Jane Amidon is the professor and director of Northeastern's urban landscape program and I was really looking forward to her speaking with us. I imagine it is really difficult to speak to a faceless crowd articulately, yet Amidon had great clarity and wisdom in speaking with us about her profession and the challenges and opportunities in urban design and landscape architecture. What I found particularly fascinating was that as she dissected her own writings and explained what she felt was most significant, she also offered us very real applications to a more academic path than we had encountered in previous conferences with other professionals.
Something I find ironic is that many of those that do not intend to go into architecture often end up choosing a more academic route. It amazes me that so many people claim to have always known exactly what they wanted to do with their lives from a young age, yet I doubt that makes them any more capable of architects than those that do not know. In my own experience, I never had any thought of being capable of going into architecture-- in fact, like Amidon, I had a diverse palette of interests, so it was difficult for me to focus on just one. As she described her path, I found it inspiring. There is still a rather wide gap in the existence of women in architecture and it is wonderful that someone like her is representative of how intelligent and resourceful a woman can be.
In reading her work and browsing other articles, I find a high degree of brilliance present that is very impressive. Her awareness of our social and environmental issues-- the idea of these interdisciplinary sustainable cities-- are very intriguing viewpoints.