Experiential Learning   |   News

Site as Agent: The Boston Harbor Islands

Recently, lecturer Emily Wettstein took her Options Studio students on a field trip to Peddocks Island. 
 
For their projects this semester, students are using the Boston Harbor Islands, a historically rich and conceptually complex archipelago, as a set of sites. Each student has selected a specific island and is engaged in a deep reading of a site’s history and conditions. In collaboration with Emily, the students will develop an individually tailored program and scale for their intervention, based on their research of the site, reflecting the idea that the selection of a program is itself a part of the design, and should be responsive to the site conditions.
 
 
They were luckily able to find a rare winter Boston Harbor Cruise boat trip out to the island, where they were given guided tours on history, fungi, and wildlife by the parks department. The students also adventured around on their own, taking photos, scavenging for site samples, making s’mores on a campfire, and generally trying to get an essence of what the islands are like. They each excitedly got to see their islands from a distance on the boat ride, which may be as close as they will get to their site! It was a great way to experience the landscape, where they could be more engaged in the physical space that they will be programming.