GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2010

This term's information was last refreshed on 08 MAY 2015 15:47:51.

Courses taught by Michael Van Valkenburgh

01111: Landscape Architecture I: First Semester Core Studio (STU 0111100)

Landscape Architecture
Core Studio - 8 credits
Monday Wednesday Friday 2:00 - 6:00  

Instructor(s)
Jane Hutton, Andrea Hansen, Paula Meijerink, Michael Van Valkenburgh, Charles Waldheim

Course Description

This studio course introduces students to the fundamental elements of landscape architectural design at the scale of the public garden in an urban context. The studio examines the imponderable gaps between site, representation, and built work, in the context of landscape design. As the first of a four-term sequence of design studios, the course aims to help students develop spatial literacy, skills in the representation of landscape architecture, and critical design thinking. A typologically based series of design exercises introduce a range of issues of perennial concern to landscape design. These exercises build from the reading of precedent in the field, and increase in complexity as the semester progresses. Using a range of two- and three-dimensional media, both analog and digital, members of the studio work with orthographic projection, plan, section, elevation, model making, and three-dimensional drawing. The studio introduces and explores various tropes of landscape design through a typological reading of certain canonical projects from the history of the urban public landscape. These include the studied examination of promenade and path, permeability and pavement, ground cover and texture, spatial enclosure and bound, threshold and limit, topographic complexity and sectional variation, horizontal envelopment and canopy, prospect and refuge, among others. Throughout the semester, students are exposed to and expected to develop an iterative work process that responds effectively to criticism; an understanding of the stages of the landscape design process; a critical engagement with contemporary landscape architecture practice; an awareness of the complex ecological and social forces that constitute and affect urban landscapes; the ability to translate ideas into spatial form; visual and verbal presentation skills; and a culture of peer review. Emphasis is placed on the status and role of representation and the studio as a performative venue for the production of landscape design. Studio meets for twelve hours a week. The entire class will gather for project presentations, workshops and reviews, and the class will be divided into three sections, each meeting with a different instructor for desk-crits throughout the semester. GSD 6212 Sustainability for Planning and Design is an integral part of GSD 1111 Landscape Architecture I (Studio). For course details please refer to the syllabus and on-line description of GSD 6212.


GSD iCommons Website


06141: Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies I (SCI 0614100)

Landscape Architecture
Lecture - 4 credits
Wednesday 8:30 - 11:30   Gund 508
Tuesday 3:00 - 6:00   Gund 508

Instructor(s)
Michael Van Valkenburgh, Matthew Urbanski

Course Description

This is the first course in the core sequence of Ecologies, Techniques and Technologies and is divided into two half-semester modules. The first module emphasizes the identification and understanding of prominent woody plants in New England spanning the continuum between exotic and endemic, rural and urban. Through a series of field trips and lectures, students will develop a sense of these plants' defining morphological characteristics as well as the cultural and ecological contexts within which each are associated. Students will be evaluated primarily through a weekly series of plant identification exercises.The second module seeks to translate the student's now functional understanding of plant material into one which accounts for said medium's crucial role in landscape design. Students will learn to exploit the ecological and aesthetic potential of plant material and situate this knowledge within broader conceptual strategies which will be developed both through in-class design exercises and in Core Studio. Lectures, readings and site visits will introduce students to planting typologies, notions of spatial organization and representational strategies, all of which will be used to inform individual design projects which constitute the means by which students will be evaluated.


GSD iCommons Website


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