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Rhizome

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Exploring Global Challenges in Local Communities: A Project-based Learning Forum

Rhizome provides the environment and resources to create a supportive, inclusive, and dynamic community to encourage students to become aware of their own academic, personal, and social development to make a global impact. It is a community intended for students who want to be world changers and are uncertain about how their professional contributions can influence the path of current global challenges. The LLC's academic and co-curricular activities, academic and social support, and daily interactions will provide a unique college experience.

Along with two other LLCs, Rhizome is housed at the new residence hall within Virginia Tech's broader Creativity and Innovation District (CID). Residents of CID benefit from the state-of-the-art creative and collaboration spaces and the daily interaction with the diverse members of the CID community.

Students discuss each other's proposals for a systematic approach to constructing a whole from many parts.
Students discuss each other's proposals for a systematic approach to constructing a whole from many parts.
  • Equip students with the intellectual foundations of a Project Based Learning (PBL) and systems approach to global challenges.
  • Explore the roles that art, design, construction, planning, and analytical interventions have in shaping the built and natural environment.
  • Provide a supportive environment that encourages students to become aware of their own academic, personal, and social development to make a global impact.

First-year students participating in Rhizome will enroll in a 3.0 credit hour College of Architecture and Urban Studies course (Acting on Global Challenges) during the Spring semester. Students are also expected to attend to, and engage with, Rhizome's bi-weekly activities such as seminars, lectures, field trips, and co-curricular activities.

Project-Based Learning is a student-centered pedagogy that uses the development of a project as a method to explore, investigate, and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.

Deriving from the Ancient Greek, rhizoma meaning "mass of roots," Rhizome evokes a sense of relationality between the unseen (roots) and the visible (stems, shoots, etc). Its botanical and biological form has also taken on philosophical importance as Deleuze and Guattari's figurative term exploring multiplicities and eschewing binary and linear ways of thinking.

Launched by VT's College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the Office of Student Affairs, Rhizome explores the roles art, design, construction, planning, and analytical interventions have in shaping the built and natural environment and bringing about change. Rhizome is a vibrant academic community designed to complement undergraduate education. Students enrolled in Rhizome will have the opportunity to engage in curricular and co-curricular activities to analyze the roots, interconnections, and multidimensional character of global challenges in a yearly rotating project that integrates theory and practice.

For additional information, contact rhizome@vt.edu.