Landscape architecture straddles the interface between the cultural and natural worlds, addressing design issues inherent in a range of typologies and scales, from specific sites to global systems. RISD's program prepares students to thoughtfully examine the increasingly complex issues associated with these environments and to develop innovative design solutions.
- 2-year + 3-year graduate programs
In the studio
Whether working in the field, the CAD Lab, the Model Shop or on their own laptops, students are challenged to think critically and develop self-reliant design processes. Studio work is complemented by the study of drawing, history, theory, ecology, cultural geography, plants and technology.
Beginning in fall 2019 graduate students will explore interdisciplinary approaches to coastal environmental issues.
RISD’s Architecture, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture programs rank well in the 2019/20 survey of America’s top architecture and design schools.
Landscape architect Phoebe Lickwar MLA 06 reflects on two recent collaborations and a rewarding design approach she developed as a student at RISD.
Landscape Architecture students graduate with the versatility and self-confidence to work in a wide range of land- and systems-based design fields, pursuing interests they've typically begun to explore as graduate students. In general, they are collaborative in spirit, open-minded, innovative in their approaches to problem solving and blessed with a certain joie de vivre. Above all, alumni self-identify as creators – not merely consumers – of contemporary culture.
Alumni at work
Phoebe Lickwar is the founder of FORGE, a Fayetteville, AR-based landscape architecture firm that, in harmonizing aesthetics and ecology, cultivates community through landscape design. Throughout her career has collaborated on several prominent memorials and cultural centers and in 2018 her installation Into the Woods! won the International Garden Competition at Chaumont-sur-Loire in France. Lickwar frequently shows fine art photography in juried exhibitions throughout the US and is an associate professor of landscape architecture at The University of Texas at Austin.
"Science is my muse for design," says Ian Quate, a landscape architect who expresses his commitment to scientifically-informed, green design through his work with the New York-based firm Nelson Byrd Woltz and a variety of nonprofit organizations. At NBW, Quate's projects center on cultivating environments that integrate urban wildlife with cities and other areas in the Northeast. In addition, he is engaged in interdisciplinary ventures like the BK BioReactor, an alternative cleanup proposal for Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal that won first prize in the 2015 Gowanus by Design competition.