Category : Landscape Architecture

Designing at the Intersection of Workplace and Urban Environments

An exploration of how to create programmable outdoor workspaces that offer choice and improve physical, emotional and cognitive well-being.

The beginning of 2020 came with significant uncertainty. As we moved forward in the year, the coronavirus began to seep into every facet of our lives, impacting a myriad of everyday experiences – including how and where many people went about their day-to-day work.…

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From the Ground Up: Integrating Story and Site in Higher Education

Exploring RDG’s innovative collaboration with Des Moines University to design a cutting-edge new health science education campus.

The year: 12,000 B.C.

The place: what we know today as Des Moines, Iowa.

Vastly unlike its modern iteration, the ground of this time is blanketed by the Wisconsin Glacier, a large glacial mass that scrapes and flattens the landscape of the upper Midwest like an enormous bulldozer.…

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Therapeutic Gardens in Health Care Design

The power of landscape architecture in creating healthier environments for patients and caregivers.

Long-standing research has shown how the simple act of viewing or visiting an outdoor landscape benefits our health. It’s why corporations value the “corner office” and why picture windows have become a staple in our homes.

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Into the (Steel) Woods We Go

RDG’s design for the curved steel trees at Iowa’s Lauridsen Amphitheater creates an iconic structure that inspires awe and wonder.

There is music between the trees in Water Works Park. Hugging the bank of Raccoon River near downtown Des Moines, Iowa, the 1,500-acre riverside woodland area is one of the country’s largest urban parks, an outdoor oasis in the heart of the city.…

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Create Meaning Together With Design Residency

Meeting The Challenges of Climate Change

In October 2018, RDG Planning and Design hosted its 8thannual Design Residency, a 3-day charette style learning event which gathers the nation’s top graduate students from many fields to address complex community problems.…

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Community Planning – Seeing Through The Lens of GIS

GIS, also known as Geographic Information Systems, is a software platform bringing understanding to our projects. This platform provides a variety of tools to perform data manipulation. For us at RDG, GIS is a foundational tool utilized in all of our community and regional planning work.…

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The Dam Plan: A Place For All

Throughout history, we’ve had a love/hate relationship with the rivers we settle around. Here, we look at one plan that helped bridge the divide and connect people back to the river.

There’s been an urgent call recently to connect people back to natural places, especially in urban settings.…

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Clear Strategic Principles to Planning

This is first in a series of articles sharing insights from our work with St. Cloud State University’s (SCSU’s) Comprehensive Facilities Planning process – a rich experience, full of learning for all!

It’s a basic tenet of planning that clear, aligned, strategic principles, articulated and understood from the highest level and throughout an institution, are foundational for a successful plan.…

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Creative Placemaking: Storytelling About People and Culture

To design and create meaningful and memorable public spaces where people want to be, the growing awareness related to Placemaking initiatives must be centered on both the functional and aesthetic challenges.

The term “Creative Placemaking” has become one of those overused phrases or buzzwords that has either lost its meaning or perhaps, never achieved the significant denotation that would help establish a common language.…

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Creating a Living Laboratory on Your Campus

More colleges and universities are discovering the benefits of planning and implementing campus landscapes that are more than function and aesthetics but are transforming the campus into a “living laboratory.” These integrated learning environments are fostering strategic use of the exterior environment, connecting students to real-world applications, establishing new multipurpose spaces, and will continue to evolve as education demands change.…

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