The role of the discipline of landscape architecture is first, to describe and understand the found environment of a particular site and deploy means to achieve a sustainable bio/physical infrastructure for society; second, to shape social spaces for contemporary life in all its varying values, conditions and attitudes and finally, to express an understanding of the world – a concept of the nature of nature. The key question this core course asks is how can a specific schematic design that seeks to embody these environmental, ecological, social and expressive goals be developed through design development and physically realized in landscape architecture?
The Constructed Landscape addresses the interdependence between site, design, and technology in landscape architecture and introduces the tools and techniques of design development in landscape architecture including an introduction to the topics of landscape tectonics, site construction, material assembly, detail design, durability and failure. The objectives of the course are to develop a broader understanding of tested and emerging processes, concepts and practices of construction in landscape architecture and how this can inform the material, function, form and expression of landscape design work. A focus will be on the relationship of the ordering principles of built landscape elements and the values and meanings embedded in the constructed landscape and its creation by the landscape architect including a range of contemporary sites on and over structures, industrial lands and city infrastructure.
Lectures and in-class workshops will be augmented by weekly readings and in the second part of the semester, site visits to a range of contemporary and historic built landscapes. Grades will be evaluated on successful completion of weekly individual assignments and a final individual drawn assignment that will encompass design development research applied to a studio design project as well as attendance at all classroom meetings and field trips. This course is a core requirement for the second year of the MLAI and MLAI AP degree programs.