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Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden chosen for CSI Award

The Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, an organic, sustainable food garden, has been chosen as one of three sites for the 2015 Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Case Study Investigation (CSI) Award.

The CSI program is a unique research collaboration that matches LAF-funded student-faculty research teams with leading practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. Teams develop methods to quantify environmental, economic and social benefits and produce Case Study Briefs for LAF’s Landscape Performance Series.

“This award is highly competitive and is internationally significant across landscape architecture programs and the profession at-large,” says Andrew A. Fox, assistant professor of landscape architecture at N.C. State University’s College of Design.

Fox, who was named a Landscape Architecture Foundation research fellow for this project, will work with Jesse Turner, of Jesse Turner Landscape Architecture, on a team that will also study the North Carolina Botanical Garden at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Turner designed the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, along with architect Ellen Cassilly, Duke Gardens horticulture director Bobby Mottern, Doris Duke Center Gardens curator Jason Holmes, Jan Little, director of education and public programs, and other Duke Gardens staff members. The garden was dedicated in spring 2012.

The study team also includes Walt Havener, of Surface678 (N.C. Museum of Art), David Swanson, of Swanson and Associates (N.C. Botanical Garden), and LAF research assistant Sadie Adams, an N.C. State master’s student in landscape architecture.

“We are excited to bring great N.C. landscape architecture more prominently into the national spotlight,” Fox said of the award.

The CSI program is highly collaborative, with the goal of better integrating the innovative work being done by academia and practice to advance our knowledge of landscape performance, according to the LAF’s website. By investing in this research, LAF hopes that CSI can be a key impetus in moving the landscape architecture profession toward designing every project with specific performance objectives, routinely collecting performance data, and integrating landscape performance in design education.

Each academic team produces three Case Study Briefs for LAF’s Landscape Performance Series. The fellows leading the teams are select faculty members with demonstrated interest or expertise in quantifying landscape benefits. Fellows develop methods for data collection, provide academic rigor, and receive funding to support a student research assistant.

Participating firms apply with specific projects and are selected based on the quality of the project, availability of information to document performance, and commitment to participate in the CSI process.

You can read the study at