Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies II

Module 3: Topography & Grading/Solano
Topography—-the land—is one of the most basic mediums and tools of landscape architecture. The pedagogic mission of this MLA-1 core class 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, discussions about the physical and psychological experiences of topography will be entwined with technological techniques with the goal of helping students expand their visual resources and vocabulary for speaking and thinking about topography. Lectures will be supported by desk critiques of exercises so that students can become facile with grading through two- and three-dimensional mediums. (two 3-hour classes per week)

Module 4: The Structure and Development of Soils in the Built Environment/Del Tredici
This module will cover the characteristics and modification of soils in both natural and built environments, focusing as much on the biological aspects of soil as its chemical and physical properties. The first half of the course will cover topics involved with the formation, structure and development of soils, plant nutrition, nutrient cycling, soil testing, and basic soil biology. The second half will focus on compaction, drainage and contamination issues commonly found in the urban environment, and on planting design and strategy for both trees and turf. It will also examine the latest design applications and technical specifications for manufactured soils in a variety of contemporary design situations, including rooftop landscapes and landfills. (two 2 hour classes per week)