Recent Faculty Projects
Faculty are constantly involved in collaborative projects with other university disciplines, national and international agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and the private sector. A selection of recent projects, symposia and colloquia organized by Landscape Architecture faculty are highlighted here.
Cultural Landscapes of Orchha, India: Reclaiming the Lost Heritage
The site planning of Orchha, a small picturesque town in central India, was the focus of a workshop at the site and a design studio in Spring 2012, taught by Amita Sinha. Site readings and mappings were tools for deciphering the yet unwritten landscape history and assessing its heritage. This heritage is interpreted through visual framing, increased urban legibility, and environmental remediation. The reclaimed cultural landscape offers a mediating ground for reconciling myth and history in a meaningful experience.
|Govardhan Hill in Braj, India: Conservation Planning and Design
Landscape planning, design and management proposals were developed for conservation of the sacred Govardhan Hill in Braj, India by Amita Sinha and a team of graduate students in Spring 2010. The landscape is associated with the legend of the god Krishna and is a site of pilgrimage. The project was a result of a week long workshop conducted at the site in collaboration with Braj Foundation followed by a semester long design workshop in the campus. Reclamation of the Hill is proposed with sustainable landscape management practices for conservation of cultural and natural heritage and development of eco-cultural tourism.
|Local Intelligence Syposium
Organized by Gale Fulton
The Local Intelligence Symposium which took place on November 6, 2009, gathered University of Illinois faculty members from a wide range of departments and fields of study to foster trans-disciplinary discussion and lay the groundwork for future research and collaboration in areas such as environmental sustainability, cultural production, globalization, and more.
|Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities
Dianne Harris, Director
The IPRH was established in 1997 to promote interdisciplinary study in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The IPRH grants fellowships to University of Illinois faculty and graduate students, organizes numerous lectures and panel discussions featuring University of Illinois faculty and visiting scholars, coordinates and hosts an annual symposium and workshop dedicated to the works of the IPRH Fellows, provides financial support to faculty and graduate student reading groups, sponsors exhibitions by campus and visiting artists in its lecture hall, and hosts a yearlong film series coordinated with its annual theme. The IPRH also offers Odyssey Project courses and works with the Education Justice Project.
|Education Justice Project
Rebecca Ginsburg, Director
The Education Justice Project, established in 2007, is working with area correctional facilities and University of Illinois faculty to bring awareness to the need for in-prison education programs and to establish college credit courses for incarcerated individuals.
Collaborative for Cultural Heritage and Museum Practices
CHAMP is an interdisciplinary collaborative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the critical study of cultural heritage and museums in the global context. CHAMP's principal goal is to critically examine the articulation and representation of cultural identity on local and worldwide scales and to interrogate theories of heritage and museum practice that emerge from them.
|CHAMP sponsors yearly conferences:
Cultural Heritage and Human Rights (March 10-11, 2006)
Intangible Heritage Embodied (March 30-31, 2007)
Heritage Cities (March 7-8, 2008)
Contested Cultural Heritage in a Global World (April 24-25, 2008)
Pseudo-Science, Erasure, and Exclusion (April 10, 2009)
|Environmental Horizons Sustainability Summit
This April 23-24, 2008 event, sponsored by the Environmental Council and the Provost, showcases campus initiatives focussing on the environment and sustainability. Speakers include Richard J. Jackson and Majora Carter.
|Cultural Heritage Conservation in South Asia: The Three Shalamar Baghs.
This workshop convened leading conservation architects to identify common issues and priorities for landscape heritage conservation theory and practice in South Asia. Issues discussed included conflicts between heritage preservation and modern uses, contested site histories, legislative and institutional barriers to effective conservation, and conservation as a stimulus for economic regeneration of local communities. The panel met on Nov 1, 2007 and focused on cultural heritage as represented in historic gardens in Srinagar, Lahore and Delhi. It was held in conjunction with the India 60 symposium on November 2-3, 2007 at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
|African Architectural History Today
African Architectural History and the Undergraduate Curriculum, a colloquium organized by Rebecca Ginsburg and sponsored by the Center for African Studies, the Department of Landscape Architecture, and other university units, was held at the Illini Union December 1-3, 2005.
|PLACES OF POWER: Economic and Political Driving Forces of Landscape Change, September 10-11, 2004, Chicago, IL
This international conference hosted by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects will discuss how the following forces will reshape our world and practice! - Real Estate Markets, Regional Trade, Global Financial Institutions, Urban Politics and Citizenship, Social Movements and Change, Rural Livelihoods in Developing Countries, Regional Political Institutions and Landscape Ecology, International Landscape Policies in Europe and North America
|Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
Champaner-Pavagadh was declared a World Heritage Site at the UNESCO meeting in China in June 2004. This decision was based upon the extensive documentation of cultural heritage resources by Heritage Trust, Baroda and landscape management proposals by a team of faculty and students from the Department of Landscape Architecture who made two trips to the site in May 2001 and January 2003. Week-long design workshops were conducted with Heritage Trust and Architecture students from MS University, Baroda. The proposals were then developed in semester-long design workshops in the campus, resulting in two reports that were part of the submission to UNESCO for World Heritage Status. The Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park site has ruins of a handsome fifteenth-century city and has continued importance as a sacred pilgrim center for Hindus and Jains.
|Constructing Race: The Built Environment, Minoritization, and Racism in the United States
This March 5-6, 2004 symposium organized by Dianne Harris examined the relationship of the built environment to the reinforcement of social constructions of racial identities and modalities of racism. Its focus was on the everyday spatial apparatuses that reflect, reinforce, and even create racially based practices of exclusion, oppression, minoritization, and privilege in a variety of realms. Invited speakers included scholars whose works focus on environmental justice, cities and public spaces, housing, and landscapes.
|Experiencing the Landscape: Intersections Between the Cultural and the Personal
This colloquium was held on February 27, 2004 in honor of Professor Emeritus Robert B. Riley. Featured speaker was Lucy Lippard, with respondants Kenneth Helphand, Helaine Silverman, Achva Benzenburg Stein and Rachel Leibowitz. For information, visit the colloquium website.
|Landscape and Vision Symposium
This two-day symposium organized by Dianne Harris took place on October 4-5, 2002. It served to launch the Department's Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture (History and Theory Concentration).
The Landscape and Vision Symposium took the act of seeing and perception as its point of departure, paying particular attention to landscape reception and perception. Its scope was broad, geographically and temporally, with topics ranging from antiquity to the present. Landscapes are subject to the discriminating eye of the beholder and to what some scholars have called the social construction of vision. Each speaker examined a particular place and time and the way habits of perception shaped both the designed landscape and the viewer's perception of that place.
|A Walk Along the Yamuna--Taj Mahal Cultural Heritage District
The Department has been involved in designing a cultural heritage district with Taj Mahal as its focus in Agra, India. The activities have included site visits by faculty and students, a symposium on Mughal gardens of Agra, and a semester-long design studio in 2000. The results are published in a report and CD-ROM. A web site entitled " A Walk Along the Yamuna" gives a view of the project.