Penn State University

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Department of Landscape Architecture

Technology Resources

Digital design and visualization tools offer new opportunities for learning and creativity. The department is committed to providing state of the art computing resources that are accessible to all students and to integrating the use of digital design tools into every level of our curriculum. Underlying this approach are certain assumptions about why landscape architecture students should learn to use computers in the first place. We are committed to teaching digital design in the studio because we believe it can facilitate and improve the quality of design, design representation, and design thinking in our students. Responding to the need in professional offices for well-trained computer operators or a more cost-effective way to produce working drawings is not our main concern. Our goal is to produce a student who sees the computer as a tool that is appropriate for some tasks and not for others.
A student who accepts the computer as a design medium that will not radically change the nature of design, but will provide a whole new array of opportunities to explore ideas. In order to accomplish this goal we established two important objectives; (1) Integrate the use of computers as a design tool into a traditional landscape architecture design studio. (2) Have the students learn digital design principles and techniques in the context of a design or graphics studio and not in a separate "computer course." There are a wide variety of computing resources available here at University Park Campus. The department owns and maintains computers in several studio and lab spaces in our building that are for the exclusive use of our students and are available 24 hours a day. In addition to the department facilities the College of Arts and Architecture has several computer labs that are accessible to our students. The University also maintains dozens of computer labs across campus, including one specifically equipped for digital design in the lower floor of our building.