Canalscape

Workshop and Studio

In the spring of 2009, Dr. Nan Ellin, professor at ASU, taught a workshop with 25 students from 10 different programs at ASU, in tandem with a studio of 15 additional students from 3 additional programs at the University of Colorado Denver, taught by landscape architect Lori Catalano.

Students spent the semester: obtaining community input; learning about ancient and modern canal history; gathering oral histories, archival photos, and previous canal propositions; developing policy recommendations to facilitate development along the canal banks; imagining a wide range of possibilities for enhancing quality of life in Metro Phoenix through canal-based enhancements; and more. By presenting their research and proposals in an exhibition and publication, the students of ASU and UCD aim to seed positive large-scale, long-term change in urban growth and development for the Phoenix region.

From the UCD syllabus:

There are seven student learning outcomes that will be the focus of this semester. In this studio the end product is important, but the process is important as well. Therefore, each of these outcomes will be presented and discussed as part of the studio process. By the end of the semester students should be able to:

  • Identify and understand various formal, social, economic and political forces giving shape to the built environment.
  • Determine processes and practices that lead to conceptual, analytical, and formative actions that transform existing situations into preferred alternatives.
  • Situate the design problem within a larger cultural, social and ecological context.
  • Setup and test strategies that synthesize the research and contextual processes.
  • Implement and demonstrate the strategies through physical application.
  • Prepare and present an organized, professional and compelling verbal and visual presentation using appropriate media to explain complex ideas and concepts.
  • Clearly articulate and document the iterative process of developing design ideas.

From the ASU syllabus:

Students in the workshop will demonstrate a range of Canalscape possibilities by formulating proposals for 4 sites in Phoenix: a small “short,” a bigger “tall,” a robust “grande,” and a high-octane “venti.” We may formulate proposals for a site in Scottsdale as well. Tools for implementing Canalscape throughout the metropolitan region will also be developed. Collaborating with a parallel urban design studio from the University of Colorado, we will work towards producing a short video, sustainability standards, a Canalscape overlay (or “module”) for municipalities, a website and blog, an exhibition demonstrating the possibilities, and an accompanying publication.