Knowlton Students and Faculty Win OCASLA Merit Awards

Knowlton School Associate Professor of Practice in City and Regional Planning Kyle Ezell and students in Tatiana Parfenova and Brett Kordenbrock’s landscape architecture course Novel Ecologies: Spontaneous Urban Plants have received Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architecture (OCASLA) Merit Awards under the Communications + Research category. OCASLA Merit Awards recognize “meritorious professional achievement in projects exhibiting outstanding achievement in the profession of landscape architecture.” The Communications + Research category is reserved for projects which identify and investigate challenges posed in landscape architecture, and which provide results that advance the body of knowledge for the profession.

Ezell’s award was for The Essence of Athens: A Strategic Design Plan for Community Competitiveness and Economic Enhancement. The plan, a locally-specific design to match the homegrown culture of Athens, Ohio, “challenges landscape architects, architects, and other urban design professions to deliver a one-of-a-kind city.” The award is the latest example of recognized cross-disciplinary faculty research at the Knowlton School, and follows the recent announcement that three faculty from the school’s landscape architecture and city and regional planning sections collaborated on a submission that was named a finalist in the Van Alen Institute’s Future Ground competition.

The Merit Award presented to students in Parfenova and Kordenbrock’s class is for work developed in the course LARCH 3189/7189, taught during the May 2014 session. The course’s goal was to “create a base of knowledge focused on wild urban plants and their respective characteristics—cultural value, performative potential, invasiveness, aesthetics” and to help students glean from the course “a critical perspective on these ecologies, the reasons they are becoming more and more important, and how they might be adapted in urban conditions.” In addition to readings and lectures, the course employed social media (Instagram) and several field-work sessions.

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