animals in their incredibly varied habitats.
And every year or two, we run a studio with the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation at Euston in Southwestern New South Wales, designing landscape infrastructure to support a range of cultural learning enterprises on their country, which is back in [inaudible 00:17:32], learning from the community as we give back some of these design propositions.
RMIT as a university has a huge range of global opportunities that you can tap into as part of our program. There's 215 universities around the world. The program doesn't engage with all of those, but you are able to do internships and exchange programs with those universities and some key universities in Asia and Europe with whom we have very close program related relationships. And we have exchange programs with staff and with students.
So what will you do after you have achieved your Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design? You are able to work as a landscape designer. You can become a park designer. You can work in a regional planning office. You can think about ecological design. You could start your own practice as a garden designer. You can go into project management with the tools of design under your belt and particularly landscape project management. But that also becomes landscape management, so you can manage landscapes.
It's also important to note that the Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design is a pathway program into the Master's of Landscape Architecture. The Master's of Landscape Architecture is a fully accredited program within the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. And at the conclusion of which you can be admitted to the Institute as a landscape architect, which then allows you to practice in whatever form you like as, and it's a very, very broad practice forum.
2021 important dates. So our 2021 orientation week runs from the 22nd to the 26th of February. Classes commence on the 1st of March, 2021. And your last day to enroll for semester one is the 8th of March, 2021. I would encourage you to enroll prior to that so that you can hit the ground running. Be ready for 2021 orientation. We really look forward to seeing you there. We have some amazing orientation activities already lined up for you.
If I could just end by saying thank you very much for taking the time to hear about our fantastic Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design program here at RMIT University. For more information about our courses, check out the RMIT website or call study at RMIT on 99252260. Take care, stay safe and have a lovely day. Thank you.
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