About this course
What defines research in landscape architecture? What is its function? How and where do researchers publish their work? Can research create real-world change? What distinguishes research in design from research in the sciences or the humanities? Part seminar, part workshop, part thesis prep, LA 597: Research Methods & Design will consider these and other questions, helping each student develop an independent research proposal by the end of the semester.
In an era when market-driven values increasingly inform the design of the built environment, research in landscape architecture is growing in importance. Whether carried out by students, faculty, full-time researchers, or practitioners, it is a critical counter to traditional designer-client modes of practice. Research empowers designers to pursue independent inquiries, ones less constricted by market forces than traditional service-oriented practice in which designers generate solutions in response to a developer, client, or architect’s brief. The most ambitious landscape architecture research yields new territories—both physical and theoretical—for design speculation.
While not all landscape architecture research offers obvious design takeaways, this course will focus on the development of research proposals as the basis for creating design strategies should you elect to pursue the thesis option next year. Topics must have evident need for attention from the discipline of landscape architecture. This is something we will discuss individually and as a group as we move forward throughout the semester.
Prerequisite: Second year first professional or first year post-professional MLA students; graduate students in other majors may enroll with permission of instructor.
3 credit hours