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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Undergraduate Course: Landscape Architecture Theory 1B (ARCH08045)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to the basic principles underlying the development of any landscape, starting with the fundamentals of physical geography: geology, geomorphology, soils and climate (taught by Geography), followed by the application of ecological aspects and cultural and perceptual layers together with techniques for interpreting the landscape as it is seen, primarily the use of sketching (taught by Landscape Architecture). The course will combine theoretical and practical exercises, field trips and research paper writing to prepare students to undertake combined literature and field based research. The course equips students with skills in literature- and field-based research, field observation, drawing, interpretation and analysis to provide a basis to understand the evolution of landscape.
Course description The course is split into two main sections. In the first part a series of lectures are given by Geography arranged into four main themes: geology, geomorphology, soils and climate. The relationship of each is emphasized and the learning is strengthened by the first essay where each student selects a landscape (the location and extent to be agreed with the lecturer) and carried out in depth research into the four aspects as they relate to the specific area. Using this as the basis of the landscape the second part of the course is a mixture of lectures by university staff and visiting experts from e.g. government agencies supplemented by local field sketching teaching and exercises. The ecological, cultural and perceptual aspects of the landscape are developed together and the second essay is a development of the first one, starting where that finishes and adding the ecological, cultural and perceptual influences. Small presentations of landscapes derived from Google Earth and presentations of the essays to the class supplement the summative assessments and count towards the formative assessment. The sketching exercises are also used for feedback and formative assessment. The field trips enable the two parts to come together and for the sketching to be used on site as a means of interpreting landscape. The lecturers are able to link the different aspects together on site and the students learn how to capture this information.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to ECA students on degree programmes belonging to Landscape Architecture.
Additional Costs Sketching materials, field trip travel costs.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic process of geology, geomorphology, soils, climate, ecology and cultural processes through field observation and analysis.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of landscape through field observation and interpretation.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to undertake a simple research project based on fieldwork and literature review.
Reading List
Bell, S. (2012) Landscape: Pattern, perception and process (2nd Edition), Routledge, Abingdon

Bell, S. (2004) Elements of Visual Design in the Landscape (2nd Edition) Taylor and Francis, London

Smithson, P., Addison, K., Atkinson, K. (2008) Fundamentals of the Physical Environment. Routledge

McHarg I, (1969-1995) Design with Nature. John Wiley.

Clowes, A. and Comfort, P (1987) Process and Landform. Oliver & Boyd

Goudie A. (2001) The Nature of the Environment. Blackwell

Barry R.G., Chorley R.J. and Chase T. (2009) Atmosphere, weather and climate. Routledge

Robinson P.J. and Henderson-Sellers A. (1999) Contemporary climatology. Longman

Brady N.C. and Weil R.R. (1999) The nature and properties of soils. Prentice Hall
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills In this course students will learn the fundamental basics of how the landscape is formed at different scales as a result of different processes. Students will also learn how to make use of sketching as an analytical tool for their further use in studio-based projects. They are expected to apply the knowledge gained in this course in all subsequent planning and design studio courses from this point onwards.
Keywordsphysical geography,landscape pattern and process,visual perception,field analysis and research
Course organiserDr Simon Bell
Tel: (0131 6)51 5828
Course secretaryMrs Anne Davis
Tel: (0131 6)50 6912
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