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This will be very open ended.  Since this course also acts as an introduction to Landscape Architecture, this is your opportunity to talk about what is on your mind.  Therefore, I welcome your requests or suggestions on topics, either related to history or contemporary landscape architecture discussions.  I may prompt activities for you to do, either on your own or in teams.  There may be higher extra credit opportunities presented.

Online Discussions

Weekly, you will be prompted with a subject related to each chapter, where you have an opportunity to share your understanding of the subject.  You should enter your comments earlier than the day it is due because the next requirement is for you to reply to at least two of your peers’ posts before the deadline.  Provide thoughtful and respectful feedback, pose questions, or even share new ideas or images.  This is your opportunity to engage further into landscape architecture.



Journal writing was a method I learned while learning California history during my master’s program, but rest assured, this will not be a formal process.  Journals are useful tools to think “out loud,” without always having to pay attention to the rules of formal writing.  Therefore, the foci of your journal entries are threefold:

  • Chapter Analysis: With the presentation of each chapter, you will be prompted to answer a single question.  Primarily, you will be asked to analyze the author’s key point about a specific subject.

  • Your Voice: Provide your opinion or perspective about the question.  Focus on how the information is relevant to you and to your interests in landscape architecture.  This is not the time to try to impress me with a summary from the textbook; that will not work.  I want to hear your voice and how you interpret the information based upon your interests in landscape design.  Some journal assignment will simply say “free write,” and in such cases, you may write about anything within the reading including your personal response to it.

  • Practice Writing Skills: This is a recommended exercise, particularly if you are stuck with “writer’s block.”  Simply, set a timer for 15 minutes and write anything that comes to mind, even if your thoughts are not in any order.  When the timer stops, you stop.  See what you have and try to organize it around a journal entry.

Note: Address the assigned chapter in your free write.  But do not worry if you get off track, or if your answer does not come out sounding at all well-organized or direct.


Research Project

Analyze the historical significance and landscape architectural style of a major landscape work from the period between prehistory to present.  Profile the landscape architect/designer and discuss how they address design challenges to meet the final work.  This should include social influences, site opportunities and challenges, and a brief comparison to works by the designer’s contemporaries.  Actual text shall be 5-6 pages, double spaced, plus references.  Supplemental images, renderings, and illustrations, preferably by you, are encouraged and count toward presentation.  Note: the fewer images that support your research, the more reliant readers will be on your ability to articulate the historic design.  Submit the final project as a PDF or PowerPoint format.  The research project is due the first day of Finals. NOTE: Final research projects will be available to all students to read and learn about the places and designers you selected.  We may schedule an informal online meeting for you to share what you discovered with your peers.

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