Alma Mater Series – Colorado State University

I am headed to my best friend (who is also a landscape architect) from college’s wedding tomorrow, and I have been brainstorming my toast for the reception while reliving my college days in my head.  I figure what better time to write a post about the Colorado State University Landscape (CSU) Architecture Program than now.

CSU is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, about 75 miles north of Denver.  Fort Collins is a smaller city nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  The school initially started as an agricultural school named Colorado Agricultural College, then becoming Colorado A &M, and finally a University in 1957.  The landscape architecture program was established in 1976.

The landscape architecture program at CSU, which is five-years long, has a strong background in design.  Many of the studios are based on real life projects in local sites throughout Colorado that students are able to visit.  Studios allow experience on projects ranging in scale from planning to site design, permitting students to focus on aspects of the project they feel strongly about.  The program also provides many opportunities to travel, from a tour through the southwest United States to a European Studio where you explore everything from the intricate site design of an Italian villa to the urban design of Paris.

The department has a group of students representing the Student Chapter of ASLA who annually plan an event called LA Days.  This is a four-day event where the Chapter invites nationally and internationally recognized landscape architects to speak to the students.  Some of the speakers in the past years have included Peter Walker, Ken Smith, Michael Van Valkenburgh, George Hargreaves, Jennifer Guthrie, Andrea Cochran, Richard Haag and Thomas Wang.

As I look back and prepare my toast, I am filled with nostalgia for the studio lifestyle at CSU.  Even though it was challenging at times, I came away from that program with experiences that could not be replicated anywhere else.

What makes the landscape architecture program at your Alma Mater unique?


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