Histories of Landscape Architecture II: Design, Representation, and Use

This course introduces students to relevant topics, themes, and sites that help us understand the conception, production, evolution, and reception of designed and found landscapes throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It aims at building an understanding of landscapes as both physical spaces and as cultural media that sit at the nexus between art and science and that contribute knowledge about humankind’s relationship with non-human nature. Landscapes are the result of social, political, artistic and intellectual endeavors. The topography, soil and climate of a site also condition their designs, use and habitation. As much as designed and found landscapes are a product of their time, they have also contributed to shaping history, both through their physical materiality and through the mental worlds they enable. Embedding found and designed landscapes into their social, political and cultural contexts, the course also pays close attention to the role of expert knowledge and the professions that have contributed to creating them. Using a variety of sources including texts, illustrations, and film the course offers insights into the development and transfer of ideas between different cultures, countries and geographical regions, and time periods. Course readings that will accompany every lecture will be made available on Canvas. Student assignments for this class will include reading response papers and one final paper.