Located on Canada’s picturesque West Coast, the University of British Columbia affords its students a unique connection to the landscape — and surrounding design community — from Cascadia to the Pacific Rim. In its Landscape Architecture school/faculty (which also awards the prestigious annual Margolese Prize), UBC envisions Vancouver as a living laboratory through enriched educational experiences including local design-build projects that range from archery ranges to amphitheatre design.
Focused on preparing students for professional practice, the rigorous three-year graduate program balances design studios with site analysis, planning and environmental management courses. The school’s small class sizes and low student-faculty ratio provides one-on-one support as students hone skills in visualization, digital media, presentations and project management. The curriculum empowers students to become community-minded designers through research that spans climate change adaptation, health and well-being and urban and ecological infrastructure. To best address these social and environmental issues, the University of British Columbia takes a cross-disciplinary approach to pedagogy, connecting students with the architecture, urban and environmental design programs, as well as across the university.
“Rooting in Healing,” Nicole Brekelmans and Marije Stryker’s joint thesis is inspired by the writings of Braiding Sweetgrass author Robin Wall Kimmerer
Offering insight into the profession as well as alternative career paths, the School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture’s optional mentorship program pairs incoming students with local practitioners from top Vancouver firms, critics, city planners, curators and more, many of whom are alumni. Professional development opportunities, including networking, interviewing and portfolio development workshops, give graduates a leg up in their job search. While the program is a direct path to a career in landscape architecture, students also enter fields such as urban design planning and policy sustainability research, energy management, resort planning and analysis, construction and even farming.
Those who already hold a degree in landscape architecture can pursue the two-year, self-directed Master of Advanced Studies program, which coves both natural and urban terrain. Students learn to produce responsible and resilient designs with supportive research in the areas of community and regional planning, civil engineering, geography, art, history and visual art.
Paul Sangha, PFS Studio co-founder Greg Smallenberg, former federal MP Jamie Nicholls