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Software Access for Graduate Students

Landscape architecture and environmental planning are best accomplished using many different resources. As a graduate student within the LAEP Department, you will be expected to become proficient in the Adobe Suite, CAD, Rhino, GIS, and as applicable, R. The majority of these softwares are available for free or at a discounted rate for university students. Below are links to available software downloads:

Laptop Policy

To ensure the above programs work on graduate student computers, the LAEP Department has the following computer requirements:

  • Operating System - Windows 10*
  • Processor - 2+ GHz processor with 64-bit support
  • RAM - 8GB (16GB highly recommended)
  • Graphics Card - GPU with DirectX 12 and OpenGL 3.1 or higher support, and 2GB dedicated GPU memory (may be an ‘on board’ graphics card typical in laptops)
  • Monitor Resolution - 1920 x 1080 display
  • Hard Disk Space - 200+ GB
  • 3-button, scroll-wheel Mouse
  • Network - WiFi capability

*The majority of software used in landscape architecture and environmental planning is optimized for the Microsoft Windows environment.  There are Macintosh alternatives or additional software that will allow you to run Windows on a Mac, which will allow you to use a Macintosh if preferred.  LAEP strongly encourages students wishing to use a Mac to purchase and maintain software that allows them to also run Microsoft Windows.

Studio Support

To assist students in their projects, the following tools have been placed within the department studios:

Individual Student Workstations

Every student within an LAEP program will receive their own workspace within a studio. At this workspace, each student will have a desk, monitor, armature, keyboard, mouse, powerstrip, and related cables.

At the beginning of the school year, this equipment will be checked out to you, and it will be your responsibility to keep track of the equipment and keep it in good condition. If any issue should arise with the equipment, please contact a member of the front office staff immediately. 

While it is the students responsibility to provide their own laptop, these studio space amenities are provided by the department to enhance student's learning ability, and facilitate a professional, working environment.

The Maker Space

The Maker Space located within the Common Studio (FAV 210), is provided as a service for students. Within the Maker Space, there are two large plotter printers where students can print posters for their various classes and scholarly presentations; there is also a regular sized Sharp printer, for students to print out documents for classes. Additionally there is a scanner, two 3D printers, a venting station, a laser cutter, several cutting boards, and trace paper. 

To ensure the equipment runs properly, do not try and print remotely to any of the printers. Also, only use the computers within the Maker Space to print. Do not use the Maker Space computers to edit or create documents. If there is an issue with any piece of equipment, please contact a member of the front office staff, and do not try to repair or fix any machine yourself. 

Studio Rendering Stations

In each undergraduate level studio, rendering stations have been placed to allow students to quickly access needed softwares and design files. These rendering stations are available for all students to use, and the access passwords are listed near each computer. 

Please be curteous as you use these rendering stations, and do not monopolize these student resources. 

Mobile Studio Computers

Nine Mobile Studio Rendering Stations are available in the Sophomore Studio (FAV 212) cabinet. Please contact a member of the front office staff for the code to the cabinet. These computers feature WiFi connectivity, graphics cards suitable for rendering, and upgraded system memory. The available software on the computers is AutoCAD, Sketchup, Adobe Creative Suite, GIS Pro, Microsoft Office, and Lumion 9.

Department policy for use of these computers is: 

To use one of the Mobile Studio Rendering Stations, please take one from the cabinet to your desk where you can use the monitor and keyboard/mouse at your desk. As a courtesy, please do not use the computer for longer than 4 hours before returning it to the cabinet for others to use. With only nine computers available, presently, please be courteous and do not monopolize one. The computers are not to leave the building, nor are they to remain at your desks overnight/unoccupied. Please do not print from the computers by attaching them directly to the plotters or other peripherals found in the Maker Space. Should you require technical support for a hardware or software malfunction, contact someone in the front office.

IMPORTANT - The computers are in a frozen state to maintain their software integrity, which means that any data you wish to be preserved when the machine reboots must be stored on the Data drive.

Virtual Reality and the VIVID Lab

As applicable to your study and research, you may be invited to participate in coursework or research within the VIVID Lab. The VIVID Lab houses high-powered computers and virtual reality software and equipment. These resources are only to be used by permission from Dr. Brent Chamberlain, Dr. Ben George or Dr. Keunhyun Park. 

Please contact one of these professors if you're interested in working with virtual reality, spatial awareness or drones. These professors will guide you in the use of necessary equipment.