Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Easton’s Historic Hill Transdisciplinary Team Present Ideas

This Fall, a Morgan team led by Dr. Mary Anne Akers, Dean for the School of Architecture and Planning and Professor Dale Green (Architecture and Environmental Design), along with other Morgan Professors including Dr. Archana Sharma (Landscape Architecture), Dr. Tonya Sanders (City and Regional Planning), Paul Voos (Landscape Architecture), Dr. Angela Howell (Anthropology), Dr. Stella Hargett (Chair of Sociology), and Marvin Perry (Economic Development) have been invited to develop a small area plan for the historic Hill neighborhood of Easton, Maryland, which is one of the earliest free Black settlement with structures still intact and with families that can trace their lineage to that of the early free Black settlers.

On Monday, December 2nd a transdisciplinary team of students and faculty from graduate programs in Landscape Architecture, City and Regional Planning, and undergraduate courses in Architecture and Environmental Design (Historic Preservation) and Anthropology presented research analyses and design concepts for the Hill with attention towards current conditions, historic preservation, integrated community, sustainability and stormwater management. Part of the work Morgan State University students accomplished during the semester included engaging the community through conducting a door-to-door community survey as well as facilitating a community meeting where residents shared the strengths of the area as well as opportunities for improvement. The culmination of this work was shared and displayed among all of the classes.

This new transdisciplinary teaching method of working across all the disciplines of the built environment and social science disciplines, championed by Dr. Mary Anne Akers and all participating members of the team, is a great addition to our teaching pedagogy at Morgan.  The exposure of how multiple disciplines view and assess the built environment has enriched the learning experience of all the students involved.  Ways to further improve this unique type of class experience was also discussed during the wrap-up session of the presentations.

 

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