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K-State Today

August 16, 2011



Alternative meal plans: students study on-campus edible landscapes

By Communications and Marketing

A group of students will spend the first few days of the fall semester drawing up creative ways to produce food on the Kansas State University campus.

All landscape architecture and regional and community planning students will participate in Design Days 2011: onelunch from Aug. 22-24.

Design Days, now in its third year, was created to bring together students from the landscape architecture/regional and community planning department in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design to use their skills and creativity to address current planning and design issues in a collaborative effort.

The task will be an interdisciplinary one, as students from the Urban Agriculture class also will participate. Rhonda Janke, associate professor of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, will advise the students in cooperation with the landscape architecture/regional and community planning faculty.

"We want to bring to light timely issues that students might face in their professional careers," said Jeremy Merrill, graduate student in environmental design and planning. "Design Days also promotes team building, gives students an additional opportunity to design, and is a great introduction to the culture of design for our new, incoming students."

First the students will determine whether it is possible to grow enough food to feed a single meal to everyone on campus. Then they will break into teams to explore how that food production could be accomplished on the K-State campus. Teams of students will design plans for specific areas of campus.

"The groups will have limited resources, such as water or money, and we want to work within the parameters of the campus master plan," Merrill said. "We want each group to design a realistic plan that potentially could be implemented in the future."

The students' work will be exhibited from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, on the first floor of the east wing of Seaton Hall. The exhibition is free, and the public is welcome to attend.