To contribute to the ongoing development of emergence theory in landscape architectural discourse.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
1. Explain emergence theory in landscape architecture.
2. Relate emergence theory to contemporary landscape practice.
3. Discuss, evaluate and develop landscape design propositions that utilize emergence theory.
Writers and designers across a range of current sub-fields in landscape architecture invoke the concept of emergence, and claim to be using it. There is no doubt that emergence is de rigeur in the design fields, and has been for over a decade. In landscape architecture, however, emergence is strangely under-theorized. For this reason it is often misunderstood. And, beyond a fairly glib nod to its primary concepts, it remains unexamined. At the same time, emergence theory offers landscape architecture a powerful means to assert its primacy as a discipline that deals with dynamic systems. Perhaps even more crucially, it offers designers new trajectories for design, by means of a poetic engagement with concepts that can help them reformulate relationships between humans and nonhumans, and between humans and the world.
Students will investigate this critical terrain through their critique of the instructor’s Ten Point Guide to Emergence, which will cover the following Key Concepts:
· Open systems
· Initial conditions
· Field theory
The Key Concepts are found in the required text, Barnett, R. 2013 Emergence in Landscape Architecture. London and New York: Routledge.
There will be two assignments.
Assignment One: Seminar paper presented in class as a discussion document on a topic selected from above list, of no less than 1500 words. Addresses Learning Outcome 1.
Assignment Two: Essay devised to address Learning Outcomes 2 and 3. No less than 3,000 words.