College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Landscape Architecture

A Day with Julie Bargmann

Julie Bargmann sits at table talking with a group of 11 students
Students enjoyed a lunch and lecture with Julie Bargmann

On October 10th, our program had the privilege to welcome Julie Bargmann into our department home. Julie is the Founder and Principle of D.I.R.T. Studio and a landscape architecture professor at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Students, staff, and alumni all took part in welcoming Julie.

Her visit began with an open lunch where students had the opportunity to ask Julie about her profession, her schooling, and anything else they were interested in learning about. When asked what excites her the most about the opportunity to take on projects, she explained how she and other landscape architects can be so into design and so into public good. “People want to do good, but they don’t know how to do it, and they call you [the landscape architect] for it. I am more proud of changing minds than changing stuff.” Her exuberant spirit and the students’ interest helped create an educational and fun atmosphere. Following the lunch, Julie met with faculty, and then dropped in on each of the studios to learn about the ongoing student projects.

During the studio visits, classes shared their current projects and Julie provided feedback. Early that evening, students, faculty, and alumni gathered to hear Julie present her lecture “Working Landscapes.” In her lecture, Julie made it evident it is critical for landscape architects to depend on the site and study the ins and outs of the site throughout the entire design process. She coined the phrase “site forensics” for how she analyzes the existing features of a site which give clues to its history. Paying attention to the traces of history on a site can help cast a course of action to bring out a site’s beauty and character in the design process. Following the lecture, a celebratory reception capped off the day’s events.


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