Landscape Architecture I: First Semester Core Studio

This studio course introduces students to elements of landscape architectural design at the scale of the public garden in an urban context. As the first of a four-term sequence of design studios, the course aims to help students develop spatial literacy, critical design thinking, and skills in the representation of landscape architecture. The studio introduces and explores various issues of perennial concern to landscape design through a typological reading of and intervention in canonical projects from the history of the urban public landscape. Topics include the examination of promenade and path, permeability and pavement, ground cover and texture, spatial enclosure and bound, threshold and limit, topographic complexity and sectional variation, horizontal envelopment and canopy, prospect and refuge, among others. Using a range of two- and three-dimensional media, both analog and digital, members of the studio will work with orthographic, axonometric, and perspective projection drawings as well as physical models. Throughout the semester, students are exposed to and expected to develop an iterative working method that: translates conceptual thought into models of spatial form through varying modes of representation, is rooted in processes of conceptualization and elaboration parallel to those of contemporary landscape architectural design, responds effectively to criticism, and engages within a culture of productive peer review. The studio examines the imponderable gaps between site, representation, and built work, in the context of landscape design. Emphasis is placed on the status and role of representation and the studio as a performative venue for the production of landscape design. Studio meets for twelve hours a week. The class will be divided into three sections and will gather for project presentations, workshops, and reviews.