A "SOUL" for Landscaping

Andrew Harrell is a first-year master student studying Landscape Architecture at NC State. He plays many roles at the SOUL garden, including Senior Landscape Designer, Finance Coordinator and Student Government Sustainability Liaison.

Andrew joined the SOUL team in order to connect with people, to grow food and to teach others how to garden. When asked to elaborate on this, Andrew said “Gardening has been an inspiration for my career in Landscape Architecture as well as a way to associate with my community. Joining the SOUL team has allowed me to work with inspired people and develop my design and communication skills.” When he joined SOUL, he also hoped to develop certain skills to help him throughout his professional and personal life. He has sought out to improve his design process- focusing on more thorough site analysis as well as design visualization and implementation through collaborating with volunteers and other SOUL Leaders.

As far as concrete goals are concerned, Andrew plans on building a greenhouse, creating a garden Master Plan and designing a gathering space for garden visitors and volunteers. In working to accomplish these goals, Andrew is currently building the greenhouse using passive solar principles. The master plan has already been drafted and will soon be ready to be presented to SOUL Leaders and others interested in the garden through an open charrette so that feedback can be given. When it comes to skills he has needed to utilize in accomplishing his goals, Andrew feels as though he has most used the skill of hand rendering and sketching to communicate ideas, which he has learned is a skill that continuously develops and is crucial in visualizing concepts.

The SOUL garden is a place where the goals are often too large and intricate to be completed by one person alone. Andrew acknowledges fellow intern Samantha Pace, who is co-managing the greenhouse project and compost bin renovations, for being a great help in the process as a whole. He also is thankful for the City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation, who will be donating the frame for the greenhouse. He also has received ever-helpful feedback for general design concepts of the garden from Shamsa Visone, Matt Dwyer and many of the SOUL Leaders.

When asked what he has learned as a SOUL leader, Andrew said “Design cannot be done in a vacuum, you need others to collaborate on ideas. I am also learning the importance of outreach through SOUL's impressive social media campaign and new branding scheme. This has encouraged me to build my own personal website and start a professional Twitter.”

In regards to his favorite aspects of the SOUL garden, Andrew said “I enjoy people walking through the garden and stopping to talk. The conversation tends to include sharing stories about the influence of gardening. Many of stories convey a positive association with gardening to family, food, and the environment.”

email: acharrel@ncsu.edu

Twitter: @acharrel95

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