New Book by Professor Bruce Sharky Provides Complete Overview of the Landscape Architecture Profession

thinking about landscape architecture In February 2016, Routledge published a new book by LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture (RRSLA) Professor Bruce Sharky.

What is landscape architecture? Is it gardening, or science, or art? Sharky argues that it is all of these and more in Thinking about Landscape Architecture: Principles of a Design Profession for the 21st Century. 

Thinking about Landscape Architecture provides a complete overview of the discipline, providing professionals and those that are new to the profession with the foundations for study and practice. Sharky, a leading scholar and practitioner, discusses the varieties of the profession, emphasizing contributions that landscape architects have made across the world in daily practice.

With more than 400 color images, Thinking about Landscape Architecture outlines the subject and explores how, from a basis in garden design, the profession has “leapt over the garden wall” to encapsulate areas such as urban and park design, community and regional planning, habitat restoration, green infrastructure and sustainable design, and site engineering and implementation.

Topics covered in Thinking about Landscape Architecture include:

  • the effects that natural and human factors have upon design and how the discipline is uniquely placed to address these challenges;
  • examples of contemporary landscape architecture work—from storm water management and walkable cities to well-known projects like the New York High Line and London Olympic Park; and
  • the exploration of how art and design, science, horticulture, and construction come together in one profession.

Thinking about Landscape Architecture is perfect for professionals as well as those wanting a better understanding of this fascinating profession. Books are available to purchase online at Routledge and Amazon. Alumni and friends may contact Bruce Sharky by email to request a code for a 20 percent discount from Routledge on Thinking about Landscape Architecture.

green varnish cam

Green Varnish installation at CAM (photo by David Johnson)

The works and projects of several RRSLA alumni are featured in Sharky’s book, including alumnus William Roberts, BLA 2004, whose CAM installation, Green Varnish, is featured on the cover. View more RRSLA alumni profiles at

Thinking about Landscape Architecture is the second book by Sharky to be published recently. In November 2014, Wiley published Landscape Site Grading Principles: Grading with Design in Mind, a comprehensive guide to grading written from the design perspective.

About Bruce Sharky

Bruce SharkyBruce Sharky is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, a registered professional landscape architect, and a professor at the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. His interests in landscape architecture are varied and have evolved over the years and through his work in various locations and countries. He has worked professionally in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Winnipeg, as well as in state government, and he had a private landscape practice in Anchorage, Alaska, for 15 years prior to joining the faculty at LSU. He has lectured and taught design courses in a number of countries, including China, Chile, Japan, and Israel, and he was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico and Portugal. Read more about Sharky at