Landscape Technology

GSD 6206 Landscape Technology will address the interdependence between technology and design in landscape architecture. The purpose of this course is to develop a broader understanding of conventional and emerging technologies in landscape architecture and how this can result in more progressive and creative design work. In addition the course material is intended to cultivate in class members a more critical interest in technology in landscape architecture both as a design medium as well as a future research topic at the GSD. Through a sequence of lectures, workshops, assignments and field visits the class will explore the processes of landscape technology as they inform the physical production of built landscapes. Three integrated areas will be addressed; the \’soft\’ engineering of built landscapes and their materials, an introduction to the range and types of remediation technologies to address polluted soils and groundwater and finally implementation approaches and techniques used in design practice for constructing small and large landscape projects.Each class meeting is organized into two parts, the first introduces fundamental techniques and builds the tools needed for design studio activities for each student, the second part considers the application of these tools and techniques in landscape design development practices, including landscape assemblies and their applications and operations on site. Here the course will examine technological thinking and the issues of landscape materials, structure, form, durability, craft and the design detail language of site construction. There will however be a focus in this class on the means required to address contemporary sites and \”legacy landscapes,\” particularly where the repair and reclamation from past industrial uses or excessive abuse require a mixture of conventional and innovative landscape technologies.The execution of landscape projects within the procedures and practices of the construction industry will also be introduced through illustrated case studies and field trips. Finally literature will be introduced to situate the role of landscape technology within the larger framework of the history, theories, and practice of landscape architecture and site design.