Invaluable Inspiration: LADAC
As a proud graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo I have wanted to find ways to give back to the school beyond financial contributions. Over the years Callander Associates has hired many Cal Poly graduates, both full time and for internships, so I have found some personal gratification in that. However, this past year and a half I have been fortunate to become a member of the Cal Poly Landscape Architecture Department Advisory Committee (LADAC). Comprised of former graduates who have become leaders in the profession, LADAC aims to provide the Landscape Architecture department aide in fulfilling its mission and goals. In practice the group convenes on campus three times a year to volunteer time towards guest lectures, desk critiques, and provides the department a resource to discuss curriculum and trends in the industry.
Thus far from the LADAC sessions I have attended I have been surprised how rewarding it has been. As a guest critic in several design studios I have had the opportunity to work one on one with students as they work through their projects. I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of design work and graphics of the upper class students. Specifically the care and attention put towards communicating design intent through simple, graphically rich, infographics and photorealistic simulations. Their graphics are clearly supporting strong designs based upon a well thought out analysis of site and demographic information rather than cloaking a poor design. I have also really enjoyed working with the first and second year students as they struggle with the design process.
Most surprisingly, however, is how great these trips have been in recharging my own personal batteries. Being exposed to the creativity of the students and to that of my fellow LADAC members has given me a renewed focus to my own work and fodder for design inspiration. More specifically I have been reminded how important it is not to totally succumb to the pressures of budget and schedule, which typically results in rushing the design process, but rather take the time required for analysis and research to help develop truly unique but context sensitive solutions. I look forward to many more years of LADAC service and thus many more years of invaluable inspiration.
Brian Fletcher, President