LAR-29306 History of Ideas in Landscape Architecture and Planning


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Excursion (multiple days)40
Course coordinator(s)ir. G Bartelse
Lecturer(s)ir. G Bartelse
dr. ir. M Brinkhuijsen
dr. JW Kuhlman
Examiner(s)ir. G Bartelse

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

LAR-37809 Studio Regional Design; LAR-38303 Landscape Aesthetics; LUP-37312 Studio Strategic Planning.


A series of lectures combined with practicals on literature study, reading, visual and text analyses and a field seminar.
It has often been remarked that any new assignment in landscape architecture and planning takes place in what is almost always a historic environment. They are situated in temporal and geographical contexts. These contexts express divergent cultural-historical, socio-economic, political and legal conditions. Aspiring landscape architects and planners are supposed to be able to construe, understand and evaluate the historical development of landscape design, place making and spatial planning in our contemporary society, in the course of time against the background of changing societal and professional institutions. Therefore, this course offers a broad historical overview of the genesis of landscape artefacts as well as the genesis of the professions that created these artefacts and their respective disciplines in the widest sense (including architecture and urbanism). The questions to be answered are: from which different traditions did it grow, how did it come into being?
The course combines two perspectives. The first is the inside-out perspective; it focuses on the intricacies of the profession and its attributes (schools, journals, tools, education, codes of ethics). The second is the outside-in perspective. It emphasises external forces that have moulded professional practices and convictions in Europe, the US and non-western cultures like China and Japan. It outlines these histories in relation to the history of art, nature, technology and culture in general and tries to interpret their scientific and artistic meaning within the current debate on the goals of landscape architecture and planning among the other design disciplines. Focusing on the modern era, i.e., from c. 1500 to present, western as well as non-western roots of contemporary landscape design and spatial planning are presented and discussed. International practices and pioneers as well as scientific and artistic (landscape design) ramifications are highlighted in order to offer a backdrop for understanding current national professional achievements and artefacts in their proper historical context.
During a 5-day seminar in a city outside the Netherlands we will apply acquired knowledge through study, drawn and written analysis, discussion and the execution of assignments in situ.

5 days Excursion to Paris
The excursion is an obligatory part of the course. By registering for the course you also have registered for the excursion. If you do not take part in the excursion (without a legitimate reason) you will be charged for the costs made (such as as room reservation, travel tickets, etc.). If you lose your train or metro ticket and you need to buy a new one , these costs will not be reimbursed by Wageningen University. Although registered students are covered by the collective insurance policy of Wageningen University we also recommend that you make sure that your health insurance covers your stay in Paris. If you do not have a valid health insurance or you will not be able to join the excursion and you will be charged for the costs of the excursion.

NB: This course is compulsory for BLP students. Students from other programmes may participate but they must pre-register three months in advance by contacting the course coordinator. Furthermore, non-BLP BSc-students should note that they have to pay the full costs of the excursion themselves, at the moment of pre-registering a down-payment will be requested.  

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the historical development of landscape planning and design;
- demonstrate a proficient use of vocabulary, terminology and visual literacy;
- distinguish a selection of important Dutch and international designers and planners and their work ;
- analyse and interpret descriptions and maps of historic landscapes at different scales;
- deconstruct the relationship between history, theory and contemporary design and planning practices;
- evaluate examples of garden- and landscape design, spatial planning and their position within the historical context.


- lecturers;
- practicals;
- discussion;
- visual and textual analysis;
- literature studies;
- five day excursion with assignments.


To be determined.
Both the critical reflection as the written examination need to be completed with a 5.5 minimum. And you need to have fulfilled the 5 day excursion; if not, you will not pass the examination.


E.B. Rogers 'landscape design, a cultural and architectural history'; H. van der Cammen& L. de Klerk 'the selfmade land, culture and evolution of urban and regional planning in the Netherlands'.

Compulsory for: BLPLandscape Architecture and PlanningBSc4WD