12 February 2010

What is Landscape Architecture?

I had the idea of writing about this from a comment from one of my readers (like you!!).  I'm studying landscape architecture, but what the heck is it?

Many people think landscape architects landscape gardens, but in reality that's like saying architects build houses.  Think about what architects do: they design buildings, make technical drawings, and inspect the construction of the buildings.  Now, just replace "buildings" with "landscapes" and you have the definition of a landscape architect in a nutshell:  we design landscapes, make technical drawings, and inspect the construction of the landscapes. 

Many of us see the landscape as a purely natural thing, but in truth much of the "natural" world around you has been thoughtfully designed and planned.  Some are more obvious than others, but each of the following places had landscape architects' vision and design behind them:


 Environmentally friendly ally in Seattle.

 Student courtyard, Chicago

 Fallen Police Memorial, Washington, DC

 Near the American Indian museum, Washington, DC

 Meridian Park, DC

 Constructed wetlands/environmental rehabilitation, near DC

City street, Chicago

 Public plaza, Portland, OR                                       Environmentally friendly gutter system, Seattle


Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle                               Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

 Public fountain, Seattle (maybe Portland?)              Another part of the same plaza

Ira Keller Fountain, Portland

Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle                                                                          Public park, Seattle

Public plaza/constructed wetlands, Portland, OR

Troll under bridge (haha!), Seattle

Public plaza, Chicago

River walk, Portland

Public plaza, Portland, OR

Ira Keller Fountain, Portland, OR

ASLA headquarters roof garden, Washington, DC

Community vegetable garden, Chicago

Japanese style garden, Chicago Botanic Gardens

Contemplation space, Chicago (I'm pretty sure it's near or in Lincoln Park Zoo)

 The best part?  All of these photos are from each of the annual field trips I've gone on with the Department of Landscape Architecture.  All College of Architecture and Planning students have the opportunity every year to go on field trips to various places across the country to experience design first-hand.  Time well spent, eh?

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