The Prison Education Project is excited to announce that it has partnered with the Divided City Initiative to support and develop two interdisciplinary urban humanities courses for PEP students at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center. These courses will be integrated as part of the greater PEP curriculum.
The first course, “Landscape Architecture: The Art and Science of Placemaking” will be taught in Fall 2019 by Carolyn Gaidis, a lecturer in the Masters of Urban Design, Architecture and Landscape Architecture departments, a registered Landscape Architect in the State of Missouri, and an ISA-Certified Arborist.
In this course, the fundamentals of Landscape Architecture education encourage the student to explore as many resources as possible on the topics of human and environmental ecosystems to inform design decisions. This course focuses on the cultural, environmental, scientific, and technical aspects of ecological planting design. Students will gain a knowledge of plants in a biologic, ephemeral, and purposeful manner from which to inform their designs for their own grounds. This two-part course series will offer several guest lecturers and research projects/readings to allow students to explore various design typologies and theories, arts and sciences, mental and physical health benefits, and the sustainable, best management practices of garden design.
This course would not be possible without the combined efforts and collaboration of the late Maggie Garb, co-founder of the Prison Education Project; Missouri Eastern Correctional Center administration and staff; and the Divided City Initiative and its Washington University representatives.
In 2014, faculty in the humanities and in architecture and urban design at Washington University in St. Louis began their initial drafting of what would become “The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative.” The result was initially a four-year project that focused on the ways in which segregation in its broadest sense has and continues to play out as a set of spatial practices in cities, neighborhoods, public spaces, landscapes, and buildings. Using the St. Louis metropolitan area as a base, the Divided City seeks to deploy a variety of research methods and engage a range of community partners in order to explore the often hidden intersecting social and spatial practices of separation in North American and other global urban environments. Our primary goal is to bring humanities scholars into productive interdisciplinary dialogue with architects, urban designers, landscape architects, legal scholars, sociologists, and others around one of the most persistent and vexing issues in urban studies – segregation.
Galvanized by the institutional partnerships, faculty collaboration, and graduate student cohorts developed over the past four years, and with a shared conviction that there is much yet to do, in Fall 2018, the Center for the Humanities and the Sam Fox School of Architecture and Urban Design launched the Divided City 2022.
The Divided City is an urban humanities initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a joint project of the Center for the Humanities and the Sam Fox School, College of Architecture and Urban Design, at Washington University in St. Louis.
Tila Neguse, Project Coordinator