The fourth and final course in the Ecologies, Techniques and Technologies core sequence, GSD 6242 continues to develop an understanding of, and promote skill in, the discipline and practice of landscape architecture. Through the topic of soft engineering as it relates to landscape design, site construction and technological imagination class members will be required to learn both traditional core techniques and the creative and skillful reordering of these techniques. Soft Engineering is broadly defined here as the application of landscape construction and management techniques as the actions of both design and implementation. It should be noted that the term soft engineering is unique to the medium of landscape, a medium that is constantly weathering and morphologically changing yet still needs to be shaped by a practical and rigorous logic. In this, landscape technology differs from architectural technology and other design arts at the GSD as it deals with the indeterminacy of the landscape medium relative to a particular context and site yet within desired performative and aesthetic configurations.
The ambition of the course is to advance in each class member an understanding of soft engineering through both core and emerging current practices of detail design and implementation in landscape architecture, address the interdependence between site, design, ecology, craft, imagination and innovation in the making of landscape architecture and how this can inform function, form and design expression and identity in landscape architecture at a range of scales from that of the region to the individual detail. Classroom presentations and in-class workshop and research demonstrations will be augmented in the second half of the semester by guest lectures by landscape researchers in technology and field visits in the South Boston area.
Class members will carry out a series of technology assignments throughout the semester related to the concurrent STU 1212 Landscape Core Studio IV.