Students or teams will create their own project schedules. However, all schedules should include the following general Scope of Work with a detailed task list specific to each project.
Each individual student writes a literature review on a topic of their choice in the Fall quarter in LA652 Graduate Seminar. For 606 project students, these literature reviews generally research, in depth, a topic of relevance to the 606 studio project (for thesis students, the research is a portion of their literature review). This research on the academic research literature informing our current knowledge on a topic of relevance provides the academic grounding for the 606 projects.
Each project team should spend time understanding the context of the project early in the project. Students should spend time reflecting upon relevant issues, which may include the site, the people involved, current issues in the area, history of the project area, etc. The project team should quickly gather all existing information about the project scale and the region. This is a time for quick data collection of existing information on the bio-physical and socio-cultural aspects of the project, for site visits and field notes, and for intuitive, unstructured observations, for familiarization, for feeling a part of this particular environment and for the quick collection and review of all immediately available relevant information. Students should collect all the information in physical or electronic form and include maps, diagrams, text, articles, field notes and short summaries of the information. Site Reconnaissance is not a thorough inventory, but is the first collection of information about all aspects of the site. By the end of the Site Recon process, student should be able to answer the following questions:
The work in this stage of the process is preliminary and is informed and often changed by later, more analytical, site inventory and program investigation. However, during this phase, the team will collect information, impressions, sketches, photographs and found materials that communicate the site and its issues. It is in this phase that the writing for the project also begins. The culmination of this stage may be a brief presentation and preliminary report of the project, the issues, and the context in addition to any supporting information. This exercise is intended to crystallize the site reconnaissance stage and direct the group awareness of data needs for upcoming field visits and inventory, program and analysis.
This stage was traditionally completed by no later than the first month of the winter quarter but is now completed in the fall quarter.
Any informed project includes systematic study of existing or proposed precedents, case studies and innovations. These precedent studies both provide the innovative planning and design solutions which inspire your solutions, and provide your client with information about other related projects. Precedent study research happens at many stages of the project: once characteristics of the project have been identified in order to provide insight into other projects of this type; once issues of the project have been identified in order to provide insight into other projects that dealt with similar issues; and solutions to specific issues or problems in order to provide insights into other solutions. Precedent studies must be thoroughly researched, include appropriately cited illustrations, and include analysis of their relevance/design principles that inform your work on your project and the differences between the precedent and the circumstances of your project. This phase continues throughout the project.
This stage builds an orderly collection of specific and detailed information to provide a rational basis for the project. Inventory focuses on ‘what is’, or the current conditions of the project and the region. Site inventory includes descriptions of both the bio-physical (natural) and socio-cultural (human) environment as well as analysis of that information by grouping areas of the landscape into Landscape Units which have distinct biophysical and socio-cultural characteristics. Information is collected at both the project scale and the regional scale in order to place the project in its larger context. Collected information is in three forms:
Text - The team will write text for their report to describe and analyze the various components, systems and interactions in the biophysical and socio-cultural aspects of the landscape. Text must be original to the team and should not include large amounts of quoted text from other sources. Text must be appropriately cited, and the report must include a bibliography or reference list.
Diagrams - The team will create diagrams or graphic models to describe and analyze the various systems of interaction occurring within the landscape. Examples of the diagrams in past projects include geomorphology, hydrology, natural communities (vegetation and wildlife), political interaction, energy and material flows, and perceptual experiences. The diagrams should be prepared to inform the team, the sponsor, and the public about processes that are critical— whether visible or invisible—to the ecological, social, aesthetic, or other properties of the project environment. Work must be original to the team.
Maps – each inventory category is generally illustrated by a corresponding map created by the team. Maps much include a north arrow, a graphic scale, and a clearly labeled legend. Maps should be attractive and illustrate for the client and the public the inventory data for the project.
Inventory ends with the creation of Landscape Units in order to understand the project in a more generalized manner. Inventory begins at the same time as Site Reconnaissance (which used to be known as preliminary inventory/stage of romance) and traditionally extended through the winter quarter, in the new schedule Inventory should be completed by early in the Winter quarter. With the Program stage it comprises the majority of the time of the project prior to design and planning. Written and illustrated text for each component of site inventory are due in the Inventory, Program and Analysis Report (IPA Report) due in the Winter quarter.
This stage collects data and synthesizes information from the client, stakeholders and constituencies (the public) in order to create a program of design, activity and planning for the project. Program focuses on a range of questions including ‘likes and dislikes’, ‘memories and place attachment’, ‘activities’, and ‘needs’. In general, program data collection includes the development of questionnaires, surveys and interviews for the project client, stakeholders, and other constituencies including interested parties and the public (if approved by the client). Sources for program also include existing documents such as planning reports, consultant’s reports, expert consultation as well as the expert judgment of the team and the faculty. This data is grouped into major categories of focus and are then interpreted by the expert team as ‘needs’. [In a very small scale example, if a residential client says they want a “blue, Lutyens bench” in their backyard, that can be interpreted as a need for ‘seating’, ‘color’ or ‘excitement’, and a historical connection to the Arts and Crafts movement that is the aesthetic for the area. Likewise, if a client and partners talk about the need for fee based events, grazing leases, partners to restore historic buildings, fundraising and grant-seeking, the issues with the project program clearly needs to include ‘income generation’.]
