Landscape Representation III: Landform and Ecological Process

Landscape Representation III examines the fundamental relationship between landform and the dynamic landscape processes it supports and engenders. This examination will be developed through methods of associative, generative, and temporal modeling and ask students to develop a representational aesthetic and workflow. Through an in-depth study of the methods in which these processes are understood and graphically communicated, the course builds upon topics covered in Landscape Representation I and II by focusing on a diverse body of representational models, both past and present, positioning landscape architecture as an expanded field engaging science, art, architecture, urban design, and philosophy. To accompany precedent study, the course engages in advanced exploration of digital media, with an emphasis on responsive, performative, and indexical methodologies as well as fluid transitions between documentation and speculation, 2D and 3D, static and dynamic, and digital and analog media.

Course topics are developed within a regional landscape matrix and range from generating contextual topographies to illustrating time-based processes, from manipulating and extracting topographical datasets to generating intelligent terrain models, from synthesizing geological, ecological, and hydrological processes to depicting the flows, flux, and ephemera of floral and faunal communities. Through simulation, conjecture, and graphic extraction, these physical and temporal landscape processes will be examined at multiple scales, with particular attention paid to the complexities of large-scale sites in order to complement core coursework in the MLA third term. Students will develop engaging forms of representation that are documented and advance a personal agenda.

Weekly lectures and lab exercises will provide the foundation for the group’s collective exploration, research, and discussion. Through a series of working labs, students will be exposed to an expanded set of digital and analog techniques for analyzing and expressing landform and process as a means of advancing both technical and conceptual ability. This format aims to establish fluency in conceptual, organizational, and formal expression as well as to provide a point of departure for an in-depth awareness of landscape precedents and representational techniques.