The Intersection of Creativity and Relevance
Category: Landscape Architecture
Written By: Cameron Beeman
Date: June 28, 2023
Summer Intern Blog Series: At Parkhill, our intern program gives us the opportunity to shape and mentor the next generation within our industry. These young professionals not only get real life experience and valuable knowledge from our architecture and engineering teams, but many go on to have successful careers with us here at Parkhill.
Recently, the Landscape Architecture interns recently participated in a site visit analysis and conceptual design exercise at Al Rollins Park, a Parkhill pro bono project in Arlington, Texas. During the exercise, each learned about the ideation process from beginning to end and how to collaborate with each other to formulate creative feedback.
Over the next few weeks, this summer blog series will highlight their experience in their own words as they reflect on the knowledge and insight they gained during their time with Parkhill.
My name is Cameron Beeman, and I am a third-year student at Texas Tech University. I am studying Landscape Architecture and currently undergoing a six-month internship with Parkhill. For me, these past few months have been an amazing and memorable experience! I have been able to work on many different aspects on a variety of diverse projects.
One of these projects is the Al Rollins Conceptual Design. We began with a visit to the site in Arlington, Texas, to gain an understanding of the scale as well as existing conditions. This site visit was incredibly helpful for conceptually planning a design for this park because it allowed us to take firsthand notes and pictures.
A People-First Approach to Building Community
The first thing I consider when beginning any design is the community’s wants and needs. Listening to the community is always a good way to provide a successful design that many people will enjoy. For instance, a few of the suggestions that stood out to me was their desire to not “overdevelop” this park. Taking that suggestion into consideration, I began conceptualizing a more naturally inspired park design.
This park includes an open lawn for activities where the community could come together to enjoy. A pocket prairie was introduced to allow the users to understand the natural landscape before the introduction of urbanization. A naturally inspired playground was added to allow children to fully engage their imagination to play.
Listening to the community is always a good way to provide a successful design that many people will enjoy.
Letting Nature Be the Guide
An educational garden will also be included behind the library onsite and will allow people to learn about native and flowering plants. This space will also provide private secluded spaces for people to read and reflect. Finally, my conceptual plan included a nature trail that allows the users to walk through as they enjoy the native plants.
My proposed design offers many opportunities for relaxation, invigoration, and imagination. This park will allow for the community to enjoy a small pocket of the native environment while also being involved in a creative and playful atmosphere. I believe this community will be truly engaged in this park.
Collaboration Leads to Innovation
This project was a truly inspiring and motivational experience. I was able to commit time to my favorite aspect of this career: Conceptual planning and designing. Working together with fellow interns and Landscape Architects gives me the opportunity to gain an insight on how other people go through their own designing process that I could perhaps implement into my own process.
For more from our Summer Intern Blogs Series, check out A Site’s History Can Create New Beginnings While Honoring the Past.
Cameron walks the Al Rollins park site during the initial site visit and analysis portion of the exercise.