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New LA Masters Program for Chicago

The Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago

Beginning fall 2006, the Illinois Institute of Technology, envisioned as a "campus in the park," will offer the only professional landscape architecture degree program in Chicago. The new Masters in Landscape Architecture program, supported by seed funding from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, will include courses on the history of landscape architecture and architecture, the study of materials and infrastructure, the ecological, botanical, and geological processes behind landscapes, city and regional planning issues, alternate modes of urban growth, sustainability and energy-conscious design.

Consistent with IIT's interprofessional approach, the new program will be closely aligned with the existing architecture program and will draw on several other IIT disciplines, including civil and environmental engineering and sociology. The program will also include alliances with related institutions, such as the Chicago Botanic Garden, which is developing a joint sponsorship for the degree's curriculum.

"The degree's coursework is framed to reintroduce the technique and art of landscape and gardens as forces for environmental and human progress," says College of Architecture Dean Donna Robertson. "Using Chicago as a laboratory of critical inquiry, students will learn how landscapes and gardens can offer an antidote to the stress-inducing character of urban life, while combating pollution and serving as climate modulators."

As one of the major initiatives included in the university's strategic operating plan, the new program arises out of the recent renaissance of Chicago's landscapes, as exemplified by Millennium Park and the revitalization of IIT's main campus and the surrounding Bronzeville neighborhood. The program follows on the heels of a 2005 General Design Award of Honor presented by the American Society of Landscape Architects to landscape architect Peter Lindsay Schaudt for his work on IIT's main campus.

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December 15, 2019, 8:08 am PDT

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