As in the inventory stage, this information is communicated in both text and graphic form. Program analysis concludes with a Compatibility Analysis and/or Relationship Diagrams which serve to highlight how different functions/activities and aspects of the program work or conflict with one another.
This phase runs parallel to the Inventory stage and should be in its full complete form at approximately the same time as Inventory and prior to the Analysis phase by the end of the Winter quarter.
In addition, the analysis phase includes the development of constraints and opportunity maps and diagrams (and supporting text), final identification of issues, as well as refinement of the overall Goal for the project and a series of supporting Objectives.
This stage requires that both the Inventory and the Program stages of the project be essentially complete and then takes a maximum of one week of intensive analysis. Analysis should be completed directly after the Inventory and Program stages and before Design. Analysis should be completed well before the end of the Winter quarter.
i. Planning: The strength of many landscape planning projects are that they are Vision Plans. They provide the client with possible direction, inspiration and education about future possibilities for their site. Vision plans explore:
Possibilities: All the things that might happen within your project landscape in the future. How might the pieces fit together? Can you present an inspiring vision of the future? Can you show how different courses of action might lead to different results? Define the alternatives.
Predictions: What are the likely effects, environmental and social, of the possibilities and alternatives?
Planning: As far as possible at this point, describe a specific plan of action. Describe future land uses and land forms in a realistic, inspiring, and convincing way and define the actions needed to bring them to reality.
Management: What happens in the future? What are the particular management activities, programming and/or next steps that will keep this an effective and benign environment? How will sponsors use your plan and keep it from being a shelf document?
Project planning should include master planning of the site with justification for the decisions you make (biophysical, socio-cultural and client needs supporting documentation). In addition, you should phase projects over time (ie 1-5 years, 6-15 years, 20 plus years, 50 plus years).
ii. Design: In addition, projects include specific site or elements of design. Generally the team determines the aspects of the project which need more detailed examination and each student in the team takes an aspect, element or specific site location of the larger project and engages in a process of design for that site, aspect or element of the project. Often these are aspects of the site that individuals found particularly inspiring and interesting and represent some aspect of the site and the program that you want to examine in an innovative way. The entire process of inventory, program and analysis is redone for the site scale designs, and must relate to the larger project scale.
This stage occurs after Analysis in the Spring quarter.
The conclusion of your efforts always results in a printed report, but may also include design or planning boards, and other deliverables as determined by you and the client (movies, interactive websites, etc). In order to complete your work within the time frame, graphics and text must be continually produced throughout each stage of the process. If required, final large format board graphic layouts take several days to execute and three iterations. Final report layout takes about eight weeks and has many ‘feedback loops’ of input from faculty, copy-editors and the client.
Faculty feedback is required at multiple stages of the production process. Review of report outlines, report text, report graphics and maps, and planning/design ideas occurs throughout the process. Production reviews include pin-up crits for boards and for report page design. Additionally when a completed, reviewed draft is finished, faculty perform a ‘page-through’ review of the report with each team to identify problems on each page of the report. This is a process which takes an entire 8 hour day. Revisions to layout and graphic design then must be performed and checked. The final printers proof requires another full day of page-through review. Faculty review of 606 reports takes 70 – 100 hours each iteration. Students must plan for these time requirements in their production schedule by scheduling a 2 week lag for faculty review of each submission.
Report and DVD Copies
Regardless of whether the 606 Project is funded or not, students are responsible for printing the following copies to be delivered to the Landscape Architecture office:
A printed report that illustrates the bulk of work that students engaged in on the project. The report must include a graphic front cover with the title of the project that also clearly identified the location or client. In addition, the front cover should include the client information and 606 Studio, Department of Landscape Architecture, Cal Poly Pomona. The front cover should be immediately followed by a title page which includes the title, sub-title (if any), client, 606 Studio information, contact information (email and phone) for the department, as well the names of the student team, the Principal Investigator(s) and the faculty team. The title page must be immediately followed by a thorough Executive Summary.
The back cover must also be graphically designed and include the title, an abstract about the project, the names of the student team, the name(s) of the Principal Investigator, and the names of the Faculty Advisors.
A minimum total of fourteen copies must be printed for the Department.
Additional copies may be printed for the students
Also for the Landscape Architecture Department: Students must also burn 6 copies each of the following material to DVDs and enclose them in double DVD movie cases with a designed paper insert including the following information (NOTE: NOT CD jewel cases)
Both DVDs and printed reports must be submitted before the department will sign the Report of Culminating Experience which is required to graduate from the MLA.