Changing Landscapes Studio


Changing Landscapes is a process-focused studio offered through Iowa State University's College of Design, emphasizing creative production methodologies. Under the guidance and mentorship of artist Peter Walker and his studio staff, students will be challenged to engage creatively with the unknown, utilizing an approach employing the disruption of linear-form perception. Students will also learn production methods focusing on cross-disciplinary collaboration while exploring new and oblique approaches to producing work.

The studio culminates with a publicly installed work the students have all contributed to, utilizing skillsets in their respective fields of study. This publicly installed work will adhere to the criteria of creating new perspectives. In the case of a public art activation, the project will engage with the landscape and surroundings visually and sonically in ways that challenge modes of perception.

Throughout this course, students will have opportunities to further develop existing skills and explore areas less familiar. Roles on this project could include (but are not limited to) sound recording, videography, audio/video editing, music composition, photography, stage production, live performance, lighting, coding, projection, experiential design, installation art, graphic design, documentary film-making, illustration, creative writing, social media coordination, etc.

Part of making work like this is embracing the unknown at various stages of the creative process and using those opportunities to learn new things in the pursuit of making new work.


Collaborative Interdisciplinary Option Studio

Iowa State University + AK Studio

Dr. Peter Walker, AK Studio Founding Artist

Sam Johnson, AK Studio Director

Dr. Cody Fleming, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Alex Braidwood, Associate Professor of Graphic Design

Open to

Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students from all College of Design and ISU Majors

Course Learning Objectives

●  Work collaboratively with an interdisciplinary group that includes art professionals, researchers, and designers.

●  Travel to LA to work with AK Studio to create a location-based field recording, audio editing, filmmaking, visual projection, and publicly presented work.

●  Develop a publicly accessible interactive work that visually and sonically engages the Iowa landscape.

●  Explore the development of new, experiential knowledge through engaging with new creative processes.


Week 1: Introductions. Sam Johnson from AK Studio visits Ames to engage with students and kick off the Iowa-based Changing Landscape Public Art Activation Project. Public screening of AK Studio work.

Week 2: Introductory thought starter exercises. Become familiar with different tools and equipment.

Week 3: Artist Peter Walker visits Ames to engage with students and deliver a hybrid artist talk / live performance, open to the public.

Week 4: Sketching, ideation, research, collection, team assignments. Travel preparations.

Week 5: Travel to Los Angeles to complete a location-based Changing Landscapes project led by AK Studio

Week 6: Complete documentation of LA-based Changing Landscapes.

Week 7-9: Sketching, ideation, research, collection, prototyping

Week 10-11: Prototyping, materials sourcing

Week 12-14: Build

Week 15: Documentation completed and ready for dissemination

Changing Landscapes Studio