When the majority of professionals in the AEC industry are of a narrow demographic, it means our world is designed through one lens. This realization inspired a cross-office team of LandDesigners to explore new facets of mentorship and education that would directly address the lack of diversity in the civil engineering and landscape architecture professions.
While national STEM mentor programs are targeted to high-school and collegiate students, the team recognized a bigger opportunity to expose students k-8 to the role of the profession in creating the places they enjoy every day, and leveraged LandDesign’s MatterLab program to spearhead their concept. Months of exploration, research, and collaboration resulted in Studio Toolkit, a hands-on educational program that provides students with all the tools necessary to imagine their own public park.
We sat down with Studio Toolkit team members, Rita Schiller and Will Talero, to discuss their unique approach to MatterLab, valuable lessons learned, and plans for deploying Studio Toolkit in the local markets we serve.