DesignIntelligence Ranks the Knowlton School’s Landscape Architecture Programs Among Top in Nation

The Knowlton School's undergraduate and graduate Landscape Architecture programs ranked highly in the just-released 2016-2017 DesignIntelligence rankings of “America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools.” The undergraduate program ranked 6th in the nation and received the #2 spot in the Deans Survey for most admired program for "its progressive faculty focusing on design, critical thinking and leadership." The graduate landscape architecture program ranked 13th out of the top 25 programs in the nation, according to both hiring professionals and academic leaders. The professional practice survey posed participants the question, “In your firm’s hiring experience in the past five years, which schools are best preparing students for a future in the profession and designing a sustainable future?”  In addition, practitioners are asked about which programs are best in teaching skills such as design, communication, sustainability and technology. The rankings are based on their responses.

Knowlton School Professor and Landscape Architecture Section Head Dorothée Imbert credits the strength of the landscape architecture programs on the cohesiveness and complementarity of an extremely energetic faculty. She states, "The faculty's avenues of research, from speculative design to alternative agroecologies and urban land exchange, have already garnered recognition. As we further develop our portfolio of teaching and research, we are seeking regional and interdisciplinary partnerships to expand our impact on our environment through test sites and experimental landscapes, with the goal of becoming the foremost Midwestern landscape architecture program with an international recognition."

Imbert describes the pedagogical framework within which landscape architecture students engage the curriculum at Ohio State: "Fundamentally, ours is a design culture of thinking through making. Students engage the medium (terrain, hydrology, vegetation) and phenomena of landscape architecture, at a variety of scales through analog and digital models and hybrid graphic investigations. These experimentations take place not only in studio but in eco-tech, media and history/theory courses."  Knowlton School students ground their practice and applied research in the Midwest (agriculture, mining, vacant land), Imbert indicates, to address broader economic, social and ecological themes, thus preparing students to equally contribute to the landscape of Ohio and the world.

For more than 16 years, “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools” from DesignIntelligence has been the definitive school ranking in four key disciplines: architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and industrial design. The America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools survey ranks accredited undergraduate and graduate programs from the perspective of professional practitioners who hire and supervise graduates of architecture, landscape architecture and interior design programs (“hiring professionals”). For the three professions reported, a total of 2,920 hiring professionals from 2,218 professional practice organizations returned validated survey responses. The DesignIntelligence rankings are issued by the Design Futures Council, a global network of design community professionals.

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