ARC 514- Discovering Landscape

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Course Details

Course No.: 24674

Department: Architecture

Semester: 2014 Fall

Location: TBD – North Campus - Hochstetter Room 114

Meeting Day(s): Wednesday

Meeting Time: 6:00 - 8:40 PM

Faculty: Burkholder

We are surrounded by Landscapes.  Every single zone of our planet is in some way a result of our conscious or unconscious action.  We are immersed within these resultant experiences, these fabricated ecologies, these designed landscapes.   Many understand “landscapes” primarily as a collection of parks, backyards and urban plazas.  However, this traditional view overlooks the immense areas of this world that have received no less human consideration than the neighborhood park or the urban square.  Adding these tracts of agriculture, waste disposal, water management, “protected” areas and other infrastructures expands our understanding of landscape to almost every parcel on earth.  We inevitable occupy this landscape constantly, yet very seldom contemplate its origins or operations.

The objective of this seminar is to facilitate a way of seeing and understanding the landscapes around us as religious, socio-economic, political and ecological products.  Looking primarily through the lens of Landscape Architecture, this seminar will trace the contemporary history of designed landscapes and illuminate their manifold underpinnings and interpretations.  It will explore the range of inspirations that have been placed upon the landscape in addition to the inspiration that the landscape itself has provided.  The seminar will also illuminate the relationship that landscape maintains with the disciplines of architecture and art in addition to the more contemporary influence of ecological engineering and sustainability. While the course will provide an overview of the historic foundation of designed landscapes, it will focus primarily on developments that have occurred since 1950.

The course format will consist primarily of lectures given by the instructor in addition to a series of invited guests.  Required work and assessment will include reading, quizzes, a series of design exercises that exhibit the application of topical subject matter, a midterm and a final exam.

Required Texts

1. Swaffield, Simon. Theory in Landscape Architecture: A Reader. University of Pennsylvania. 2002

2. Rogers, Elizabeth B. Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History. Harry N. Abrams. 2001