Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies II

Module 1
Topography—-the land—is one of the most basic mediums and tools of landscape architecture. The core mission of this module is for students to acquire a command of the essential technical concepts and skills needed to reshape the land for circulation, occupancy, drainage, stability and performance. Because grading is both precise and conceptual, topics such as land surveying, characteristics of contours, formation of spot elevations, universal grading terminology and formulas, cut and fill, drainage patterns and accessibility issues will be incorporated into exercises that provide opportunities to apply skills to topographic design. To that end, problem-solving in grading will be combined with discussions about the physical experiences of topography. The goal of this approach is to help students to strengthen their technical facility with grading while expanding their visual resources for expressing their ideas about topography.

Module 2
Stormwater management, the focus of this class module, is one of the most pressing development issues of our day because it is tied to every aspect of world-wide health, safety, and welfare. As city, suburb, and town have developed, the need to address water quantity and quality has intensified and contemporary landscape architecture is uniquely positioned to find the intersection between performance and experience. This module will examine the technical underpinnings of closed stormwater systems (structures and pipes), developed in the 19th Century, and the best practices of contemporary stormwater systems that use conveyance, infiltration, and retention as the environmental basis for intelligent site development. For closed water systems, lectures will cover calculations for watershed volumes, effects of ground surface on water flow, and sizing and layout of piping, swales, and ponds. This information will support the study of the latest methods and approaches for designing and calculating open and engineered natural drainage systems such as wetlands, bioswales, forebays, seeps, cisterns, rain gardens, permeable pavement, and underdrainage.


Lectures, case studies, and assignments will be supported by desk critiques of exercises so that students can become facile with grading using two-and three-dimensional mediums. The final grade will be determined by six assignments (70%), one final project due during exam week (20%), as well as class participation and attendance (10%). The class meets Wednesdays 8:30-11:30 AM, Fridays 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM in Gund 518.