Meet Alex, MLA Student
About Alexander Waffle
For Alex Waffle, the practice of landscape architecture is about more than just functionality. By enrolling in the MLA program he has been able to combine art and science on practical and theoretical levels to design spaces and the experiences these spaces offer. Alex’s current MLA research investigates the potential of growing specialty and ethnic foods locally in the hot microclimates of Toronto.
Program: Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)
Year of Study: Third Year
Hometown: Huntsville, Ontario
What did you complete your undergraduate in?
I completed my undergraduate degree in integrated land planning technologies at Fanshawe College in London, ON. The program taught a combination of landscape design, urban design and urban/rural planning.
Why did you choose Guelph / OAC for your graduate studies?
I chose the University of Guelph for my graduate studies because it has a great reputation in the landscape architecture community and the landscape architecture programs offered at the University of Guelph provide a good mix of practical skills and theoretical knowledge.
Tell us about the research you are working on and why it is important.
For my thesis research I am investigating the possibility of using hot urban microclimates within Toronto to grow foods that we couldn't normally grow in this region. The beneficial outcome would provide specialty and ethnic foods locally as they are currently only available by import. This would reduce food travel distances and provide a fresher product for the consumer. Given the number of ethnic groups in Toronto there is a large demand for good quality ethnic foods and this research could take advantage of that demand.
What do you like best about your program?
My favourite part of the landscape architecture program is the marriage of art and science; it’s about learning how to design a space that will function on multiple levels and being able to back it up with evidence. The diverse experiences of the faculty make this joining of art and science come naturally.
What tips would you share to undergraduate students who are thinking about graduate studies?
I would suggest that undergraduate students take the time to find a graduate program that will meet their interests and career goals. Students should consider both research and course based degrees, and don't be afraid to look outside your current area of study.
What do you enjoy about the City of Guelph?
Since moving to Guelph, I have enjoyed everything about the city. It is big enough to have something to offer for everyone yet it still has that small-town charm. Downtown is beautiful and is filled with many restaurants and shops.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to stay in Guelph after I graduate, write my L.A.R.E (Landscape Architecture Registration Examination) tests and put my degree to good use!