Sofía Guillen Otoya

Geodesign program launches video series to raise awareness about the discipline

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Geodesign graduate program, offered online via Penn State’s World Campus, has launched a series of video shorts aimed at educating people about the discipline and its growing role in providing a transformative method to solve land-use challenges around the globe.

Geodesign is the term for a cutting-edge design process that has a dynamic impact by relying on a unique combination of science and design. It is informed by geospatial information, engages interdisciplinary collaborators and builds consensus among stakeholders. The practice is changing how practitioners address complex design challenges in contexts from urban design to conservation planning.

“Creative solutions for the environmental and social issues of our day demand new approaches,” said Kelleann Foster, director of geodesign at Penn State. “Geodesign is a game-changer in how it embraces issues of sustainability, enhances inclusiveness via community input and uses innovative technology to dynamically illustrate impacts of alternative design scenarios.”

The video shorts each run approximately two minutes in length and feature current geodesign students and faculty, alumni of the program and practitioners. The series touches on several Penn State student capstone design projects that have been used to address real-world problems, as well as examples of how the method has been used to solve unique land challenges in places like Alberta, Canada; Jekyll Island, Georgia; and North London, England.

“Due to the program being offered solely online, we are fortunate to hire national leaders in geodesign to teach for us here at Penn State,” explained Foster. “Our faculty are also practitioners who have led teams in solving some of these pressing land design issues. They can speak, firsthand, as to how their expertise in geodesign directly impacted not only the challenges of their clients, but also how those professional experiences enrich our students’ education.”

The Geodesign program is designed for those professionals around the globe who are looking to learn new marketable skills. The graduate program options in geodesign at Penn State, which include the Master of Professional Studies and a graduate certificate that are both offered exclusively online through the World Campus, were developed by the Department of Landscape Architecture in the Stuckeman School with input from the Department of Geography and an international advisory board comprised of geodesign experts. Those students enrolled in the Master of Geographic Information Systems online program also can select geodesign as an option.

For more information, visit To view the videos, go to the geodesign YouTube channel.