Landscape Architect Returns to His Old Stomping Grounds

Over a hundred undergraduate and graduate students of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University take a break from their routine class schedules every year to participate in Design Week. The program includes a lecture and various instructional activities led by an experienced professional. This year, Page Associate Principal and Urban Design Director Lewis T. May, FASLA, was invited to lead the week-long design workshop.

Lewis has more than four decades of experience in planning, urban design and landscape architecture for an array of national and international projects. As an accomplished master-plan designer, he regularly shares his knowledge with students through his various teaching positions, including at the University of Houston D. Hines College Of Architecture. His participation in Design Week was particularly significant because he received both his Bachelor and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees from LSU.

This year, the students were divided into groups with designated assignments for a proposed project designed by Page, the Taohua (Peach) Island Master Plan located in Chongqing, China. The objectives included designing a low-carbon, mixed-use/live-work community, developing a financial district, and creating an entertainment and recreation area. The area will also benefit from an intensive environmental restoration.

LSU specifically chose the Taohua Island project as a way to actively involve their international students, which gave several Chinese students an opportunity to lead the design assessments. The teams presented their plans to faculty and students in the architectural program, and the top three winners received an honorarium. The first place winners designed the Environmental Preservation Ecology Park and Nature Interpretive Center, which can be viewed on the LSU website.

Lewis also presented a public lecture on “Exported Creativity: Genius loci or Cultural Imperialism?” in the LSU Design Building Auditorium. Several retired professors made an appearance specifically to visit him before he returned to Texas. “It was truly an honor,” Lewis stated.

The full article can be read on LSU’s News, and Lewis's presentation can be viewed here.