Midterm Report of Fall Semester in 2022

by Yui Omori

Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
North Carolina State University

0.  Acknowledgement

I am truly thankful for the consecutive support from Ito Foundation U.S.A. With the help of your generous financial support, I am able to focus on design and research. Again, I express my sincere gratitude for allowing me to study landscape architecture at North Carolina State University.

1.  Motivation & Goal of this year: “DESIGN × RESEARCH”

My passion is to pursue coastal infrastructure design and research. Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquakes and Tsunamis, I have researched economic analysis, such as cost-benefit and the evaluation of the monetary value of coastal ecosystem services. However, there needs to be a vision for how infrastructure can serve disaster risk reduction. Also, we need recreational or educational opportunities to enrich people’s lives.

Presently, I am expanding my scope to sea-level rise (SLR), and trying to clarify the reasons for coastal forests’ decline, delving into coastal landscape changes and ghost forests. I firmly believe that coastal forests research contributes to decreasing the high dependence on conventional concrete-based infrastructure, minimizing the future risk in coastal communities, and preserving precious coastal landscapes in Japan.

In this report, I focus more on design work, and next semester will be focusing more on my coastal research.

2.  School Life

【Design Development + Construction Documentation】

Duke University

This studio course represents a high-level culmination of previous courses. I have learned applied design and construction knowledge by synthesizing the aspects of landscape materiality, construction methodologies, professional practices, and industry standards. The most challenging part is to discover the appropriate combination of materials, based on my design concept, aesthetic, and structural considerations, from the vast array of currently- available products.

The project site selected for this course is the Putnam Garden, located on Duke University’s Campus in Durham, NC. Duke is a historic and vital cultural and educational resource to the region and beyond. Based on the culturally, naturally, and historically rich Duke campus, as well as the changes in environments and economics in Durham county, my design titled “EXPANSION” aims to go beyond the boundaries, such as the transition from the past to present to the future, the connection of ecological patches, and social relationships.

Midterm Review

– Material

This course examines materials used in landscape construction, construction techniques, details, and construction documentation methods that address materials and components such as steps and ramps, railings, paving, walls, fences, decks, overhead structures, and stormwater control structures. I have learned the use of material, but also it is insightful to think about the source of materials and their impacts on environment and health.

【Academic: GIS】

The role of landscape architects is not just designing spaces. They play critical roles in engaging stakeholders in planning through public meetings, interviews, and surveys that build acceptance in a project. During the landscape ecology and bioregionalism class, I visited the GIS laboratory. It was a remarkable opportunity to consider how landscape architects can encourage the dialogue between scientific experts, decision-makers, and local people to improve knowledge and practice.

The fabrics in each color represent a different kind of tree (GIS ① ). Blender can help understand the landscape in 3D scale, and it is user-friendly, especially for people without a design background. For instance, red shows maple trees, and that reflects in a 3D model on the screen. Another is shown in GIS②. This model is made of clay. When you dig the hole, the topographical changes are automatically detected. It is a helpful tool for disasters like landslides and floods.

These techniques are also applied to tsunami simulation (GIS ③ ). The wooded blocks represent houses, and then you can understand tsunami waves by changing the topography in the shoreline.

【Activities: Badminton】

During the reading break, I participated in the badminton tournament. NCSU badminton team got second place! I am proud of my teammates.

We borrowed the trophy from the champion!