The LSU School of Architecture hosted the Designing Confluence workshop in April 2022, bringing together architecture students from all years to collaborate on tackling a common challenge.
“The All-School workshop brings all architecture students from multiple levels to work on a common topic to share ideas and engage specific design inquiries,” said Marwan Ghandour, Director of the School of Architecture. “These workshops enhances collaboration, peer learning and leadership in addressing important contemporary design topics.”
Organized by architecture faculty members Traci Birch, Meredith Gaglio, and Kristen Kelsch, the workshop examine how water impacts the built environment, and the role of water in maintaining and growing urban areas into the future.
“Historically, we have treated water as a resource to be removed from the urban landscape, which has resulted in catastrophic consequences,” the organizers stated.
“Cities of the 21st century will be defined by their relationship to water; either through scarcity or abundance. In particular, many cities – both coastal and inland – wrestle with the reality of more intense storms, more flooding, and more water to manage. Concepts such as low-impact development and green infrastructure –flood management approaches that more closely mimic the natural water cycle – are emerging as essential mechanisms to help people and places adapt to changing climate and environments. This is emblematic of a broader philosophical shift in how architects, engineers, and planners think about water: as a resource to live with rather than one to be pushed away.”
Working together in groups, the LSU architecture students: examined the Amite River watershed as a nested design framework; explored linkages between architecture, urban form, public space, and environmental quality; approached architecture and landscape design as intertwined endeavors in the making of sustainable systems; conducted contextual analyses to identify intersections and opportunities for architectural intervention that improves safety and quality of life for the region; enhanced their understanding of the system they live in through peer-to-peer learning, field studies, and hands-on design activities so they may carry this forward into their professional practice.
“I always enjoy being able to collaborate with other years within the school of architecture and I loved learning more from professionals about the issues that we face right here in Baton Rouge!” said Caroline Scheuermann, BArch 2022 candidate.
Workshop sponsors included (and featured speakers by) BREC, Waggonner & Ball, CPRA, and CRPRC.