Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies IV

Landscape Technology as Design: Materials, Tectonics and Time

The course topics are:

  • The enduring concepts of design development in landscape architecture that guide the physical making of works of landscape architecture. These concepts are shown to be relevant to both historical methods and the emerging future of sustainable practices of making and digitally conceived, fabricated and implemented landscape construction.
  • Practices of observation that interrogate understand and transform the material and tectonic realities found in the world.
  • Design techniques used to work out the material and constructional realities of a schematic design idea.
  • The practical, symbolic and expressive nature of materials; traditional, contemporary and innovative constructional tectonic practices; the passage of time manifested in weathering.
  • Case studies of historical and contemporary works of landscape architecture analyzed through the lens of reverse engineering.

Each class participant will:

  • Conceptually grasp and apply ideas about materials and making to their studio design endeavors.
  • Develop analog and digital design techniques and successfully apply them in a studio practice.
  • Understand how the technology of materials, tectonics and time are a landscape design language.

Lectures will explain the themes of the course augmented by detailed case studies of built works and local field trips. In class workshops will practice how to explore and realize these concepts in built work.


Method of Evaluation:

  • Class attendance and participation.
  • Class assignments consisting of a logbook of design in detail exercises assigned throughout the semester.


The class is required for all MLA I & MLA I AP students. Students wishing to place out of the class must show successful completion of a previous equivalent class to the instructors.