Working Group Presentations
The working group presentations was wonderful – it was amazing to learn about what the other groups had been discussing about. This was actually my first experience of being part in a conference and working group discussions. As a student, I feel that it has opened my eyes to a plethora of perspectives on how to see the world as a built environment practitioner. It has inspired me to delve deep into the situations and access them with utmost compassion and care for not just the average public but all walks of life. Some of the presentations that incorporate innovative techniques by the urban waterfront and the urban sanitation groups inspired me to incorporate some of these techniques in my design thinking. I have been inspired to think about waste – how can waste management be a driver of creating sustainable landscapes? How can this create a better atmospheres, especially for vulnerable communities?
Our group members sitting at the conference dinner table and setting up our presentations.
The Sustainable Cities and Landscapes has definitely been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. It has compelled me to see things in various perspectives as a landscape architect. It has taught me valuable things such as to look at. It is an experience that has definitely been a major milestone of my life – an experience that I will never forget. The entire journey was surreal – it was like being in a dream but actually living it. I witnessed being the issues of the sites, I witnessed the issues with my bare eyes and felt the need to have a change there. As a student, I feel that this type of experiences is extremely crucial for us. Especially as landscape architects and built environment practitioners, we need to have an understanding of issues evolving around the people, environment and wild life in order to come up with innovative solutions. The purpose of our work is to create better environments and to do that, we need to have empathy – we need to actually feel and understand the needs and issues. By being in a place and having the chance to experience the place gives us a better understanding – our own experiences of the evaluation of thoughts, ideas, witnesses all come into place to give us a better understanding of the site. Being a part of the design field trip took me out of my comfort zone and invoked an awareness and curiosity in me. Partaking in these outdoor activities gave us a chance to actually experience the place more. The interaction with the locals and the participation of the presentations hosted by the local groups gave us an insight in the local perspective of the place. It connected us deeply to the area rather than reading about it online or in books. The plastic pollution that we had seen and talked about made me think deeply about plastic waste management. Seeing the initiatives undertaken by the locals at these places compelled me to think deeply about waste management. What can we do as built environment practitioners to create sustainable cities?
The conference and involvement in the working groups has been of of the most inspiring events I had attended. The inter-disciplinary discussions helped me grow and connect with people from various backgrounds dealing with the same issue – vulnerable communities. This gave me different perspectives of approaching this problem of dealing with these communities. The working group sessions has helped me develop critical thinking skills and enriched my empathetic understanding of social issues that are involved in the built environment world. Participating in the conference has enriched my confidence and helped me to have my own voice in this community for advocacy work in the real world. It has helped me to meet amazing people from all over the world – from various fields. I have gained networking opportunities for future programs and publishing. This has greatly helped me to step forward In my career and life purpose as a landscape architect.
I want to thank my lecturer Sara Padgett Kjaersgaard, for informing us of this opportunity and helping us partake in this amazing field trip and conference. She has been actively helping us throughout the whole process with time, care and dedication. I especially thank her for giving me and Stuart the opportunity to write this wonderful blog about our experiences – which I find is an excellent way of reflecting our wonderful experiences on this trip. I want to thank Linda Corkery’s kindness and support to help us attend this trip. I would like to thank Matthew Pryor for arranging such an adventurous and life changing experience for students. Thank you Matthew for sharing your knowledge about the places that we had visited – I have learned so much from these experiences! Thank you Michael Kokora and Scott Melbourne for your inspirations and your support during the field trip. I want to thank our guides during our journey for enriching us with so much knowledge of the places we visited. I want to thank my fellow trip members for days full of joy in learning and exploring together and sharing these wonderful moments. Thank you to Stephanie Pincetl, Kian Goh and Mark Gold for arranging this wonderful working group. I have learned so much about vulnerable communities in various context – it has inspired me beyond words! Thank you APRU officials for giving us this opportunity for this field trip and giving us the chance to participate in the conference. I appreciate all the time, effort and passion that has been put into making this experience happen. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to experience life and helping us grow. It has certainly been one of the major highlights of my lifetime memories which I will always cherish and reflect upon.