Student wins landscape architecture dissertation award

June 2017

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

A Writtle University College student has won an award for her landscape architecture dissertation.

Dawn Parke, from Ireland, won the best MA dissertation award from the Landscape Research Group and received £350.

Dawn, who graduated last year with an MA Landscape Architecture, explored the concept of “place attachment” in landscape architecture design.

Her research, entitled ‘The physical life of place’, proposed a new model for landscape architects to use when evoking place attachment. It is based on the dynamic biophysical, psychological and socio-cultural processes that happen when a person becomes attached to a place.

Dawn said: “Any dissertation takes a lot out of you as a person but I think you grow during the process and learn about yourself, your skills and your personal interests. I already felt a real sense of achievement upon completing this piece of work but it feels great for it also to be recognised as valuable and worthwhile by an institution as prevalent as the Landscape Research Group.

“On a personal note, my family, classmates and in particular the Writtle teaching staff were extremely supportive and in a way this recognises their efforts also.”

Dawn, who is pursuing a career in academia, was attracted to the subject of place attachment after travelling extensively and living in many different countries and cultures. With people becoming increasingly mobile and cultures blending, she wanted to look at whether there are ways in which a landscape architect can use place attachment theory to enhance and mould this interactive process.

She created a practically applicable range of theories and tools that the landscape architect can integrate into their design practices.

Dawn’s dissertation supervisor Dr Saruhan Mosler said: “Dawn explored this concept first in her design project and tested her ideas through the design process using drawing, model and film. In her dissertation, she expanded the theoretical and philosophical understanding of the place and its constructs within the landscape. We are thrilled that her hard work has been celebrated through this prestigious award in landscape studies.”