Midwest Landscape Lab

The Midwest Landscape Lab (MidLL) is a research and teaching initiative focused on the ecological, material and cultural histories that shape the Midwest.

The Midwest Landscape Lab (MidLL) is a research and teaching initiative working through place-based scholarship to cultivate environmentally and socially engaged landscape architects.

MidLL facilitates close collaboration between faculty and students, supporting fieldwork and research centered on ecological, material, and cultural histories that shape the Midwest. MidLL promotes working with and within the landscape to generate new and expanded forms of landscape architectural practice. The lab prioritizes experiential, field-based design methods, site-scale experimentation, and visual research that interconnects disciplines.

As a research extension of Knowlton Landscape, MidLL engages with students and faculty by connecting curriculum to real-world experiential and analytical field work. MidLL strives to support and amplify individual faculty and student research and hosts in-the-field events that promote place-based scholarship.

MidLL On Site

The Midwest Landscape Lab is committed to modeling sustainable design practices and cultivating stewardship of the local environment. We reinforce Knowlton Landscape’s curriculum by providing opportunities to work On Site, connecting concepts from the classroom and studio to real-world observational and analytical fieldwork.

MidLL On Site is a field trip series integrated into the MLA curriculum. Each fall and spring, graduate students travel to a significant Midwestern ecological system to experience and the landscape directly. These field trips are critical punctuations in the academic calendar and are unifying points of study for graduate students across the three-year degree.

Student research and fieldwork will be chronicled in an annual publication. The initial three-year MidLL On Site series will culminate in a curated exhibition and capstone panel discussion of the experience.

Research, Courses and Explorations

With existing ties to the Knowlton Landscape curriculum and exciting new partnerships on the horizon, MidLL continues to grow and develop. A collection of work that aligns with the lab’s ongoing mission and method is featured below.

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Olivia Minnie

Graduate Research Assistant