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

Postgraduate Course: Landscape Architecture Design: Terrain & Ecologies (ARCH11280)

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 Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis studio-based design course engages with discourses of landscape architecture at the scale of the city and region. The course asks students to respond to a specific design brief that investigates the interdependence of people and their environment and the role of the landscape architect within this context. Students will develop an understanding of the geologies, geographies, and ecologies of a given landscape, supported by site visits and in-the-field investigations informed by specialist input from geologists, geographers and ecologists. Students are supported by design tutors in collaboration with ecologists who will take part in studio seminars, tutorials and reviews, to enable meaningful integration between landscape architectural design with ecological thinking. The studio includes collective enquiry which leads into individual project development, building on core knowledge and skills attained in semester one.
Course description This course introduces students to an expanded scale of design reflection to develop an understanding of landscape architectural practice as a critical instrument in shaping landscapes at a regional or city scale. The course explores regional development initiatives, legislative frameworks, planning practices and policy. Through landscape design-led enquiry, the project brief forms the basis for examining some of the major challenges and forces for change that face contemporary societies today, including issues such as climate change, shifts in urbanisation, soil preservation, cultural landscapes, sustainable approaches to food production, water and energy resource management and landscape design for biodiversity.
In this course, students interpret existing landscape conditions in order to identify scenarios of spatial design at a range of scales from which to imagine future landscape conditions that integrate sustainable development. Students are supported in developing an ability to read the landscape from different perspectives in order to gain a fundamental understanding of territorial and ecological frameworks. The course includes a period of collective design research in which students develop an understanding of a given urban or rural territory and of the particular challenges of that specific context. From this understanding, students develop an integrated regional, territorial and urban analysis, with the aim of revealing how ecological and cultural patterns and processes, alongside political and economic factors, shape these landscapes. Building on group work, each student then develops a schematic design proposition based in the context of the wider scale collective enquiry. This individual exploration can then be used to enrich the initial group territorial scale proposals.
In this course, you will engage in fieldwork activities, collective seminars with design tutors and specialists, lectures and group and individual tutorials. You will also be guided in fabricating working models (2D and 3D) that enable the exploration of propositional scenarios at relevant scales with an informed and targeted design agenda. 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 Only available to students on the MLA Landscape Architecture programme.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  45
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 32, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 3, Fieldwork Hours 35, Formative Assessment Hours 1.5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 308 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative Assessment:

There will be 3 formative feedback/feedforward points in this course.

- The first review is studio-based and relates to the territorial scale analysis (through creative and critical fieldwork and desk-based research) and landscape framework proposal. This component will be undertaken collectively and each working group will be expected to produce and present a landscape report demonstrating an understanding of the interrelated influence of territorial, spatial and socio-ecological components on landscapes. During this review, students should also present a proposal for a territorial scale landscape framework anchored in their landscape interpretation. Feedback will be verbal and written.

- The second review is studio-based and evaluates individual design enquiries, which should reveal a propositional landscape design anchored in one specific site within the earlier group framework proposal. Feedback will be verbal.

- The third review is studio-based and focuses on the curation of a body of design investigation as intended for public display. At this stage, students will be able to re-group to refine their initial collective work based on their individual investigations when appropriate. During this review, students will be asked to reflect on the best representation and curation tools to deploy in order to communicate their group and individual work as intended for public display. Feedback will be verbal.

Summative Assessment:
100% Portfolio
For the purposes of the summative assessment there will be one submission, a curated portfolio, assessed in cognition of all learning outcomes.

The curated portfolio:
This is an individual output which will incorporate individual work as well as carefully chosen elements of the group work. Regarding the group work elements, students can choose to either collaborate with their fellow group members on the curation of those elements or to individually curate the group elements into an individual narrative.
The curated portfolio will consist of a critically curated body of work as intended for public display.
The portfolio will showcase outcomes of collective design explorations that will have been conducted in small groups alongside individual design investigations. The portfolio should incorporate in a critically curated manner all design enquiry undertaken as part of the course. This should include the initial territorial study, presenting a range of interrelated landscape conditions, the speculative scenario development and the expression of each individual's design response within the context of the group work.
Feedback Students receive feedback regularly through informal studio weekly tutorials.

Students also receive verbal feedback during all formative reviews, as well as a short piece of written feedback following the first review.

Students receive written feedback on their summative submission at the end of the course following the assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate a complex landscape from a range of territorial, spatial and socio-ecological perspectives informed by field observations, in-depth research and analysis.
  2. Synthesise landscape interpretations in order to develop integrated speculative scenarios in response to territorial landscape-based challenges.
  3. Design landscape architectural framework proposals responding to self-defined territorial, spatial and socio-ecological concerns.
  4. Communicate and critically curate a body of design investigations as intended for public presentation.
Reading List
Reed, C., & Lister, N. M. (2014). Ecology and Design: Parallel Genealogies. In Places Journal. https://placesjournal. org/article/ecology-and-design- parallel- genealogies/?cn-reloaded=1

Nina-Marie Lister. 'Sustainable Large Parks: Ecological Design or Designer Ecology'. In Large Parks, p.35-55, Princeton Architectural Press, 2007

Sue Anne Ware. 'Knowingly Unfinished: Exploiting the Temporality of Landscapes.' Architectural Design 86 (2016): 74-81.

Corner, James. 'The Agency of Mapping'. In The Landscape Imagination, edited by James Corner and Alison Bick Hirsch, 197-238. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2014.

Smithson, P., Addison, K., Atkinson, K. Fundamentals of the Physical Environment. London: Routledge, 2008.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will help students to develop knowledge that integrates understanding of a range of specialised theories, concepts and principles across landscape architecture and its allied fields of ecology and geomorphology.

The course will encourage students to use a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices and materials, alongside fieldwork research and techniques of enquiry, where students are expected to demonstrate originality and creativity in their design approach.

Students will develop original and creative responses to a given landscape context, to extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in the discipline of landscape architecture.

The course helps students to demonstrate they are familiar with a wide range of routine skills to present their work through the curation of a body of design investigations, which communicates their work with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists.

Students will learn to exercise autonomy and initiative in learning activities, while showing awareness of own and others' roles and responsibilities in accordance with current professional codes or practices.
Special Arrangements Only available to students on the MLA Landscape Architecture programme.
KeywordsLandscape,Architecture,Environment,Climate Change,Biodiversity,Sustainable Design,Territory
Course organiserMs Milja Tuomivaara
Course secretaryMs Amy O'Hehir
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