Amber is from Memphis, Tennessee and is a 5+1 student in her first & final year of the program. She is also the first student to be profiled for the School of Landscape Architecture's quarterly newsletter! 
1.    What was your undergraduate experience and how did it influence your decision to pursue a MLA?
Through my undergraduate coursework in the architecture program, I formed a solid foundation of design thinking. In addition, multiple design projects and studios helped me to become interested in the possibilities past the built structure. I decided to join the MLA program because it would help me become a well-rounded designer, giving me a unique perspective on multiple design processes and challenging me to pursue different possibilities than my undergraduate experience.

2.    What activities do you pursue outside the school?
When I am not in studio, I’m normally reading books, searching for vintage vinyl records, or taking care of my 40+ house plants.
3. Scottie McDaniel always pushes me to think more critically about the design field and pushes me to get out of my comfort zone. Her passion for her work, students, and research inspires me daily. Also, I am always amazed by her empathetic approach to teaching; she has a way of promoting personal decision-making and stories specific to each of her students.
4. Do you have any advice for future landscape architecture students?
My advice to anyone interested in landscape architecture is to be willing to try new things, be open to critical conversations, and always ask questions.
5. What was your favorite class? What did you like about it?
One of my favorite classes that I have taken in the MLA program would probably be Urban Ecology. I found it interesting to have honest and vulnerable conversations about our human impact on the planet and discuss multiple ways to change the course of these problems. This course was also drastically different from the many design courses I am used to, so it challenged me to learn a new way of thinking.
6. Do you have a favorite project you have worked on?
My favorite project in the MLA program is my second studio project, Anachronistic Landscapes, taught by Andrew Madl. In this project, I looked at new ways of rewilding a college campus through materiality with one specific inhabitant in mind – food-delivering robots. The project questioned the future of design with continuous waves of new technologies. It was a fun task to research the capabilities and technology behind these robots, which travel around college campuses with the primary goal of delivering food, and then use that research to represent a new design for a college quad through the eyes of the robots.
7. What is one food you cannot resist?
It’s definitely hard to narrow this down, but if I had to pick, it would be chicken alfredo or chips and queso.
8. What do you or will you miss about Knoxville?
The main thing I will miss about Knoxville is how close it is to the Smokies. Taking day trips to hike with my friends has been one of my favorite activities for destressing and taking time to reconnect. Also, I’ll miss the college atmosphere that has been fostered at the University of Tennessee. Just as we’re getting good at football, I’m finishing up my degree!
9. How has your perception of landscape architecture changed over time?
Throughout my courses in the MLA program, I have been shocked by the scale of landscape architecture. I have learned about topics ranging from the relationship between roots and soil to the intricate process of master planning. This way of thinking broadens my perception of landscape architecture, providing insight into the natural world, the artificiality of landscape design, and the human impacts on the field. 
10. What’s the coolest place you’ve traveled?
I have been on a cruise in Alaska, visiting multiple cities along the way. On this trip, I also got the opportunity to ride on the railway my grandfather helped build during the second world war.
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