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BLA Program for NewSchool of Architecture and Design

The NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) in San Diego began a MLA program in 2010, and will now offer a BLA program this fall.

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The NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD), located in San Diego's East Village (near the Gaslamp Quarter and PETCO Park), is one of the top comprehensive architecture schools in the nation. This fall it will begin offering a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree program. A Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program began last fall.

Leslie Ryan, ASLA, chair of the Landscape Architecture program and an assistant professor at NSAD, notes San Diego's coastal, urban and arid ecologies, under ever increasing pressure from rapid urbanization, migrations and expanding demand on resources, are an excellent living lab for design study and experimentation for landscape architecture students.

Through design studios and professional courses, students will develop skills in digital technologies, site engineering and landscape construction practices. This skill set is grounded in theoretical and practical coursework that helps students learn to think critically, act insightfully and communicate complicated ideas using a variety of media.

The program objective is to prepare students to address today's complex and constantly changing conditions; to develop design and planning responses that are nimble and capable of evolving as situations change; develop critical and ethical practices; and apply social and professional responsibilities. As Ms. Ryan notes, the problems of cities will become an even greater focus for landscape architectural projects, and the work to resolve these issues will become more crucial than ever.

The NSAD landscape architecture programs centers on sustainable urban environments, how we design and advocate for public spaces, creating new understandings of city ecology and see the relationships between the urban core and the larger landscape that supports it.

''It's extremely important for students to understand what is at stake today, and how their work can truly make a difference in our world,'' explains Ms. Ryan. ''And it's equally important that students learn how to implement their ideas, because that is how the change will happen.''

For further information contact Leslie Ryan, or visit

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December 6, 2019, 1:35 pm PDT

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