Landscape Design I: Reading the Landscape develops/exercises students’ understanding of basic concepts, elements, and processes in landscape spatial design, using physical sites as a basis for qualitative observation, quantitative analysis/measure, and creative manipulation/abstraction. Through a combination of lecture, reading, discussion, field observation, studio exercises, and critique, students are introduced to fundamental principles of landscape design—ordering systems, compositional elements, spatial vocabulary, site response—and apply these to focused explorations of increasing complexity. Exercises explore a broad range of conceptual bases for design: response to landform/physical (ecological) processes, aesthetic principles of composition, historical precedents (human geometry, vernacular expression), gesture (metaphor, symbolism), and rudimentary social/behavioral theory (program). Studio work culminates in final projects requiring synthesis of principles in a simple landscape design. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to develop and refine a personal process of decision-making and self-evaluation: their design processes.
In the second-year landscape design studio, students develop landscape design processes as applied to small-scale projects. Students are introduced to earth structures, construction materials, and plants.
Landscape Design II focuses on the structure, scale, proportion, materiality, and performance of discrete site/garden-scale public landscapes, using representation and measured drawing as tools for design and exploration and introducing more intensive research and design analysis applied toward programmatic and performative requirements while continuing to develop representation and communication skills. Students explore landscape design materiality and process using site-specific projects, investigate more complex issues of landscape architecture interrelationships, and are introduced to approaches to research design development. Through lecture, research, readings, discussion, field observation, studio exercises, and critiques, students expand on the fundamental vocabulary of landscape design introduced in previous studios. Studio exercises explore a variety of conceptual bases for site design, including but not limited to response to ecological and cultural features, context, and temporal processes; programming requirements and social/behavioral theory; materiality; design precedents; and representation. Over the course of the studio, students exercise a design process for several different sites, each with a unique set of requirements and processes to develop site-specific design interventions. The course is hands-on with research and design of local and accessible public sites, with specific consideration given to human-scale interventions. Iterative design development work focuses on architectural drawing skills, digital modeling and digital fabrication skills, and hybridized forms of analog and digital representation.
This course has Communication-Intensive status with the Communication across the Curriculum program, meaning special emphasis is placed on communication of ideas in written, visual, spoken, and technological formats.