Landscape Architecture I: First Semester Core Studio

This studio course problematizes issues of orientation and experience, scale and pattern, topographic form, climatic and vegetative influences, and varied ecological processes that help define urban public space. As the first of a four-term sequence of design studios, the course helps students develop spatial literacy and proficiency in diverse modes of inquiry in landscape architecture. The beginning studio exercises investigate a set of typological models rooted in historical and contemporary urban landscape precedents. These undergo sequential transformations aimed at devising hybrid solutions to common conceptual design problems: conditions of stasis and movement, material composition and expression, conditions of solidity and porosity, and change over time. Later in the semester, these studies advance to greater specificity on an urban waterfront site in Boston. A one-week workshop during the semester focuses on specialized analogue techniques of surface description. Students also participate in workshops built around focused interventions through the school’s Sensory Media Platform. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the design studio as a performative venue for conceiving, interrogating, and elaborating concrete ideas about the role of the biophysical landscape in shaping urbanization and urban life.