LAR-28806 Concepts and Approaches in Landscape Architecture


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. A Patuano
Lecturer(s)dr. dipl. ing. S Lenzhölzer
dr. A Patuano
C Rot
dr. Y Tai
Examiner(s)dr. A Patuano
dr. Y Tai

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

LAR-25806 Studio Site Design; LAR-24306 Landscape Engineering

Continuation courses:

LAR-38303 Landscape Aesthetics, LAR-37809 Studio Regional Design


This course introduces a range of basic concepts and design approaches that address the typical issues that landscape architects as designers are confronted with. The aim of the course is to make students aware of different design concepts and approaches. The course gives a rough overview of general concepts and world views, such as positivism and constructivism that can influence design procedures. Then, procedural design approaches will be presented to the students in a polarized way to trigger flexible design thinking and intense common discussion and reflection. On the one hand, these approaches concern the 'internal factors' - the designer's personality and the related types of creativity. Design approaches that relate to these 'internal factors' are: intuitive versus rational designing. They will be discussed and experienced 'hands on' in small exercises. The second set of approaches concerns the 'design context' - amongst which the type of design brief, the (urban) landscape context, its scale, the factor time, (un)expected changes and stakeholders. Design approaches that pertain to these contextual issues are 'closed' (e.g. fixed 'master plans', operational design) versus 'open' or strategic design approaches (amongst which are scenarios, frameworks, and also first insights into Research Through Designing). Design approaches relating to 'design context' will be discussed and compared with reference projects and in relation to ongoing studio work in other courses. Finally, the students will critically reflect the different approaches in which they correlate the different approaches with each other and discuss their suitability to different preconditions and world views in a written report.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the difference between the internal and external factors influencing design procedures;
- distinguish important design approaches for common spatial and temporal scales;
- compare different design approaches;
- analyse reference projects according to the design approaches applied;
- evaluate design approaches on their potentials and appropriateness to solve complex design problems within different natural, socio-cultural and political contexts;
- write a critical reflection paper in correct English on results of design exercises and research on reference projects.


- lectures;
- literature study;
- precedent study and analyzing own design work;
- design exercises;
- writing an individual reflection report.


- participation in discussions and quality of verbal contributions (20%);
- outcomes of design exercises (20%);
- reflection report on different approaches (60%).


- Cross, N. (2006) Understanding Design Cognition, chapter 6 in: Designerly ways of knowing, Springer publishers, London, pp. 77-93
- Dane, E., Baer, M., Pratt, M. Oldham, G. (2011) Rational versus intuitive problem solving: How thinking “off the beaten path” can stimulate creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 5.1: 3.
- Lang, J. (2005). All-of a piece urban design, in: Urban design- a typology of procedures and products. Burlington: Elsevier Architectural Press, pp. 204-207
- Lawson, B. (2006) How Designers Think- the design process demystified, Architectural Press, Oxford, pp. 145-158,
- Marshall, S. (2009) Cities, Design and Evolution, Routledge, N.Y., pp. 268-277
- Mulkens, J.; Hoekstra, I. (2014) ‘Examining the casco approach’, chapter 3 of MSc thesis, ‘City shrinkage -Renewing the casco approach for shrinking cities in the Netherlands’, Wageningen University, Landscape Architecture group
- Sawyer, Keith (2006) Explaining creativity, chapters 4 and 14, Oxford University Press
- Schork, T., Burrow, A., & Minifie, P. (2009) A Workbench for Emergent Urbanism and Architectural Form. Proceedings of the 27th Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, Istanbul, pp417-423.

Compulsory for: BLPLandscape Architecture and PlanningBScA: Spec. A - Landscape Architecture6WD