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Practice : Winter 2010
Introducing the Landscape Institute e Landscape Institute (LI) is a domain of both action and intellectual inquiry in the eld of landscape studies. Students who have taken advantage of its curriculum have made an indelible impact across New England as activists, designers, historians and preser vationists. In , the Institute stated its' purpose as "to provide a broader understanding of the complex forces that shape the environment, and a more enlightened involvement." Heather Heimarck, Director of the Institute, obser ves how well the program has sustained this mission. "Our students are prepared to succeed in today's complex environmental and business climate through 'enlightened involvement' and a collaborative learning process." e program has always recognized the importance of exibility and the complexity of students' time. e mission of the LI was, and is, geared toward a wide range of students, those who wish to develop an awareness of the landscape or to investigate landscape design as a career; those who wish to prepare for graduate school in landscape architecture; and those who wish to re ne the skills necessary for work with conser vation groups, historic commissions, and planning boards to prepare to make tangible contributions to communities. Beginnings e Landscape Institute began with the Radcli e Seminars, established in the 's to foster continuing education and provide an environment of intellectual stimulation. Seminars faculty taught a variety of subjects and were academicians, writers, independent scholars, practitioners, and artists. All were experts in their elds, exceptional teachers, and experienced facilitators of learning. In , the Radcli e Institute for Independent Study was established as a multidisciplinary research center o ering fellowships to women scholars. Together the two institutions created an environment where women's scholarship ourished. Landscape architect Diane Kostial McGuire, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, came to the Radcli e Institute to study landscape architecture from an intellectual and historical perspective. She was encouraged to teach a course at the Radcli e Seminars, which she called e Intellectual History of Garden Art. e course, according to Alice Sherman, a student in the class, was a "dynamic approach to the living past." Response to Diane McGuire's course was so enthusiastic that the Seminars decided to build a program around it. In the rst students enrolled, and by , six of the original students had completed the seven requirements in history, design, planting and construction for a certi cate in landscape design. e program was overseen by McGuire until , when, as landscape architect for Harvard and Radcli e, she undertook the redesign of the Radcli e Quadrangle. Institute scholar Beatrice Pettit-Baron, BFA ' MLA ' , took over for the next eight years, adding courses in site engineering, drafting, plant identi cation, natural systems and design fundamentals, while certi cate requirements grew from seven to twelve. For the next twenty years, under the direction of John Furlong, MLA ' , FASLA ' , enrollment grew steadily and the FEATURE ] LANDSCAPE INSTITUTE AT THE BAC The Landscape Institute of the Arnold Arboretum Joins the Boston Architectural College Illustration (above): Bici Pettit -Barron drawing, Puerto Rico Pamela Hartford, Landscape Historian and Designer, LI Certificate Candidate 30 PRACTICE