Last week, we recognized 15 students as 2014 Vectorworks Design Scholars and revealed that a project by Diego Bermudez, a landscape design graduate student from the University of Pennsylvania, was the top entry. Bermudez won the Richard Diehl Award, impressing judges with his creative solution to a real-world problem.
Bermudez’s submission, “Circasia: Engaging the Creeks,” is a detailed landscape design that uses master planning techniques and digital tools to reclaim an area devastated by waste dumping. Using 15 slides, Bermudez combines high-quality overlays and mapping techniques to convey a solution where small-scale, incremental housing allows citizens to reenter the area around the waste-filled creeks. The design redefines the relationship between the villages and the water and connects an urban population to its agrarian landscape.
“The birds’ eye view using massing models helps me feel what the space can become,” said judge Roberto Rovira, chair of the Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design Department at Florida International University. “He shows good graphics to forge a path out of darkness, creating a feeling that this will be a great place to live.”
In addition, Bermudez’s sensitivity to the environment demonstrates knowledge of plant material and shows diversity of subject matter. He acknowledges the large size of the project space but breaks his design down to the level of detail of selecting a plant material that enhances the living space. “Lots of people don't do this in their work, and I commend him,” said Rovira. “He thought about ideas, got inspired, used technology to share his vision, and did a superb job.”
Bermudez noted, “I have always been interested in providing new and better opportunities for people, working almost exclusively in social urbanism. The scale doesn’t really matter; it can be a small vegetable garden providing food for a family or a whole new regional plan protecting people, water sources, forests, agricultural land, and cultural assets.”
He plans to use his award to visit places where the environment has shaped the design of the built environment, such as New Orleans or the Everglades. “The best way to learn landscape architecture is to visit diverse landscapes,” said Bermudez. “Books can give you insight, but being there in person gives you inspiration.”
Learn more about Nemetschek Vectorworks’ educational initiatives, including how to be notified when you can enter our 2015 scholarship program, by visiting our Academic Community webpage.