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Boys of Landscape Architecture

September 1, 2016 — 

Every generation of students in Landscape Architecture is revolutionary. They feel as if they invented fun; as if the times they are having are the best times ever. In all cases, it is true.

This was true for Robert Fershau, Gareth Loveridge, Bob Somers, Grant Stewart, Chris Veres and Ryan Wakshinski, the creators of a new scholarship called the Joys of Landscape Prize. The fun times for this group culminated in a series of public expressions of social commentary and artistic vision with the tri-partite goals of raising awareness of landscape design issues on campus, boosting class morale and enthusiasm for the studio atmosphere, and just having fun. While working diligently at their studies, the group also worked diligently at bringing a Landscape Architectural edge to a variety of events: organizing bake sales to fund Landscape Architectural Student Association (LASA) endeavors; serving on LASA Council; the creation and delivery of the Manitoba Landscapes Photo Competition; participation and organization of Ditch Ball, Coffee Haus, Halloween Socials, Warehouse Journal (including editing Warehouse9); the creation of and contribution to the Berm and Swale Landscape Journal; as well as the creation of the highly impactful $5 Installation Club, to bring both levity and reflection to daily life on campus.

Although it has been widely debated, the group perhaps reached its zenith (or nadir) with ‘The Boys of Landscape’ (1999) a self-mocking Coffee Haus multi-media slide show of ‘beefcake’ images set in various locations across the University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus. This seminal event captured the sense of fun, humour, and dedication to high quality images capturing the ‘genus loci’ of important campus spaces that encompassed the group’s ethos, and ultimately the impetus for this scholarship.

With respect to all, the spirit of the Boys of Landscape becomes the Joys of Landscape Scholarship in 2016.

The Joys of Landscape Scholarship/Award encourages/supports students who work equally hard at their academic endeavors and their extracurricular activities, using both as a way to foster ‘school spirit’ and Departmental growth.

This scholarship is intended for students who try to break or question conventions. Humour is one of many methods to transform perceptions, elicit reaction, provoke thought, stimulate and encourage people to think about their context and surroundings. Design [like (the Joys of) Landscape] is powerful when it uses surprise and contrast to highlight the unexpected and seemingly opposite.

If you wish to contribute to the Joys of Landscape Prize or any other Faculty of Architecture Scholarships please follow this link: https://give.umanitoba.ca/

If you have any questions please contact Sana Mahboob at sana [dot] mahboob [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or by calling 204.474.9752.

To learn more about the Terms of Reference of this award and to apply for the Joys of Landscape Prize click here.

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