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

Postgraduate Course: Landscape architecture design exploration: Part 1 (ARCH11271)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis is a research-led landscape architecture design course offering a thematic area of investigation within a specified territory. In this studio based course you will initiate an individually authored brief and develop a design project that will be informed by collective activity in the studio. During the semester you will advance an original, carefully contextualised design response that acknowledge complex landscape conditions and site-specific concerns. You will be expected to state claim to your own interests as a landscape architect and take an ethical position in your work. You will be required to identify and communicate the distinctiveness of the landscape of your study and reveal questions that probe its existing and pre-existing states. Through the mechanism of the studio based explorations and supported by the aligned PG seminar series you will define the critical operations necessary to underpin and express original landscape architectural design investigation.
Course description This course focuses attainment of knowledge, skills and understanding of landscape architectural practice upon discovery, experimentation. In this course you will evaluate and analyse landscape conditions in order to inform design led decision-making. You will be expected to develop and define an individual clear and relatable approach to contemporary landscape architecture challenges. Fieldwork and territorial scale analysis will be essential to informing core investigative threads within the scope of an individually authored collective informed project. This course will demand from you an ability to question and defend your own subjectivity and develop the theoretical underpinning of your design work.
The course will require you to synthesise a complex social and environmental inter-relations that exist within a given landscape and advance a suitable theoretical frameworks for your own design pre-occupations. You will be encouraged to engage with the physical realities of a given landscape by exploring and acknowledging the geology, geography and ecology of a given study area. You will be expected to contextualise design ideas and concepts. The course will predominantly take place in a design studio environment supported by theory seminars aimed at encouraging your critical awareness.
You will document and archive your fieldwork and design explorations through photography, drawings, model making, writing and other representational forms. Your explorative studio work should be the vehicle for a significant independently authored creative landscape led enquiry. You will curate your work in a final portfolio that may include three-dimensional work, which supports your enquiry.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesFor the majority of students, this course will be the starting point of their engagement with a given terrain, carried forward in Extended Landscape Architectural Design Exploration: Part 2. We have designed the course so that it is permissible for a small number of visiting landscape architecture students to take Extended Landscape Architectural Design Exploration in Part 1 or Part 2. In particular students undertaking the Euorpean Master¿s in Landscape Architecture (EMiLA) will take this studio based design course during their integrated residency period at ECA.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 8, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 8, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1.5, Summative Assessment Hours 0.5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 368 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative:
There will be three formative studio based design reviews during this course. Feedback/feedforward appraisal will be verbal at all three reviews.
Written feedback/feedforward comment will be provided following the second studio review.

Summative assessment:
100% Portfolio

Curated portfolio of work, which addresses landscape analysis undertaken at a territorial scale, fieldwork, critical thinking and design synthesis. The body of work will employ design methods and techniques that are consistently applied through relevant scales of proposal making. The submission will demonstrate an engagement with advanced representational techniques. Students will be strongly encouraged to develop and include three dimensional work as an integrated part of the portfolio submission.
Feedback Students will receive regular verbal feedback as to the strengths and deficiencies of their design at individual tutorial sessions throughout the semester.
Students will have take part in three formative reviews during the semester and will receive a written formative feedback/feedforward appraisal after the second studio review. This will be aligned to learning outcome criteria with the aim of supporting students in improving and refining the final portfolio submission.

Written feedback will be provided based on the summative submission and will detail learning outcome attainment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop specialised fieldwork methods and techniques in order to advance a landscape architecture investigation within a given territory.
  2. Develop a theoretically informed and critically aware approach to a landscape architecture design project.
  3. Identify social and environmental processes in the landscape, their relevant scale of operation and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how they can be managed in space and time from a landscape architecture practice perspective.
  4. Demonstrate the applied use of representation techniques as both a research tool and a means to communicate landscape analysis and refined design proposals.
Reading List
Berrizbeitia, A. (2007) Re-Placing Process. In: Czerniak and G. Hargreaves (Eds.) Large Parks 9pp175-197). New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press
Burns C & Kahn, A. (2005) Site Matters: Design Concepts, Histories and Strategies. Routledge
Corner, J. (1999) Recovering Landscape; Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture. Princeton Architectural Press
Cosgrove, D (1989) The Iconography of Landscape: Essays On The Symbolic Representation, Design And Use Of Past Environments. Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography
Ingold, T and Vergunst, J (2016). Ways of Walking (Anthropological Studies of Creativity and Perception) McAvin, M., Meyer, E., Corner, J. Shiravani, H., Helphand, K., Riley, R, & Scarfo (R. (1991) Landscape Architecture and Critical Inquiry. Landscape Journal 10
(1), 155-172
McNeill, J.R. (2000) Something New Under the Sun, An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World, W.W Norton and Company.
Steenbergen, C (1990) Composing Landscapes: Analysis, Typology and Experiments for Design. Birkhauser.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills (Characteristic 1) The course will help students to develop knowledge that covers and integrates most, if not all, of the main areas of the discipline and conventions of Landscape Architectural scholarship and practice. The course will help students to identify and develop a critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts of the discipline of Landscape Architecture through taking a specific approach to a specific site within a given territory.
(Characteristic 2) Under Practice and Applied knowledge, the course will require students to plan and execute a significant project of research, investigation and development. This characteristic has a strong relation to the Landscape Institute¿s Elements and areas of practice,which provides a reference point for education in the profession ensuring that the Landscape Institutes educational systems are fit for purpose, and prepare individuals for their first steps in building a successful career.
(Characteristic 3) Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues. Students will identify and synthesise a complex array of social and environmental issues on this course allowing confidence to develop and underpin their own approach and ethos. This is particularly important as students engage with the realities and complexities of a professional life in the field of Landscape Architecture.
(Characteristic 4) The course will allow students to communicate their work with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists. The course will require students to present their work, visually and verbally culminating in the presentation of a portfolio of work and or installation.
(Characteristic 5) Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities. Students are asked to develop a clear standpoint and take a distinct and original response to designing future landscapes at a time where landscape as a genre engaging scholarship, research and practice is growing in significance both in academia and in the public conscious.
KeywordsLandscape architecture,Design,Design analysis,Fieldwork,Critical thinking,Design process
Course organiserMiss Anna Rhodes
Tel: (0131 6)50 4646
Course secretaryMs Amy O'Hehir
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