RESEARCH + REVISIONING
Many times in the field, a great deal of research is required when planning a development. Between demographic studies, market analyses, and site research, developers are required to conduct these studies in order to gain a better understanding of the environment in which they are building. This skill is vital to the overall success of the project not only from an economic standpoint, but an environmental and social one as well. Going along with research, the ability to reimagine an existing project, site, or set of plans is crucial in the industry as well. Often times, developers will be utilizing existing conditions to create a project and will need to be able to incorporate those elements into a new cohesive design. The MLPD program allows for students to practice these techniques by gaining exposure to the various documentation and methods required.
One major instance where both of these skills were employed in the program was within the scope of LDEV 688 (Design and Development Economy II - Capstone). The site for the main project in this course required a great bit of research in order to formulate a plan for the design. Reviewing the market and demographic study was important to fully grasp the community and market conditions that the new project would be introduced into. The site also contained existing structures, utilities, and infrastructure that was taken into account during the planning phase. The site plan is attached below. (See File 1)
While practicing research and revisioning, it is also important to be able to identify when this is done in the field. It seems that everyday strides are being made to advance the way projects are conceptualized, designed, constructed, and managed and it is valuable to be able to follow the work of others when it is creating a positive impact. I feel this is most true in regard to sustainable design. Throughout LDEV 671 (Sustainable Development), students are consistently asked what affect does development have in the overall scheme of the site, community, region, and world. This course offers the most obvious practice toward gaining and understanding the responsibilities that are present within the field. As a project for the class, students were asked to review an article of their choosing in order to gain a better grasp on the topic at large. I chose an article that was featured in an engineering periodical called Building Materials, Energy Efficiency, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by Robin Roy and collaborators. The article seeks to help the general population understand the responsibility of humans to protect the natural environment and expose the reader to new technologies that affect the development industry. It provides both small and large scale examples of sustainability that break down the topic into easily digestible portions. I felt as though this article had a large emphasis on the responsibility aspect and urged for a higher level of importance to be placed on the matter of service. The full critique is attached below.