Philosophically in Sync

Landscape architecture graduate student
receives prestigious Hideo Sasaki Award

For her deep appreciation of the values and philosophy advocated by landscape architecture pioneer Hideo Sasaki, Dipti Trivedi, a master of landscape architecture student at Texas A&M University, was recently presented with the 2005 Hideo Sasaki Foundation Scholarship.

Trivedi’s experience in holistic design and multidisciplinary collaboration offered a compelling connection to Sasaki’s teachings and practices, said foundation trustee Elizabeth Meek.

Sasaki, the former chairman of Harvard University’s landscape architecture department, pioneered the concept of interdisciplinary planning and design. In 1953, the same year he joined the Harvard faculty, Sasaki founded Sasaki Associates, which is today, the Sasaki Group.

At Harvard, he revolutionized the study of landscape architecture by tying it to the larger issues of planning and by breaking down the traditional barriers between practice and teaching. Sasaki is credited with helping to shape the profession in the 20th century by insisting that landscape architecture need not imitate its sister arts but instead can be part of a lively dynamism with architecture, civil engineering and planning.

Sasaki’s work demonstrated a studied, detailed and highly polished integration of building and landscape. Though he died Aug. 30, 2000, the Sasaki Group still operates on the principle that the most successful planning and design is accomplished by a team of experienced professionals from an array of design disciplines who work closely with the client to achieve the best solution.

Not unlike Sasaki, Trivedi sees bridging the gap between theory and practice and gaining work experience while in school, as essential to her professional preparation. She has interned with Design Workshop in Asheville, N.C., and worked as a research assistant with the Texas Transportation Institute and with Jody Rosenblatt Naderi, a professor of landscape architecture at Texas A&M.

“The driving factor for pursuing my graduate study in landscape architecture was to engage the design process from a perspective other than architecture,” said Trivedi. “In light of Sasaki's philosophy, and thanks to my internship experience and my full time work experience as an architect, I have become more aware of the relationships of designer with client, and with members of other disciplines and with the environment.”

The master of landscape architecture student says Sasaki's philosophy, incorporating collaborative practice, a holistic approach to problem solving, and reciprocal, interrelated processes of learning and teaching, is as timeless and influential today as it ever was.

These concepts, Trivedi said, “will continue to help my generation of landscape architects enhance the quality of the human experience; establish social equity; maintain a mutually supportive, functional organization; and sustain environmental quality.”

— The End —

January 10, 2005

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