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

Postgraduate Course: Landscape architecture design: Terrain and Ecologies (ARCH11275)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course engages with discourses of landscape architecture at the scale of the city and region. It is a studio based practically focussed design course. The course will offer a specific design brief that sets out to investigate the interdependence of people and their environment and the role of the landscape architect within this context. Studio units will take as their focus either a rural context, a related city or wide scale urban situation and/or an urban periphery context. The scale of landscape you will be asked to investigate will encourage you to develop an understanding of the geologies, geographies, and ecologies of a given landscape, this will be supported by site visits and in-the-field investigations accompanied by specialists including geologists, geographers and ecologists. You will engage with socio-economic, political, environmental and ecological concerns. The studio will include collective enquiry and will lead to individual schematic project development set in the context of a collective agenda you will be active in establishing. You will develop skills in understanding the landscape at a regional scale and further your confidence in design invention. The course seeks to build on the core knowledge and skills attained in semester one. You will be supported in your investigation by design tutors in collaboration with an ecologist who will take part in studio seminars, tutorials and reviews to assist in informing landscape architecture design with integrated ecological thinking.
Course description This course aims to introduce you to an expanded scale of design reflection and develop understanding of landscape architectural practice as a critical instrument in shaping landscapes at a regional or city scale. The course will introduce students to regional development initiatives, legislative frameworks, planning practices and policy. The project brief will form the basis for examining, through landscape design-led enquiry some of the major challenges and forces for change that face contemporary society today including issues such as climate change, expanding and geographical shifts in urbanisation, cultural landscape contexts, sustainable approaches to food production, water and energy resource management and landscape design for biodiversity. You will interpret existing landscape conditions in order to identify scenarios of spatial design at a range of scales and to imagine future landscape conditions that integrate sustainable development. You will be supported in developing an ability to read the landscape from different perspectives and gain a fundamental understanding of ecological frameworks. The course will include a period of collective design research in which you will develop an understanding of a given urban or rural territory and the particular challenges of that specific context. In this course you will develop and present an integrated regional, territorial or urban analysis, with the aim of revealing how the ecological and cultural patterns and processes that form the regional and urban landscapes are linked to factors of physical geography, as well as political and economic factors. You will develop skills in fabricating working models that enable the exploration of propositional scenarios at relevant scales with an informed and targeted design agenda. Independently you will develop a schematic design proposition based in the context of the wider scale collective enquiry. The studio will culminate in the staging of a curated exhibition seamlessly showcasing the collective and individual design led research outputs of the studio.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate the ability to read and critically evaluate a complex landscape from a range of differing perspectives informed by field observations, extensive research and analysis.
  2. Demonstrate the capacity to synthesise informed landscape interpretations in order to develop integrated speculative scenarios in response to landscape based challenges.
  3. Communicate an understanding of specific principles and processes of ecology and investigate the potential of landscape architectural design in a given landscape context with a self identified programmatic agenda.
  4. CurateCurate a body of design investigation to a professional standard.
Reading List
Ecological concerns
King, T.J. (1990) Ecology,
Nelson Perlman, D., Milder, J. and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, (2004) Practical Ecology for Planners, developers, and Citizens
Forman, R. and Godron, M. (1986) Landscape ecology. Wiley, New York

Geographical concerns
Bell, S. (2012) Landscape: Pattern, perception and process (2nd Edition, Routledge, Abingdon
Smithson, P., Addison, K., Atkinson, K. (2008) Fundamentals of the Physical Environment. Routledge,
Clowes, A. and Comfort, P (1987) Process and Landform. Oliver & Boyd, p.335. (out of print).
Goudie A. (2001) The Nature of the Environment. Blackwell
Barry R.G., Chorley R.J. and Chase T. (2009) Atmosphere, weather and climate. Routledge
Brady N.C. and Weil R.R. (1999) The nature and properties of soils. Prentice Hall, p881

Gehl, J. (1987) Life between buildings: Using Public Space. Van Nostrand Reinhold
Tress, B. Tress, G. Decamps, H. et al. (2001) Bridging Human and Natural Sciences in Landscape Research Landscape and Urban Planning 57 (3/4) 137-141
Koolhas, R (1997) S, M, L, XL Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large. Benedict Taschen
Moughtin, C, (1999) Urban Design Methods and Techniques. Architecture Press
SolĂ -Morales, M. (2010) The Impossible Project of Public Space. In In Favour of Public Space. Barcelona: CCCB
Roe, M. & Taylor, K. (2014) New Cultural Landscapes, Routledge
Abram, S. (2011) Culture and Planning, Ashgate
Andersson, E, (2006) Urban Landscapes and Sustainable Cities Ecology and Society 11(1): 34. [online]
Berkes, F. Colding, J. & Folke, C. (2003) Navigating Social-Ecological Systems: Building Resilience for Complexity and Change, Cambridge University Press
Council of Europe (2000) European Landscape Convention [online]
ESF (2010) Landscape in a Changing World, Bridging Divides, Integrating Disciplines, Serving Society The European Science Foundation Policy Briefing 41
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills (Characteristic 1) The course will help students to develop a critical understanding of a range of specialised and professional practice based theories, concepts and principles. Extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding in one or more specialisms will be foregrounded. The course will raise a critical awareness of current issues in landscape architecture and one or more specialisms including ecology.
(Characteristic 2)
The course will encourage students to use a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices and materials that are informed by forefront developments. The course encourages students to apply a range of standard and specialised fieldwork research and techniques of enquiry. Within the course students are expected to demonstrate originality and creativity in their design approach.
(Characteristic 3)
Students will be expected to develop original and creative responses to problems and issues. Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in the discipline
(Characteristic 4)
The course will expect students to demonstrate they are familiar with a wide range of routine skills to present their work. The course will encourage students to develop collective working practices (including teamwork). Students will be required to communicate their work with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists to the resolution of a sophisticated collective project.
(Characteristic 5)
Students will be required to take responsibility for their own work and the work of others. They will engage with practise in ways that draw on critical reflection on own and others roles and responsibilities and be expected to work in a peer relationship with specialist practitioners.
Keywordslandscape architecture design,city,region,ecology,geography,scale
Course organiserMiss Anais Chanon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5798
Course secretaryMs Jenni Vento
Tel: (0131 6)50 2306
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