WreckShop: Professional Development Workshop Turned More

Students Broke out Into Groups to Come up With Unique Ideas for the West Texas Garden Project

The 2017 WreckShop took place March 6 -7 at the Landscape Architecture Pavilion and the Museum of Texas Tech University connecting students with Texas Tech landscape architecture alumni and leading professionals.

Within the pavilion, students had the opportunity to directly engage professionals to learn about their work, the inner working of firms, professional life, and tips on successful transition to practice. Professionals shared with students their experience and gave portfolio critiques.

Landscape architecture instructor Kathryn Nelson has had a large part in the leadership and organization of WreckShop.

“WreckShop provides students with the invaluable opportunity to explore their professional options and make professional connections,” Nelson said.

This year WreckShop allowed students to collaborate with industry professionals to draft plans for an innovative new project, the West Texas Garden Project. This project will use sustainable methods to reconstruct the landscaping between the National Ranching Heritage Center and the Museum of Texas Tech University.

Gary Morgan, executive director of the museum, said he is enthusiastic about the ideas that emerged from WreckShop.

“I think that aspect of having really active student involvement is important,” Morgan said. “It demonstrates the capacities of the students here at Texas Tech; it makes it an academic exercise as well as a practical one.”

The first day of WreckShop had a series of events including professional networking, portfolio review, and a Student American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) member exclusive meeting at the Landscape Architecture Pavilion. At 6 p.m., WreckShop changed venues to the Museum of Texas Tech University. The night ended with dinner and a formal introduction to the West Texas Garden Project.

The second day of WreckShop shifted the focus entirely toward the West Texas Garden Project. All events took place at the Museum of Texas Tech University. The morning started with breakfast. Then, students and professionals broke out into teams and began design charrettes. Charrettes continued throughout the day and WreckShop concluded at 4 p.m. with presentations of charrette outcomes.

The design charrette endeavored to create a master plan for the West Texas Garden Project. The teams were tasked with the challenge of developing an aesthetically pleasing sustainable garden that reflects the natural history and ecology of the West Texas landscape.

WreckShop acted as a catalyst in the process of combining the expertise of the NRHC, the Museum of Texas Tech University and landscape architects to create a sustainable landscaping project unlike any other Lubbock has seen.

Jim Bret Campbell, executive director of the NRHC, said the center is interested in any event that enables this level of collaboration.

“It just makes sense for all of us to work together,” Campbell said.