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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Thaisa Way
L ARCH 553
Seattle Campus

History of Modern Landscape Architecture

Focuses on building an historic and critical overview of modernism and modernist designs in the practice and discipline of landscape architecture. Focuses on critical readings of historical narratives to explore the emergence of theory in practice.

Class description

This course provides an historic and critical overview of modernism and modernist designs in terms of aesthetic, technological, social, and spiritual concerns in the built landscape. While we will begin our explorations in the late nineteenth century and end with contemporary work, the focus of the course will be on the period between approximately 1915 and 1985. Moving between practice and theory, between design as a creative art and as a way of thinking, we will consider a number of modernisms within the context of modernist art and architecture as well as cultural modernisms. As a graduate discussion, we will focus on critical readings of historical narratives in the design profession in order to explore the emergence of theory in practice.

Student learning goals

articulate definitions of modern landscape architectures

explore relationships between architecture, landscape, and other media

carefully read and analyze original texts

explore how theory and narratives shape practice.

perform critical research on topics in built environments

articulate an analytical argument on issues related to the built environment

General method of instruction

SEMINARS Graduate students will attend graduate seminar as scheduled. Each student will take turns leading presentations and discussions. This will require reading extra papers on the selected topic and preparing a formal presentation as well as preparing discussion questions. All students are expected to actively engage in the discussions, arriving to seminar fully prepared.

Recommended preparation

OPTIONAL LECTURES The lecture course LA 352 offers a series of lectures, each of which will be illustrated with images. You are not required to attend lectures but are encouraged to use them as an essential resource for your understanding of seminar readings and discussions.

Class assignments and grading

Reading, writing, and seminar discussions


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 Thaisa Way
Date: 11/24/2012