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K-State Today

January 14, 2021

Landscape architecture student awarded in international design competition

Submitted by Thom Jackson

Anna Radar

Anna Rader, a third-year landscape architecture student from Springfield, Missouri, in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, received the Institutional Excellence Award for her design "Forest City Market" in the UNI Street City Vietnam international design competition.

Open to both students and professionals, the competition requested ideas to "rejuvenate the street market culture through physical structures" on a specified site in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Rader prepared the design submission during the 2020 summer semester as part of the Narratives and Placemaking Design Studio, taught by Blake Belanger and Jon Hunt, both associate professors of landscape architecture and regional & community planning.

Rader's design is inspired by Ho Chi Minh City’s historical identity as a "city in the forest" with a prominent fishing culture, narratives clearly expressed through her writing and artistic photomontage renderings. Elegant and sustainably-sourced bamboo market structures, inspired by her research on generations-old traditional fishing traps and contemporary architecture in Vietnam, provide an iconic identity for the market in the context of the rapidly developing Thu Thiem District. Her market design is lushly planted with trees, shrubs and grasses to create a feeling of being in a garden or a forest. In addition to using renewable building materials, Rader addressed sustainability by designing the site to filter stormwater through permeable paving and bioswales, as well as specifying native plants. While her market design addresses the functional needs of vendors and shoppers, it also creates a memorable place for diners, tourists and residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

"Receiving this award is a huge honor and is exciting to be recognized by an international jury," Rader said. "I am most proud of how the market design uses local materials and structures inspired by traditional fishing traps to create a market that respects the history of Ho Chi Minh City."

Thirteen of Rader's classmates were also selected as finalists in the competition. There were 35 student entries and 22 professional entries in the competition.

"I am delighted by this group of third-year landscape architecture students for their creativity in developing coherent and inspiring concepts, as well as their determination to generate world-class design submissions," Belanger said. "Anna's design proposal is outstanding and demonstrates that K-State landscape architecture students are equipped to compete with top designers from around the globe."

UNI selected 32 finalists in the competition, nearly half of which were K-State landscape architecture students.

Each of the K-State entries draws upon a local or regional narrative for design inspiration. Hunt notes that each student identified and explored place narratives through in-depth research and creative processes such as drawing, modeling, videography, photomontage and written word.

"In the end, they emerged with a stronger intuitive design process and a new sensitivity to place and experiences," Hunt said.

"It is very exciting for our students to be recognized on the UNI global platform of design competitions," said Stephanie Rolley, professor and department head of landscape architecture and regional & community planning. "Anna's recognition by the international jury is an outstanding accomplishment for a student early in her academic career. Professors Belanger and Hunt built a tremendous learning opportunity out of the UNI Street City Vietnam competition."

Rader hopes to build on her success in the competition. 

"This experience has taught me a lot about creating narratives in design and will greatly help my understanding of placemaking in the future," she said. 

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