Thesis

Campus [re]Connected.

bringing us back to nature

People are becoming more and more removed from the natural world through the development of modern technologies and lifestyles. The natural world has an effect on our physical and metal health and in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, contact with the natural exterior environment is necessary. Modern technologies are also increasing the rate at which our global climate is declining. Awareness of global climate degradation is necessary for a change to be made by people.

Reconnecting people with the natural environment through experience will enable a realization of our reliance upon it. Campus design and landscape architecture can come together to create a campus where the landscape, buildings and environment all work in conjunction to create an experience in sustainability and outdoor activity. Learning from the typical American campus will allow for a site layout determined by the connections needed between humans, the campus and the environment in which the campus is situated. Designing a sustainable campus will allow for the campus to become more responsive to its environment as well as its occupants, encouraging interaction between buildings, people and the natural systems that occur on site.

Research in sustainable technologies and global environmental degradation are necessary for the success and continuation of sustainable techniques. Many fields of research are focusing on sustainability such as architecture, engineering, forestry, agriculture and biology. Creating a research campus in the pristine woods of northern Wisconsin will allow for these fields to continue researching sustainability with real onsite conditions and experiments as well as interaction through interdisciplinary cooperation. Campus architecture is deeply vested in the education of people, the program for which it was first conceived. Creating a campus with a research facility, as well as housing and recreation components for researchers and tourists will encourage interaction with the natural environment on the education, experiential and recreational levels.

The site is located in northern Wisconsin among the millions of acres of national forest land. This area is already known for its various outdoor activities and its beautiful untouched forest landscapes. This area is advantageous for a sustainable research campus because it is a fully natural area which can be researched, learned from and eventually encouraged by the implementation of passive and active sustainable technologies.

It is my contention that by analyzing and redefining the parameters for campus design, the campus can become more interactive with its inhabitants, buildings and landscapes, helping each to be more sustainable. Creating a sustainable campus in a pristine natural area can prove the success of a campus as a bridge between people, their environments and the success of sustainable techniques in contributing to the decrease of overall negative climate interaction between people and the world in which we live.

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