Landscape Architecture Studio in a Large, Complex and Remote Location: The Learning Experience of StudioMx

  • Carlos V Licon
  • Caroline Lavoie


Studio projects offer students opportunities to shape and test their design skills. These challenging projects require them to develop knowledge and skills to address increasingly complex situations, ultimately preparing them to be professionals with insightful, creative design strategies. In a studio project, fourth-year undergraduate students in landscape architecture at Utah State University had to structure and map their understanding of a large urban area in northern Mexico for possible planning and design interventions. The students worked on integrating urban systems at the metropolitan scale and illustrated their findings through mapped concepts in a studio called StudioMx. After reviewing a selection of studio methodologies and processes operating in a global context, this paper describes the structure of StudioMx. With the focus on large urban systems in an unfamiliar location, the studio project’s goal was to stress the need to frame analyses and design approaches in creative and abstract ways before investing efforts in a detailed design outcome. The learning objectives were to increase students’ awareness of the design thinking process and to explore creative ways of conveying design approaches