By Joey Mazzaferro

When Dean Chimay Anumba arrived in 2016, he touted his vision for the College of Design, Construction and Planning as OneDCP, meaning all disciplines would come together as one. To further this vision, a class was started in Fall 2018 to teach incoming students how the disciplines the college offers often come together and work with each other in the business world.

DCP1003 – Creating Our Built Environment includes teachings of professional practice in architecture, construction management, historic preservation, interior design, landscape architecture, sustainability and the built environment and urban and regional planning.

The course content relies heavily on guest speakers and introduces students to the professions, processes and the interconnectivity between and roles of the various parties involved in creating our built environment.

The class began in Fall 2018 under the direction of Laura Dedenbach, Urban and Regional Planning lecturer.

“DCP 1003 embodies the OneDCP culture of our college,” Dedenbach said. “This is a unique course for our students that focuses on the planning, design and construction of the built environment and the collaborative professional practices that are of particular importance to our disciplines.”  

One way she helped bring students in the class together during the inaugural year was to have a field trip to the Cade Museum and Depot Park in Gainesville.

“The purpose of the field trip was to teach students to work together as part of a multidisciplinary team to observe, analyze and critically report on the built environment,” Dedenbach said.  “Students recorded their general observations of the site, how they are used and by whom.”  

“They also evaluated the architectural form of the Cade and the Historic Depot Building, the interior designs of those spaces, the relationship between the built and natural environments and elements of urban design,” Dedenbach added. “Students presented their findings through the creation of visual narratives using Adobe Spark.”

A new year, a new leader

After 20 years of working in the architecture industry, Judi Shade Monk came back to her alma mater to become part of the faculty as a lecturer. And one of her first tasks was to become the new leader of the OneDCP class.

“DCP1003 was an unexpected jewel of a class that I was given the opportunity to participate in and now to lead,” Monk said. “I am thrilled to be teaching this interdisciplinary class and feel like I have been handed a bright and incredible torch by Dean Anumba, the DCP curriculum committee and Dr. Laura Dedenbach, who was the first professor to teach this course and really get it off the ground.”

Monk has put her stamp on the class by adding to the variety of speakers that come to class. In addition to speakers from the various disciplines our college offers, Monk has added to that repertoire by inviting speakers from areas such as real estate development and legal issues, just to name a few.

“For future course offerings, I am exploring incorporation of introductory modules on AI, housing, civil engineering, our new Orlando-based Themed Environments Integration Master’s Program, Research and Academia and a speaker from the Department of Defense with experience working in municipal utilities,” Monk said. “It’s only a one credit hour course which makes it tough to curate since there are so many worthwhile issues and topics to explore.”

We are excited to see how this class will evolve over time. The goal is to foster a collaborative environment amongst our students that they will take with them throughout the rest of their academic career and into the business world.

“DCP1003 is a class that I wish that I had had the opportunity to take when I was a student,” Monk said. “It is a joy and a privilege to be able to bring this to our current students and I am hopeful to expand the reach of the course to the greater UF community.”

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