Director of Landscape Architecture Leehu Loon Discusses Program’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Student, faculty and staff safety has been a hot topic of discussion and is of the utmost importance to the University of Oklahoma and the Gibbs College of Architecture. You can learn more about Gibbs College efforts and share your own feedback here.

To help address these concerns, we recently spoke with Gibbs College program directors to find out what adjustments being made to their programs to ensure student, faculty and staff safety, while supporting learning outcomes.

Below, Director of Landscape Architecture Leehu Loon shares responses to some frequently asked questions.

Q: How are classes in your program being handled or adjusted this semester in light of COVID-19, and how does this differ from a typical semester?
A: We are following the OU adjustments, such as moving large courses online, addressing spacing concerns, etc.
We also worked with Gibbs College of Architecture during the summer to redesign the layout of studios to space desks apart and face the same direction while introducing one-way aisles and more.
Faculty are also working on ways to deliver the coursework in a blended format that will deliver enriching content to the students.

Q: Can you say how you expect this will impact student learning? What special ways will faculty in your program be working to support students?
A: We hope it will have a positive impact on student learning. Since courses (especially studio) have been taught the same way for a long time, this gives us the opportunity to quickly deliver courses in a modern format.
We hope this will assist us in delivering more courses online in the coming years. All landscape architecture faculty are attending professional development workshops to find the best way to prepare for the semester.

Q: Students in your program work on unique projects that have different needs, work cycles, project lengths and outcomes that are unique from other programs in the college and on campus. Can you give examples of some of those projects, how they have worked in the past, and how you expect them to be adapted this semester?
A: Landscape architecture students in the fall semester typically participate in design competitions. This will continue this year as well and we expect good results.

Q: Are there any unique or different safety measures being taken within your program?
A: We are following the university guidelines as well as the efforts that Gibbs College has put in place for our specific student, faculty and staff needs.