Students

  • Week 1 - More Than a Storm Water Channel

    Week 1 - More Than a Storm Water Channel

    This first week of analytical research revealed that even in its tamed state, the L.A. River is more than a mere storm water channel. It is a collection of novel contradictions whose systems seem to defy classification in any traditionalsense. In an effort to begin to understand them, I examined Los Angeles’ openspace network in relation to the River, focusing on questions of access, extent,and connectivity. These preliminary investigations revealed a lack of publiclyaccessible open spaces adjacent to the river – particularly in the vulnerablecommunities of downtown.
    This first week of analytical research revealed that even in its tamed state, the L.A. River is more than a mere storm water channel. It is a collection of novel contradictions whose systems seem to defy classification in any traditional
    sense. In an effort to begin to understand them, I examined Los Angeles’ open
    space network in relation to the River, focusing on questions of access, extent,
    and connectivity. These preliminary investigations revealed a lack of publicly
    accessible open spaces adjacent to the river – particularly in the vulnerable
    communities of downtown.

  • Week 2 - The Landscape Project Part I

    Week 2 - The Landscape Project Part I

    An enigmatic land triangle, the Department of Water and Power’s Main Street Yard site is walled off from the city, and railed off from the river. As such, it serves as an impediment to access, and prevents relationships from forming among the adjacent William Mead Housing Complex, State Historic Park, and San Antonio Winery and Brewery Art Complex across its banks. Once a site for maintenance and storage, these traditional functions could be re-conceptualized to activate the site. For the local community, the establishment of an ecologically-oriented parkland would increase recreational opportunities for park-poor areas.
    An enigmatic land triangle, the Department of Water and Power’s Main Street Yard site is walled off from the city, and railed off from the river. As such, it serves as an impediment to access, and prevents relationships from forming among the adjacent William Mead Housing Complex, State Historic Park, and San Antonio Winery and Brewery Art Complex across its banks. Once a site for maintenance and storage, these traditional functions could be re-conceptualized to activate the site. For the local community, the establishment of an ecologically-oriented parkland would increase recreational opportunities for park-poor areas.

  • Week 3 - The Landscape Project Part II

    Week 3 - The Landscape Project Part II

    Equipped with programmatic ideas for how the DWP site could become a generative icon for the maintenance of health, week three allowed me to develop specific design moves and strategies to achieve the transformation. Through sketches and models, designs emerged that manipulated the topography and the channel wall to enhance physical and visual access, accommodate flooding, and define different program areas. Further decisions involved the diversion of the River’s low-flow into the site for treatment and the activation of a riverine plant community year-round.
    Equipped with programmatic ideas for how the DWP site could become a generative icon for the maintenance of health, week three allowed me to develop specific design moves and strategies to achieve the transformation. Through sketches and models, designs emerged that manipulated the topography and the channel wall to enhance physical and visual access, accommodate flooding, and define different program areas. Further decisions involved the diversion of the River’s low-flow into the site for treatment and the activation of a riverine plant community year-round.

  • Week 4 - Topo-Infrastructure for Health

    Week 4 - Topo-Infrastructure for Health

    The final week of exploration involved a temporary hiatus from work on our personal projects to focus on an in-situ, and impromptu installation along the bank of the L.A. River. What resulted was a re-envisioning of iconography and collective experimentation with the ways visual call-outs might begin to shift the community’s understanding of the River’s value and generative potential. Specifically, we ‘rolled out the red carpet’ to the River, highlighting it as an urban entity with awe-inspiring potential.
    The final week of exploration involved a temporary hiatus from work on our personal projects to focus on an in-situ, and impromptu installation along the bank of the L.A. River. What resulted was a re-envisioning of iconography and collective experimentation with the ways visual call-outs might begin to shift the community’s understanding of the River’s value and generative potential. Specifically, we ‘rolled out the red carpet’ to the River, highlighting it as an urban entity with awe-inspiring potential.

Stephanie Kopplin

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From my earliest days as an arroyo-wanderer and ephemeral-fortbuilder, I have long been fascinated by the intricate relationships between the biophysical and the cultural, the ‘natural’ and the designed. Trained in international development and foreign

languages, I taught fledgling scholars, interpreted, and worked on public policy reform in the southwest and abroad before starting my studies as an MLA student. My gravitation is towards a more spatially-rooted set of inquiries related to the design of distributive infrastructure. Landscape architecture serves as the synthetic medium through which I continue to explore questions of interconnectedness, access, and change, with a particular interest in the multiscalar interactions of the urban realm.

Beyond school, I dabble in disco, plot treks to distant lands, and continue to trace waterways, searching for latent histories and envisioning improved futures.

2013 Summmer Program Info