Scalar Practices in Landscape Architecture

The practice of landscape architecture creates dwelling – situating inhabitants in an ordered and comprehensible spatial, social and environmental continuum. Scalar practices contribute to the thoughtful making of such spaces. What these practices are and exploring how they are applied to shaping landscapes are the topics of this class.

What is scale in landscape architecture? Scale is the perception of physical size contextualized by a site and social program. A human being perceives and experiences the physical dimensions of a region, a site landscape or a landscape detail element within an enveloping social-geographic context. This is the milieu within which a landscape architect must come to terms with the actual physical dimensions of a design proposal and how these dimensions relate practically and expressively to a context.

Each student will develop a critical sense of scale that can be used in the conception and development of physical landscape design proposals. This objective will be realized through a sequence of in class drawing and modeling exercises that explore landscape scale as both an instrument of analysis of existing historical and contemporary landscapes and as a performative and expressive practice of speculative landscape design.

Each class will be a workshop. Short illustrated introductions of a specific scale topic will lead to class participants working out a scale concept in digital and analog drawings and models. In class critiques and weekly assignments will continue these scale practices throughout the semester.

The final product of the class will be the compilation of a personal scale portfolio. The portfolio will edit and document the products of the class sessions and assignments. The portfolio will describe each student’s personal understanding of the role of scale in landscape architecture, their mastery of scalar practices and how they use these practices in the critical shaping of landscape space and form.