Advanced Topics in Technology: Emerging Materials in Landscape Architecture

Since the start of this century, advances and innovations in design materials and technology have grown with head spinning speed. This, layered with institutionalized green agendas, has created an urgency to understand not only the qualities and capabilities of new materials but also how they can be integrated into the processes and systems that define the built landscape. This course is a study of emerging materials, systems and ideas for slope stabilization and retainage, water features and conservation, solar gain, planting techniques and armature, wetland replication, green roofs, paving, CO2 reduction, landscape structures, and advances in traditional landscape building materials such as metal, concrete, asphalt, plastics and masonry. The ultimate outcome of this seminar is for students to research materials and systems and then further understand their application by using them to build a landscape project. The act of \'making\' is central to the goals of this course and the class will work as a group to select the project, define the process, brainstorm and critique ideas, share research and understand the role that collaboration plays in making concepts into realities. As preparation for this outcome, guest speakers will discuss their research and experiences of working with emerging materials and systems. Support will also come from guest engineering consultants who will help with technical aspects of building. At the end of the course, students will present their project to a jury of practitioners, educators and fellow GSD students.