Elements of Landscape Architecture

History/Theory

Fall 2012

Nicholas Quennell, instructor

This course was introduced to GSAPP in 1982 to bring awareness of landscape and environmental issues to architectural students. Today it asks the questions, “Is landscape the space left between and around buildings? Should buildings be subsumed to the natural world or should they dominate it?”

The course explored these questions by examining the relationship between buildings and the land upon which they are sited, by discussing the various factors that influence the design of buildings in the landscape and of the landscape itself. While much of the subject matter included comes from the long-standing tradition of landscape design based in natural systems, starting with the work of Frederick Law Olmsted in the nineteenth-century and continuing with the work of Ian McHarg in the 1960s, the course expanded to consider broader topics of sustainability and the importance of understanding how concern for the environment can affect the places we design.

The basic curriculum was supplemented by guest lecturers by architects, lighting designers and by the work of the students who were required to present their individual projects to the entire class.