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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Iain M Robertson
L ARCH 424
Seattle Campus

Advanced Planting Design Seminar

Introduces and investigates the ecological and social functions behind planting design. Introduces conceptual methods to planting design using various 'lenses'. Discusses the relationship between planting plan graphics and their actual three-dimensional applications. Focuses on combining plants into a cohesive, artistic, and ecologically responsible design that responds appropriately to site conditions.

Class description

LARC 424 addresses three aspects of planting design: conceptual planting design, plant identification, and practical aspects of implementing planting designs. Conceptual design and design implementation 'bracket' your design education starting at the design initiation stage--the delights (and terrors!) of imagining designs--and ending with the practical implementation of planting plans--when the roots hit the soil--and approval of completed design work. In addition LARC 424 will reinforce your plant knowledge through field trips to study plants on campus and in the U District. By focusing on the initial and final stages of planting design we shall recognize how conceptual design decisions are related to implementation and management considerations--and that 'design' continues throughout a project from initiation to implementation AND, FOR PLANTS, design continues into long-term plant management.

Student learning goals

* To become conversant with the process of developing and writing plant specifications, preparing planting plans & details, inspecting and approving plants on completed projects, and selecting plant sizes & spacing.

* To augment, in the field, plant knowledge gained in plant ID courses.

* To practice the iterative process of developing conceptual, but realistic, planting plans that utilize the innate characteristics of plants as a design medium.

General method of instruction

We shall use local planting projects, and specifications provided by design firms, as our 'texts' for considering implementation and approval of work. We shall examine specifications in detail to emphasise how specification writing is an integral part of 'design'. We shall immerse ourselves in plants. We shall spend approximately one third of our time on each of these 3 topics.

Student numbers and class length preclude field trips beyond the local area. We shall discuss schedule changes to incorporate longer field trips such as to a plant nursery, Magnuson Park, Olympic Sculpture Park, etc. We shall balance classroom time and field/site visit time to maximize learning about plants.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Specification exercises 70% Conceptual planting designs 30% Spec Ex--memo to file on plant conditions Spec Ex--plant success/acceptance x2 Spec Ex--Revised spec for other conditions Spec Ex--Defects & Omissions Punch List Spec Ex--Replanting recommendation Spec Ex--Planting detail Spec Ex--Memo on plant maintenance


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Iain M Robertson
Date: 03/28/2014