Tao explores the impact of landscape architecture

Tao Wang’s experience growing up in Shenzhen inspired him to pursue studies in landscape architecture. Now completing his postgraduate degree, we caught up with him to hear about his experiences so far.

Tao Wang, student
What degree are you studying with the Melbourne School of Design? 
I am studying the Master of Landscape Architecture (200 Points). I grew up in a picturesque area called Overseas Chinese Town in Shenzhen. Its unique tourism-oriented urban environment is what first got me interested in landscape architecture. I would love to design a place like this, where environmental, social-behavioural and aesthetic aspects are well-thought out and co-exist harmoniously.

What was your favourite subject in the program to date? 
I love the studio format subjects, regardless of whether they are focusing on architecture or landscape architecture. The studio format gives me the freedom and opportunity to explore ideas and practice my thinking process as a designer.

How did you find out about the Melbourne School of Design? 
I graduated from the Bachelor of Environments, so I was quite familiar with the Faculty and the programs on offer. I love the environment and the people here at the Melbourne School of Design, so wanted to continue on with my postgraduate degree here. 

What is one of the highlights from your time as a Master of Landscape Architecture student?
I was part of a team of seven landscape architecture students who participated in a project called the Peace and Prosperity Garden Competition, where we were asked to reimagine and redesign the garden in Government House. We were representing the University of Melbourne and competing with other universities across Victoria. It was a wonderful experience, and it was inspiring to see how different people from different disciplines think about the same brief. It made me realise that landscape architecture is not only about a particular place, but what makes it a place. It’s the policy, the community, the fauna, the flora, the air, the weather, the culture, the heritage and, most importantly, the people.

What trends do you see being important to the future of our built environments? What do you hope built environment professionals will achieve? 
Digital design and technology are making a huge impact and are going to change the whole structure of the built environments sector. I hope we can embrace this new technology and use it to our advantage, rather than approaching it with fear.

What’s your favourite place on campus?
The Melbourne School of Design (obviously)! Seeing how productive and how good everyone else is, really pushed me to level up my game.

So far, what are the most valuable skills that you have learnt? 
Learning and developing my problem solving and presentation skills has been of most value to me.

What would you like people to know about your discipline? 
I would love people to realise that landscape architecture is not only about planting trees and flowers.  Landscape architects should be in the leadership team of every design project in the built environment because they are equipped to cope with changing environments in a way that other professions are not.

What are you doing or planning to do when you have completed your studies at Melbourne?
I would love to start my own practice and work for myself.

Melbourne consistently ranks highly amongst Universities in Australia and the region. How important is it for you to graduate with a degree from a world standard university? 
I think it’s the study environment and the people that matters the most. The knowledge one learns about a profession can be quite similar across institutions, but it’s the environment that shapes one’s thoughts, personalities, and therefore, life. Hence, it is great to have the opportunity to graduate from a world-class university.

Interested in studying the Master of Landscape Architecture?
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