Title: Graduate Student, Harvard GSD
Hometown: Tianjin, China
Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture '20
What kind of questions or curiosities did you have when you decided to pursue a degree in landscape architecture?
For me, the most fascinating thing about landscape architecture is its ability to make the world better while working between art and science. In particular, I was very interested in sustainable design, and hoped to make my design more practical by getting more knowledge in plants, soil, hydrology, and geology, etc.
How would you describe the landscape architecture profession, based on your experiences?
The scale of our works varies. We have to be able to both think big and pay attention to detail. Personally, I tend to be a “strategist”, whose job is to offer the best solution with investigation and insight. For example, in one of my graduate studios, we tried to reshape some abandoned mine pit with earthwork produced during urbanization. Another more “down-to-earth” example (which is what I’m working on for my job): how to reorganize the traffic around a commercial center, while creating a more welcoming space for people passing by? What I do is to set a principle for the adjustment of the location, width, and material of the road, and apply it to every entry. Here, design matters, but good strategy usually comes first.
What kinds of professional and personal trajectories are you setting for yourself at the moment?
I’m taking a year off from my grad school right now and working in a design firm in Shanghai. For the next few months, I hope to try something different. For the long term, I want to run my own business and practice globally.
Do you have any advice for those interested in beginning undergraduate or graduate studies in landscape architecture?
Design is difficult to learn, and difficult to teach as well. So please be patient~. People will be good at different things: some may have a good sense of art, some may be familiar with lots of good precedents, some may be good at talking and branding… You’ll find your own strength!