Landscape Architecture students have exercised their critical thinking through a design studio where they were asked to reconsider what an arboretum could be.
Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design students had the opportunity to develop ideas that explored and challenged the typical idea of an arboretum – a botanical garden devoted to trees.
Working with a residential group from the community of Ballan, 80km north west of Melbourne, students spent a day analysing, exploring and recording how tree planting had been undertaken in the town in the past.
The studio, Arbor town_Ballan, explored how a town could reconsider its tree planting strategy through the idea of an arboretum, as well as the potential for a town to exist within an arboretum.
The students were challenged to develop a project that considered the aspects of identity and amenity that an arboretum town could offer, as well as the added economic advantages.
Lecturer Michael Howard from the School of Architecture and Design said the project allowed students to respond critically and creatively to a landscape opportunity.
“The project ideas responded in a broad manner that really exposed the level of thinking our students undertake in the learning process at RMIT,” Howard said.
“Their ideas have left the drawing board and are about to be realised and tested in the real world of exciting initiatives that RMIT has a reputation for creating.”
The design studio, aided by the Arboretum Group Ballan, garnered publicity through an ideas publication launched by Dr Gregory Moore of the University of Melbourne with a pop-up exhibition of student work in the Ballan township as part of the Ballan 2015 Autumn Festival.