A huge opportunity, and learning experience in more ways than one, and for that I have a great deal of appreciation.
I think all of us as students do things a little differently, and value different practices and methods in landscape. I really enjoy that about school.
I tended to stray to the alternative end, spending more of my time in the field, or tinkering with models, than on graphic standards. I do really like to use softwares, especially dynamic ones, namely GIS and Rhino. I do really beleive that drawing is a way of knowing, and I tried to do a lot of that, and spent most of my time in a sketch book and on trace paper. There are things I would have done differently, I wish I had given myself more time to really make a set of formal and professional looking drawings, that's one of my biggest regrets.
My guiding principle though was always to work really hard to study sites, and the complexities embodied within, both physical and social. Landscape really isn't like architecture, where you start from a clean slate. Initially, the race to make photoshop drawings never really felt like studying landscape to me, but I see more clearly now the value in really powerful and immaculate graphics. In the beginning however I was really trying to get a grip on what it meant to design a landscape, and there was so much that was coming on hard and fast. I really liked the flexibility of drawing on trace, and I drew a lot by hand, and tried to replicate the design processes, namely those of Katherine Gustafason and her use of clay, as well as Gunther Vogt and in his practice of working with materials and models. Richard T. Forhman was hugely influential in a regionally focused studio. Kevin Lynch as well, in urban realms, always seemed to make his way and influence the circulatory skeleton of places I was drawing. Nigel Dunnet's work on plants, in particular the "modern naturalism" he writes about, the Piet Oudolf Highline style places enveloped in grasses. The work of Michele Desvignes, and his obsession with mechanisms, both built and natural, I also really spent time getting lost in. I don't think this always came through, and undoubtedly this is what I'm most guilty of, trying to rush through drawings after taking too much time on site and in books. I'm trying to grow from this.
What I think is probably the most upsetting thing, is not to have had a full and engaged body of faculty and students. Everyone was working hard, and doing the best they could, but no one really worked in the studio, and there was so much learning that went on when people were together.
This field is incredibly fascinating and engaging, which I think is the only reason why I'm constantly burning the candle at both ends, TAing 3 out of 4 semesters, and trying to finish the curriculum in two years. I'd be lucky, and enthusiatic to be paid to do this for the rest of my life. What I'm also realizing though is that I feel more strongly about teaching and learning, than I do about performance. I think there's a lot of authenticity in learning....