In the News

Geodesign program supports working professionals in reaching their goals

While trying to create the first 100 percent sustainable “smart city” in Abu Dhabi, Geodesign student Shannon McElvaney discovered he wanted to get an advanced degree in Geodesign to help develop his design thinking skills. Read more about his path to graduation.

Portland teams up with Penn State geodesign students for Olympic bid

James Sipes, faculty member for the Penn State geodesign online master’s program, recently challenged his students to create an entire complex of sports facilities for the city of Portland, which hopes to host the Olympics at some point in the future. Read more about how students tackled this real-world scenario.

Using geodesign for Major League Baseball stadium development

Jim Sipes, a faculty member for the online geodesign program at Penn State and renowned designer with Sand County Studios, developed a project to investigate the new Atlanta Braves baseball stadium and neighborhood development as the challenge for the fall 2016 Geodesign II course on urban landscape change issues. Real-world data is used to inform the creation of different design ideas for a student-selected site. Read more about the project.

Online Geodesign graduate studio tackles Florida's climate change challenges

Penn State's Master of Professional Studies in Geodesign successfully implemented its first exclusively online studio course this past spring. The inaugural offering was taught by renowned Geodesign pioneer and leader in the field of spatial environmental planning, Dr. Michael Flaxman. This intense, fifteen-week course was conducted in a multi-platform-distributed virtual classroom environment that aimed to replicate many of the strongest attributes of a traditional studio.

The studio identified climate change as its over-arching challenge engine, and focused upon the state of Florida due to its status as a major contributor of emissions and its susceptibility to some severe effects of climate change – the canary in the American coal mine. Read more on the College of Arts and Architecture website.

Sipes brings Geodesign expertise to Penn State’s online degree

Penn State welcomes Jim Sipes to our faculty for the second online studio in the Master's in Geodesign. Sipes is an award-winning landscape architect, urban designer, environmental planner, and writer with more than 30 years of experience encompassing a wide range of planning, design, research, and communication projects in both the private sector and in academia.

Sipes has been using some form of Geodesign for more than 20 years as an integral part of urban design and planning. According to Jim, GIS, Geodesign, and other digital tools are essential for identifying hidden patterns in the landscape, putting data together in a way that decision makers can understand, and exploring scenarios that seek the most sustainable, balanced, and economically viable solutions. Read more about Jim Sipes.

Second Geodesign Studio Underway

Our second Geodesign Studio – GEODZ 852: Geodesign Studio II: Urban/District-scale Challenges – focuses on the complexity of urban and district-scale landscape change issues. The studio format provides the closest approximation to a professional setting, where multiple consultants and stakeholders are able to collaborate on the process. Learn more about Geodesign Studio II: Urban/District-scale Challenges.

Join us at the Premier Conference Event for Geodesign in the United States

The ESRI Geodesign Summit 2017 will take place on January 24–26, 2017 at ESRI headquarters in beautiful Redlands, California. Penn State's own Kelleann Foster is a featured speaker at this year’s summit, alongside a number of other noted Geodesign professionals and innovators. Learn more at the conference website. We hope you will plan to attend and talk with our Penn State team there. 

Penn State Geodesign launches YouTube Channel

The more we learn about Geodesign — the more we realize the power of this proven process. To help build awareness, Penn State has launched a YouTube channel dedicated to our program. The first videos on our channel are curated excerpts from last year's Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offered through Coursera, which attracted 17,000 people worldwide. Please subscribe and share with your friends and colleagues — we will be regularly adding more content to our channel.