Experience Landscape Architecture’s ‘Studio in the Wild’

By Caroline Roistacher

The Landscape Architecture (LA) Department will host their annual Senior Show on Saturday, March 16, from 1 to 5 p.m. This year’s theme, “Studio in the Wild,” will be held in Cal Poly building 156, room 110.

LA Senior Class of 2024 (Courtesy of CPLA SENIOR STUDIO)

Forty graduating seniors are enrolled in the senior studio class taught by professors César Torres Bustamante and David Watts. Over the past six months, students have been creating projects that tackle urgent global challenges and issues and dive into the potential of the landscape architecture profession.  

Students were divided into five committees to help plan and execute the show: social media and outreach, catering, fundraising, venue planning, and website design. Every two weeks, the class met to discuss their progress on their respective committees.

The social media and outreach committee manages the Senior Show Instagram, creating and displaying posters around campus and contacting firms for donations. They also make welcome signs and display other supplemental materials at the event.

Landscape architecture fourth-year Mari Takata, alongside another team member, oversees the creation of Instagram posts. The team is currently wrapping up fundraising and looking forward to the next steps, including printing posters and putting them up around campus.

“We’ve all spent the past three quarters working on our projects, so it’s really exciting getting everything prepared for the senior show and just knowing that all of our work is going to be on display at an end-of-year thing that we work really hard towards,” Takata said. “It’s exciting putting the work towards making Senior Show as successful as possible.”

Takata’s Senior Project: “Blooming Behind Bars” (Courtesy of CPLA INSTAGRAM @CPLA.SENIORSTUDIO)

Another committee working on the show is the catering committee. This team of nine students oversees planning and securing the food and beverages that will be served at the event.

LA senior Lilliana Franco is part of the catering committee. She said, “We have to consider the food, how it will be served, who will serve it and any dishes.”

The team began by sending a questionnaire to all students about dietary restrictions, how many guests each student was expecting and requests for food and drink options. They then worked to finalize their budget.

The team did a lot of brainstorming for different catering ideas. They investigated options such as grazing tables, Cal Poly catering and numerous other sources. They are also planning to serve ice cream from the Cal Poly Creamery.

“If we were ever out at like, a farmers market, and we saw something, we would ask for their business cards,” Franco said. “We were always keeping our options open.”

Franco’s Senior Project: “Community Connections” (Courtesy of CPLA INSTAGRAM @CPLA.SENIORSTUDIO)

The fundraising committee also plays a vital role in planning the Senior Show. This committee is in charge of raising money and reaching out to potential donors. They have started a GoFundMe and worked together to reach out to alumni, friends, family and companies students have worked with.

The fundraising committee encountered a roadblock during the process when the show’s budget tripled. They are working on creative solutions to combat this problem, cutting costs and taking active steps to achieve their goal.

LA senior Liana Hess is part of the fundraising committee. She described how proud she feels of her classmates, which makes working together as a class feel special. She also believes that seeing everyone’s different projects come to life is very interesting.

Hess’s Senior Project: “Collectibles” (Courtesy of CPLA INSTAGRAM @CPLA.SENIORSTUDIO)

“Our cohort is very close; we’ve all worked together for the past five years,” Hess said. “It’s been really cool just seeing everyone grow so much and see how everyone has changed and improved.”

Hess also emphasized the collaborative nature of the Senior Show between her and her peers.

“It’s like you’re also doing a little tiny, tiny part of their project, and they’re doing a little tiny part of yours.”

The LA senior class has put a tremendous amount of work and effort into planning the Senior Show, all while balancing the development of their individual senior projects. Witness their hard work and creativity come to life by attending the Senior Show on Saturday, March 16, from 1 to 5 p.m. in building 156, room 110.

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