Origins and Contemporary Practices of Asian Landscape Architecture: Korean Perspectives and More

The term “Asian” can be misleading; it conjures images of one identity that can be applied to all 51 countries in Asia. Scholars and practitioners, such as William Lim, Jillian Walliss, and Heike Rahmann, have elaborated on the inevitable complexities associated with identity in Asia’s landscapes, architecture, and urban practices. In his book Asian Alterity (Hackensack, N.J.: World Scientific, c2008), William Lim argues that most of the urban development processes in Asian countries can rarely be explained using Western theories. He also invited architects and landscape architects from nine Asian cities to write about their singularities. On the other hand, in The Big Asian Book of Landscape Architecture (Berlin: Jovis Verlag, 2020), Walliss and Rahmann claim that Asia is a method, not an identity, and write extensively about several practices and various aspects of “being in the landscape profession in Asia.” Taking all of this into consideration, what can students expect to discuss and learn in this class? Furthermore, why Korean perspectives?

In this seminar, we will deploy a particular lens to examine the onset of the contemporary landscape architecture profession in a few Asian countries and how their respective origins have shaped and are shaping each country’s landscape. Korea will be used as a case study through which the practices of other countries—China, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand—can be revealed since Korea’s landscape practices had an obvious initiator (i.e., former President Mr. Park) and a single strong motivation (i.e., post-war reforestation). Additionally, this course aims to promote further and in-depth discussions about other countries (beyond these five).

Please refer to the syllabus for the detailed schedule, contents, and course requirements.

It is open to all the degree programs of the GSD. This course is not exclusively for a group of students with a specific ethnic heritage, and it would be ideal if the class could consist of students with as diverse backgrounds as possible.

*The first class will be held on Tuesday 9/5. You must attend the first class to take the course.