Landscape Architecture Students Think Big in Griffin, GA
In the spring, landscape architecture students in the College of Environment and Design had to, quite literally, “dream big.”
As in, airport-sized big.
With the support of CED lecturer James Schulte and the UGA Archway Partnership, landscape architecture students harnessed their imagination and critical thinking skills to create new designs for a revitalization project in Griffin, Georgia.
City officials are planning the redesign of a large area where the Griffin airport is located. After talking with Schulte, Angel Jackson, operations coordinator for the UGA Archway Partnership, felt that his landscape studio students would be perfect for getting the brainstorming process started.
“Because it was this blank canvas, it was the perfect fit for a class with lots of students because they are open to all kinds of ideas,” said Jackson.
In March, Schulte’s students took a field trip to Griffin, where they toured the current airport, met with community partners and learned about the history of the site. Students said the in-person experience was invaluable to their creative process.
“It was really cool visiting the site and being able to see it in person to get a sense of the scale,” said Shea Peters, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture student who worked on the project.
Schulte’s students worked in pairs to create extensive design plans that included specific parameters such as retail and housing.
“I think it was really cool to imagine the needs of the community,” said Peters. “And this was such a huge area that we had to make a lot of decisions about. It was really cool to have that opportunity.”
At the conclusion of the spring semester, Schulte’s students presented their finished designs before Griffin city officials.
“It’s good to not limit yourself in your design,” said landscape design student Brittney Waldheim, “because it’s more fun when you come up with things that are creative.”
Griffin has a long-standing relationship with the UGA Archway Partnership, a public service and outreach branch of UGA whose purpose is to connect UGA students to communities in need.
Griffin is one of eight communities that work with the Archway program to address economic and community needs, and Griffin officials said they were impressed by the effort and creativity that Schulte’s students conveyed.
“This whole process gets me excited,” said Griffin director of planning and development Chad Jacobs. “It helps to push the narrative a little bit and say, ‘Here are all these possibilities.’”