Our study association is founded on may 31, 1990 by a group of students from the study of landscape architecture and spatial design at Wageningen University. The first chairman was Joost Volkers. The predecessor of Genius Loci was named Kring 13, named after the fact that our study was the 13th study of Wageningen. The name of our association stands is Latin for 'the spirit of the place'. It is a way to take the history, culture, people and thus the distinctive atmosphere of a place into consideration within our projects. This way these attributes can be enhanced and more interesting places are created.
The study itself found her roots in the 30’s of the last century. It then became possible to follow a numerous amount of courses about landscape architecture in the context of horticulture. After the war, in 1948, landscape architecture became a full time study. It was also called “Richting 13” in the halls. This development all had to do with the rise of nature- and heritage protection movements of the Netherlands. The first professor of our study, J.T.P. Bijhouwer, captured the most important values of our study like the knowledge of the landscape. These values are still important. It defines who we are and why we are different from other studies in the landscape architecture.
Over the years, our study has changed. In the early days, the study was 5 and a half year long, now its duration is a three year bachelor and a two year master study. Over time the discipline of spatial planning was also added to the study. That is why study is renamed to Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning. Together these disciplines form a well-established study within Wageningen and is nothing like anywhere over the whole world.
Genius Loci has a strong position within our study. We have contacts with students, teachers, professors and companies which we all bring together. In our 30 years of existence, we have grown increasingly, nowadays, we have more than 700 members. A community that we are very proud of and of course we hope this will grow in the future.
In the first years of university, every study had their own building. The home of the landscape architects and planners was situated at the Generaal Foulkesweg, right across the society of student association SSR-W. The name of our buidling was "De Hucht". De Hucht was known for its informal atmosphere. Students and teachers were in the same building and therefore these two groups had a lot of contact with each other. Genius Loci had their own space within the building. The Tuincie maintained the greenery around the building. In short, de Hucht created a community.
In 2007, a great change was taking place. Every study had to move to De Born, our campus nowadays. The teachers had to move to the Gaia/Lumen building and Genius Loci and her students moved to the Forum building together with other study associations.
Unfortunately, De Hucht has been demolished in 2013. However, its name still lives within our study association. Our paper "Het Huchtgerucht" is named after the illustrure building. Also the price for the best course within our study, 'het vak van de Hucht', and the committee Buitelhucht are named after the historic building for our study.