Landscape Architecture I: First Semester Core Studio

This studio course introduces students to the fundamental elements of landscape architectural design at the scale of the public garden in an urban context. The studio examines the imponderable gaps between site, representation, and built work, in the context of landscape design. As the first of a four-term sequence of design studios, the course aims to help students develop spatial literacy, skills in the representation of landscape architecture, and critical design thinking. A typologically based series of design exercises introduce a range of issues of perennial concern to landscape design. These exercises build from the reading of precedent in the field, and increase in complexity as the semester progresses. Using a range of two- and three-dimensional media, both analog and digital, members of the studio work with orthographic projection, plan, section, elevation, model making, and three-dimensional drawing. The studio introduces and explores various tropes of landscape design through a typological reading of certain canonical projects from the history of the urban public landscape. These include the studied examination of promenade and path, permeability and pavement, ground cover and texture, spatial enclosure and bound, threshold and limit, topographic complexity and sectional variation, horizontal envelopment and canopy, prospect and refuge, among others. Throughout the semester, students are exposed to and expected to develop an iterative work process that responds effectively to criticism; an understanding of the stages of the landscape design process; a critical engagement with contemporary landscape architecture practice; an awareness of the complex ecological and social forces that constitute and affect urban landscapes; the ability to translate ideas into spatial form; visual and verbal presentation skills; and a culture of peer review. Emphasis is placed on the status and role of representation and the studio as a performative venue for the production of landscape design. Studio meets for twelve hours a week. The entire class will gather for project presentations, workshops and reviews, and the class will be divided into three sections, each meeting with a different instructor for desk-crits throughout the semester. GSD 6212 Sustainability for Planning and Design is an integral part of GSD 1111 Landscape Architecture I (Studio). For course details please refer to the syllabus and on-line description of GSD 6212.