During the study tour students experience the Scandinavian approach to the design of public spaces which are multi-layered, deeply complex, and designed with elegant simplicity.  This people first approach also strives to accommodate ecological function and climate adaptation without sacrificing one aspect for another.  Through sketching, diagramming, note taking, and photography, students document these approaches as precedent for their studio work.

Following the trip, the studio begins in Seattle during the autumn quarter.  During the studio, the students focus on applying lessons learned during the trip to a local site with the guidance of the studio faculty and the continued involvement of a Danish Master Teacher.  Each year the studio takes on a different theme based on the project site and needs, but all are grounded in the approaches and experiences from the study tour.  This involves working at various scales from districts to design details without compromising human use and ecological function.


2020 Scan|Design Studio: Heron Meadow at Vashon Nature Center

The 2020 ScanlDesign Master Studio is fortunate to be working with the Vashon Nature Center and Vashon Center for the Arts on Vashon Island, to envision the Heron Meadow as a space for community gathering, art, science, habitat restoration and nature play. We will be exploring the question: How can a small, former agricultural meadow elegantly function in multiple ways, to best provide an inspiring venue for learning, community and the arts?  Vashon Island possesses rich history, a network of preserved open spaces, and a strong, close community, and we have the great fortune of working with several knowledgeable, passionate and committed islanders.

Building on goals and desires established by the Nature Center’s staff and supporters, and acknowledging that these are traditional lands of the Puyallup tribe, we’ll explore narratives, processes, and designs that bring forth the cultural and ecological stories of the meadow and provide opportunities for serious and joyful outdoor learning, convening, and play. The studio will draw upon exemplary precedents from Scandinavia, as well as be inspired by local educational landscapes. With interdisciplinary students in landscape architecture, planning, and architecture, our design focus may range from island-wide interpretive and access planning, to site planning of art/educational meadow experiences, to design and construction of full-scale mock-ups or installations. Our final products may be exhibited at the adjacent Vashon Center for the Arts, which owns the Heron Meadow and partners with the Nature Center.

During the term we will enjoy the benefits of an online visiting ScanlDesign Master Teacher, Louise Grassov of Schulze + Grassov from Copenhagen, and Vashon Island sculptor and furniture designer Hans Nelsen, both through the generosity of the ScanlDesign Foundation.


Precedent Studies