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Studio Premise

Every landscape tells a story of its historical, cultural, and environmental past and present.  As designers our job is to evaluate each landscape through these lenses and create spaces for human and animal use with emphasis on sustainability of the landscape, functionality of the design and overall aesthetics. With each site, students perform site analysis and evaluation of the information gathered from site visits; articulate a design program or generated programming elements for their site designs; create conceptual drawings, a site design framework; and generate spatial forms that express their proposed design concepts through schematic plans, section-elevations, perspectives, other supporting illustrative drawings, and models as needed.  

Key questions that students are asked to address with each design are: why and how do you choose one design intervention over another; how do you evaluate your design ideas to determine which is the strongest; what is the function of each space within your design; what are your connections internally within the site and externally; how does form influence your design intent; how has your design improved the existing site?


The goals of the class are to develop an individual methodology; to develop a set of design process skills that can be used in subsequent studios and on other sites of varying scales and complexities; and to develop a comfort level in understanding an existing site, identifying its challenges and opportunities for generating bold design interventions. These studio's are taught by Professor Val Aymer at the 1st semester sophomore level, and second semester 1st year grad level. Click images to enlarge.


Conceptual Diagrams and Hand Drawn Schematic Plan for Cornell Library Plaza

by Ethan Garner MLA candidate '19, work from Spring '17

Garner student work

Garner student work 2

Garner student work 3


Conceptual Diagrams and Schematic Plans for Cornell Library Plaza

by JaiMin Chen MLA candidate '19, work from Spring '17

Chen student work


Chen student work 2