How have interactions between culture and biological/physical environment shaped the history and current nature of the Bennington community and its surroundings? How does their interplay constrain and enable its future? How might planning for Bennington’s future best recognize this history and build on the landscape presented by it?
Students will develop projects addressed to these or similar questions. Projects may be driven by questions rooted in the social sciences, humanities, or natural sciences and student work may focus on problems of design, planning, or analysis. Projects should include original work that might include data collection and analysis, synthetic analysis or modeling based on existing data, or purposeful design, but all projects must be focused on understanding of and/or planning for the community and landscape of Bennington and its environs.
The course is open to all students (1) who have completed “Studying Place by Metes and Bounds” (in either Spring or Fall of 2015), or (2) who are committed to completing a project that addresses one of the questions above.
All students interested in the class should submit a written (up to one page) project proposal to Donald Sherefkin or Kerry Woods. The proposal should focus on the primary questions or purposes motivating the project and on a basic framework for anticipated approach.
Class meetings will be devoted to presentations to the group and for discussion and trouble-shooting by the full group of questions and materials encountered in individual projects. Each student will work closely in project development and execution with at least one of the six faculty members involved with the ‘Mill-Town’ project, and should expect to meet with that person weekly in addition to the regular class meeting. Students should plan on committing a substantial amount of time to independent background research, development, and execution of the project. Projects will all result in a full write-up, an open presentation, and a visual presentation by poster, model, or other means.