Fee Penn Interview Report Campus design is an art consisting of multiple and overlapping designs like determining the locations of teaching buildings, residence halls and so on. As a landscape architecture student, I am interested in this topic. I interviewed professor David Michael Barbarism, who is an assistant professor of landscape architecture in Purdue University. Proof. Barbarism earned a bachelor’s of landscape architecture from Virginia Tech and a master of science from the department of landscape architecture at State University of New York Environmental School of
Forestry. Before he came to Purdue, he worked in design firms from NYC and Washington D. C where he did a lot of different types of landscape designs including campus design. The day I interviewed Proof. Barbarism was a nice day with warm sunshine and blooming flowers everywhere, Purdue campus seemed to wake up from the dead winter. Nice weather leads to a nice mood, as does a nice campus design. When I asked Proof. Barbarism how Virginia Tech campus influenced his study life, he smiled and shared his story with me happily.
He said the first time he walked around in Virginia Tech, he just fell in love with it and noticed that this place was the very place he wanted to go without even learning about the programs. He thought the campus Just felt right to him. It had a consistent style, a great level of public students’ space from big wide open areas to little shelter private gathering areas. These were all what he thought a college should be like. From his point of view, campus landscape really has an unimaginable effect on students’ lives. Proof. Barbarism did some campus design project when he was working for design firms.
When I asked the key points when designing a campus, he thought a few seconds and figured out two main points which were a sense of scale and a sense of place. He explained that a sense of scale should bring comforts to people, for example, a sense of enclosure enough to feel like you are not standing in the middle a big field. The designer should leave enough space to let tons of students to walk between teaching buildings during the ten-minute break. When talking about a sense of place, he used a very effective example which I easily understood.
He said to me:” k, meet me at the bell tower, you know where we meet? ” The answer was obviously positive. In fact, that’s the sense of place, the bell tower has its own location and it’s very different from the other places. Both a sense of place and a sense of scale were the two key points he mentioned for campus design. After asking some questions about his experience being a student and a landscape architect, we shared some different opinions on Purdue campus design. We reached agreements on some issues. For example, we both thought State Street was kind of annoying because it cut the campus into two pieces.
I remember the first time I arrived in Purdue in August, I let this campus was Just the north side of State Street. Proof. Barbarism nodded his head when I was talking and added his comments that there should be a special entry sign on State Street to let people know they were arriving in Purdue campus. We both thought State Street should be a good connection between the north and the south parts instead of being an awkward cut line of the whole campus. When talking about the locations of residence halls, we held different opinions.
From my perspectives, Purdue should place the residence halls around teaching alluding so that students can have only a 5-minute walk to class Just like Hawkins Hall. However, Proof. Barbarism didn’t agree with me. He shifted his chair, thought a few seconds and put some important points which I hadn’t thought of before. He said the reason why many campus put academic areas separated from living areas was because their different functions. Purdue clustered most of the residence halls because they shared some facilities like dining courts, laundry systems and open space for fun.
On the other hand, academic areas need a quite academic atmosphere tit libraries and laboratories. Considering these two different functions, it was better to separate residence halls and teaching buildings Just like what Purdue had done. Though we had different ideas of where to place residence halls, we had the same idea with respect to making the campus more pedestrian-oriented especially the way from residence halls to teaching buildings. Proof. Barbarism told me his first impression of Purdue campus was that it’s an automobile-oriented campus. In fact, I couldn’t agree more. There are not any interesting views along the street.
I Just walk own the street and the only thing could stop me is the crossing. We both think the next step Purdue should consider is the design of State Street corridor. State Street is very important not only because it’s a very busy street but also because driving though gives a quick view of Purdue campus especially for drivers who Just pass by. This street might be driver’s first impression of Purdue campus. The discussion was so involving that I almost lost track of time. Finally, Proof. Barbarism told me the good news was that most of the improvements we talked about will show up in the future master plans.
Purdue amp’s designers are trying their best to improve the whole environment. He said what we should do was Just to wait and see. Thanks to Proof. Barbarism for his time to let me think about campus design with him together. I learned a lot about not only some specific terms of campus design but also some logical thinking methods to judge things like where to put residence halls. I need to take all factors into consideration and think it not only as a student but also as one of the other people who work or play on campus. We critique Purdue because we love Purdue. I am so proud to witness the growth of our Purdue campus.
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