Design It, Build It

Aug 21, 2015 Robin DeRieux CA&ES Outlook Magazine Spring/Summer 2015 University of California, Davis
Truscott donation allows landscape architecture students to dig in.
Design It, Build It

UC Davis landscape architecture students work on design-build projects outside Hunt Hall. (Katie Hetrick | UC Davis)

More landscape architecture students will have an opportunity to acquire hands-on experience before graduation with the creation of a new fund that supports design-build projects. The endowment for CA&ES undergraduates majoring in landscape architecture was kick-started with a donation from Marq Truscott and his wife, Rachel Ragatz Truscott.

The design-build endowment provides money for materials to allow students to “learn by doing” in their advanced landscape architecture classes.

“Rachel and I love to build things,” said Marq Truscott, president of the landscape architecture firm Quadriga. “We thought this was an excellent way to help landscape architecture students learn how to choose the smartest way to put things together, while still achieving their design aesthetic. They will understand how things come together physically in the field, and that will be part of their toolkit.”

The design-build endowment provides money for materials to allow students to “learn by doing” in their advanced landscape architecture classes. It augments existing opportunities for hands-on experience, which are costly and limited by financial constraints.

“I’ve been hiring UC Davis landscape architecture students for years, and they are amazing thinkers,” said Marq Truscott. “They write and they research really well. Getting hands-on design and build experience — this technical component — is the final piece of the puzzle that will set them apart from their competitors.”

Although Marq Truscott is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona, he has many ties to UC Davis. He is a CA&ES lecturer in landscape architecture, and his firm has worked on projects for campus such as the new Aggie Stadium. Rachel Truscott completed her landscape architecture degree at UC Davis in 2007, worked in the field, and then returned to campus to do a master’s degree in civil engineering with the Center for Watershed Sciences.

Both Truscotts hope to inspire their peers to contribute to the endowment they started that will allow more landscape architecture students to get their hands dirty.

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