Lauri Macmillan Johnson, director of the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning and professor of landscape architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona, was featured in a March 19, 2020 Landscape Architecture Magazine article on how landscape architecture higher ed programs are managing the transition to online courses forced by the coronavirus pandemic.
The article notes how faculty are using tools such as Zoom to teach and correspond with students while also “experimenting with the best tools to mock up drawings and perform desk critiques.” The challenges of studio work and community engagement in particular are felt across landscape architecture programs.
Yet, as Johnson notes in the article, the transition to online teaching for the rest of the semester “could actually have a very positive impact in terms of how we change our studios. We might not go to a fully online program, but at least some of that fear factor will probably disappear after this, because we’ll become more fluent.”
Johnson—who teaches history and theory of landscape architecture, contemporary landscape architecture and design studios at CAPLA—researches design theories of contemporary landscape architecture, cultural landscapes and children’s environments. A principal investigator on grants and contracts with the National Park Service for master planning projects and cultural landscape inventories and reports, Johnson is also the author of Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest.