Student Research Spotlight - Laura Lopez
Laura Lopez won the Graduate Student Research Award for the College of Architecture, Design and Construction during the 2020 Auburn Research: Virtual Student Symposium.
Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
Major and degree: Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture
College: Architecture, Design and Construction
Department: Landscape Architecture
Class year: 2020
Faculty mentors: Charlene LeBleu
Daylighting Parkerson Mill Creek
What are you researching?
The study consisted of diving into the historical background, ecological aspects/implications, recording of field studies observations, and the topographical and hydrological states of Parkerson Mill Creek to present a design proposal for the Roosevelt Drive and Mell Street intersection. The investigation process is an essential step that shapes the design outcome so that the design proposal can produce practical and aesthetic impacts. As a result of the research, the proposed architecture for Parkerson Mill Creek embodies valuable research and is presented through tangible site experiences in a three-dimensional space. Visits through the site not only bring awareness to the unique qualities of the space and to the other forms of life that inhabit a space apart from humans, but also to the university’s fast-paced lifestyle. This becomes obvious when compared to restless intersections filled with busy pedestrians, motorists and bikers.
How could the results benefit individuals, agencies or companies?
Instilling value in the design process, which does not stand apart from research, aims to enhance sensibility and thoughtfulness for existing ecosystems and create healthy everyday interactions for all living organisms. If this process toward reviving ecosystems and green infrastructure became widely adopted by state policies and regional/urban planning agencies, environmental justice can be achieved, and all can benefit from precious resources like clean air and water.
Tell us why you enjoy research.
I like research because it helps me be more thoughtful, curious and creative in designing/reviving a place. A secondary outcome of the research is that it can, through design, inspire others to also adopt a sensibility toward nature that can influence their everyday decisions.
What advice would you give to other students considering doing a research project?
Research what you are passionate about because that creates curiosity, which will lead you to take “the path less traveled by.” It is new and exciting, and it will take you down an adventurous road to a blissful discovery in the end.
Tell us about any hobbies or activities you enjoy.
I enjoy hiking and traveling with my dog, and also painting and drawing, paired with a cup of tea.