Landscape architects articulate and design physical spaces supporting healthy, ethical relationships between people, place, and resources while enhancing the inherent qualities of that place. One hundred and fifty years ago our profession rose to meet challenges presented in a rapidly changing industrializing world. Today, pressures of globalization, unprecedented growth, loss of heritage, disconnection between people and the natural environment, and environmental degradation require our design profession to bring the art and science, and the integrity of landscape architecture to bear on issues requiring designs for environmental and cultural solutions.
We educate landscape architects to lead the design and planning process. The fundamental goal of our program is providing students with physical design tools and an ethic of responsibility grounded in natural systems and processes that allows them to connect people to place in ways that enhance well-being and environmental balance. Our educational program operates fluidly in both local and global contexts; design solutions are applied and evaluated at multiple scales. Our curriculum teaches our students to develop design and planning skills that use technologies and design approaches to enhance community, foster equity, remediate environmental balance, conserve and regenerate resources, and create places that hold value for current and future generations.
Program Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes
The Department developed the following program objectives and student learning outcomes so faculty and students have a shared understanding of the goals directing the curriculum. Students are expected to be proficient or above in each of these areas by the time they graduate from the Program.
Design: Students will be able to formulate questions and arguments about landscape and landscape’s role as a significant cultural medium; determine processes and practices that lead to conceptual, analytical and formative actions that transform existing situations into preferred alternatives based on ethical, communicative and content knowledge criteria.
Students will be able to:
- Research, identify and assess constraints and opportunities.
- Situate the design problem within a larger cultural, social and ecological context.
- Set up and test strategies that synthesize the research and contextual processes.
- Implement and demonstrate the strategies through physical application.
- Evaluate and reconsider outcomes.
Communication and Representation: Students will be able to speak, write, create and employ appropriate representational media to effectively convey ideas on subject matter contained in the professional curriculum to a variety of audiences.
Students should be able to:
- Write an organized, compelling and grammatically correct argument or thesis supported by well-documented research.
- Prepare and present an organized, professional and compelling verbal and visual presentation using appropriate media to explain complex ideas and concepts.
- Constructively critique their work and the work of others.
- Clearly articulate and document the iterative process of developing design ideas.
- Effectively communicate design ideas to a variety of audiences.
Professional Ethics: Students will be able to critically evaluate local and global ramifications of social issues, diverse cultures, economic systems, ecological systems and professional practice as guiding principles for design thinking and implementation.
Students will be able to:
- Understand, critique, integrate and articulate different sources, constructions and principles of ethics, including personal, professional, economical, social, cultural and ecological concepts in their historic and present contexts.
- Critically identify and assess personal and professional predispositions to reflectively participate in a discourse on the motivations, intents, reasons and effects of landscape architectural practices and of specific design proposals.
- Critically develop and apply ethical frameworks to appropriately respond to culturally, socially and economically diverse conditions.
- Critically identify and assess personal and professional predispositions to direct actions, recognize the influences on design decisions and be accountable for an ethical course of action.
Content Knowledge: Students will be able to develop a critical understanding and application of the histories, theories and practices of landscape architecture, and its role in reflecting and shaping culture and environments.
Students should be able to:
- Identify and understand the genesis and impacts of major movements and examples of built landscapes from antiquity to the present.
- Identify and understand various formal, social, economic and political forces giving shape to the built environment.
- Analyze and discuss in written, visual and oral form the relationship of a built work to the culture that produced it.
- Identify and apply design theory and methodology to their work.
- Demonstrate an understanding of landscape architects’ legal responsibilities with respect to professional standards for public health, safety, welfare and other factors affecting design, construction and practice.