At the heart of our teaching—since the beginning of the school—are real projects carried out by our students for real clients. In the spring term, teams of students complete community-scale master planning projects, such as a streetscape design, a park or recreational facility, or a restoration plan for a former industrial site. They follow a rigorous process of site analysis and assessment to develop design alternatives and recommendations shaped by that information. The design solutions strive to fit the particular needs of the clients to the specific ecology of the site and uphold the school’s mission. Since 1972, students at the Conway School of Landscape Design have provided design and planning services to nearly 450 community clients.

At the presentations, the students’ clients and a panel of guest critics provide feedback, which helps guide revisions students make over the next several weeks. This spring, our distinguished guest critics included Jesse Bellemare, Jonathan Fogelson, and Rachel Lindsay ’15.

Jesse Bellemare is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Smith College. His research focuses on questions in plant ecology, biogeography, and evolution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales, largely centered on the temperate deciduous forests of the eastern United States. In particular, he is interested in how historical processes, such as past climate change and dispersal limitation, might influence plant species’ contemporary distributions and the diversity of plant communities. This line of research has implications for species conservation in the face of modern climate change, including the appropriateness of managed relocation for plant species unlikely to keep pace with anthropogenic climate change. Locally, he is involved in an ongoing study of forest ecosystem ecology and change at Smith College’s Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station in Conway, investigating how forest ecosystems might be changed as a dominant evergreen conifer species, the Eastern hemlock, declines due to attack by exotic insects.

  • PhD, Cornell University
  • MFS, Harvard University
  • BS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Jonathan Fogelson is a multidisciplinary designer and planner, and partner at Michael Singer Studio. The Studio’s focus on interdisciplinary efforts has made it possible for Jonathan to work with and learn from a wide variety of collaborators such as the MIT Media Lab, Connecticut Seagrant, Community Solutions, The Center for Discovery, and The Health Impact Project. Over the last few years Jonathan led the Studio’s role in several projects involving research and design of spaces that serve individuals with Autism Spectrum Conditions. For the Northeast Neighborhood of Hartford, Connecticut he worked with community members, local nonprofits, and public health professionals to complete a neighborhood scale sustainability plan, the first of its kind to be driven by and concurrently with a Health Impact Assessment. He also typically leads the Studio’s in house fabrication and installation team on public art commissions. Jonathan is adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design where he’s taught studios and core curriculum classes since 2008. He developed and taught the first ever urban design concentration introductory studio at the school.

  • M Arch, University of Pennsylvania
  • MCP, University of Pennsylvania
  • BFA, Rhode Island School of Design

Rachel Lindsay (Conway class of 2015) is an ecological designer and artist with experience working in New England and Central America. In her design work, she draws from her experiences in agriculture, community development, and graphic design to integrate cultural sensitivity with environmental integrity. In 2009 she received a Fulbright grant to work with sustainable farming and watershed protection in Nicaragua, and completed a course in Agroecology at the Las Cañadas education center in Huatusco, Mexico. Rachel serves as Vice-Chair of the Greenfield Conservation Commission and is secretary of the Board of Directors of SosteNica: Sustainable Development Fund of Nicaragua. She is an Associate Designer at Regenerative Design Group, where her latest projects involve designing a therapeutic farm with integrated pollinator habitat, and exploring the intersection between native and edible plants.

  • MSc Ecological Design, The Conway School
  • BA Anthropology, Wesleyan University

> See Join Us for Student Presentations on May 24 for more information about the presentations, and to RSVP to join us for part or all of the day.