RRSLA Students’ 3-D Printing of Terrain Models Featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine

lsu landscape architecture 3d printing

landscape architecture magazine

March 2014 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine

The March 2014 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM), the magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), featured the work of Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture students in an article about three-dimensional printing, “3-D Printing: the Basics (For Now).”

The student work was conducted in fall 2013 as part a Digital Representation course (LA 2101) taught by Professional in Residence Peter Summerlin. The students were tasked with studying terrain characteristics for five landscape typologies. They worked together to build a speculative regional landscape representing all five typologies and digitally modeled terrain through the use of the 3-D printer in the Design Shop at the LSU College of Art + Design. All of the prints were arranged to represent the physical model of the regional landscape the students digitally developed.

The LAM article discusses how 3-D printing is being used in landscape architecture—primarily as a tool for making physical models better and easier. As Summerlin says in the article, “In previous classes, we have executed the traditional chipboard model to represent contours. The capabilities of the 3-D printer allow for quicker, more refined terrain models for both study and presentation,” (p. 60).

The article features a two-page spread (pp. 62–63), showing the step-by-step process Summerlin’s students used to create their terrain models.

The article is a great introduction for anyone interested in how 3-D printers are currently being used in the design professions, particularly in landscape architecture.

Visit for more information, or purchase the March 2014 issue of LAM on Zinio.

About Peter Summerlin
Peter Summerlin is an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at Louisiana State University. He received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Mississippi State University and his Master of Landscape Architecture from LSU, where he taught as a graduate assistant for two years before joining the faculty as a professional in residence. Summerlin has worked as an assistant director of community development for the City of Madison, as a land planner for McCrory & Associates, and, most recently, as an associate at Dana Brown & Associates in Baton Rouge. He also served as treasurer of the Mississippi chapter of ASLA for two years. Summerlin’s interests are focused on digital representation and urban design.