Fall 2021

  1. These studios, which are required for graduation, are offered by individual instructors to students who have successfully completed the core curriculum. They are assigned by lottery on the first day of classes. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department; course not available via web registration. Fee: Some advanced studios have a fee for course supplies or field trips. The fee is announced during the registration lottery held in the department.
  2. A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of independent study. Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered. Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required.
  3. This core studio stresses middle scale landscape architectural design. A series of studio problems will explore urban public spaces. Students will endeavor to represent contemporary cultural and ecological ideas in land form. There will be an emphasis on constructive strategies, the use of plants in design and methods of representation. Estimated Materials Cost: $250.00 Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  4. This course explores design principles central to landscape architecture. Three interrelated aspects of design are pursued: 1) the elements of composition and their formal, spatial, and tectonic manipulation, 2) meanings conveyed by formal choices and transformations and 3) interactions of cultural and ecological forces in the landscape. Estimated Materials Cost: $250.00 Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  5. Rivers are layered landscapes that reflect how different societies have related to the land, natural resources and to one another. Shifting values about stewardship, control, extraction, and restoration have become physically manifested in the landscape through the intentional and unintentional shaping of the river landscapes. In this interdisciplinary studio, students will be asked to consider the relationship between textiles and landscape architecture practices to address, reconcile and interpret the complex ecological and cultural histories of rivers. Weaving and other structural textile techniques will be explored as both a metaphor and a physical strategy to weave together the multiple cultural narratives of a river as well as consider how to support the diverse river ecologies and the unique experiential qualities of being at the water's edge. The Blackstone River will provide the geographical, cultural and ecological lens for the studio. Some of the overarching material, formal and performative questions we may ask in the studio are: How can fibers be used to stabilize the water's edge, direct flows and provide habitat for riparian plant and animal species? Can the woven materials become unglued from the ground plane to shape the human aesthetic experience of the water's edge? Can textiles be used to interpret or reveal the multiple stories, histories and layers of the landscape? How can basket weaving traditions inform the way we manage the landscape? How can woven materials be integrated with living plant material, mycelium, and soil? How can the density of a textile aggregate and disperse to respond to different site conditions or to shape the pattern of plant growth? How long should the materials persist? Could they be designed to degrade overtime? What is the relationship between traditional craft practices and digital fabrication or scripting? Can community groups be involved in the construction and installation of the textiles as a way of rebuilding a connection between people and place? Estimated Materials Cost: $200.00 Permission of Instructor required. Open to seniors, fifth years and graduate students. Also offered as IDISC-2260; Register in the course for which credit is desired.
  6. This survey course focuses on the history of landscapes in the pre-industrialized world. Landscapes will be considered as an evolving condition, even when their defining characteristics were conceived and built at a specific point in time. Critical to this course will be the establishment of frameworks for historical inquiry, the refinement of research methodologies, in the development of multiple perspectives through which to question and understand the design environment. Permission of Instructor required.
  7. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses. Permission of instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website.
  8. This seminar will bridge the foundations of landscape theory, research, and design methods in order to frame a process for students to examine contemporary issues in landscape architecture and define research questions that would contribute to creating new knowledge in the field. The course will include guest lectures from practitioners creating a body of research in the field. This seminar initiates the thesis process by asking students to formulate their own proposals for research through design. Graduate major requirement; LDAR majors only. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  9. This seminar addresses advanced problems in landscape construction, materials, and site engineering. In this class, students will be asked to apply their knowledge of landscape technologies and materials gained from earlier classes into an abbreviated technical drawing set. Through the drawing set, students will gain an understanding of the different stages of design including; concept development, schematic design, design development, and construction documentation. This project will become the basis for understanding the how details and materials develop and change throughout the pre-construction process. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  10. This course introduces students to the material properties of wood, metal, stone, concrete and soil. Through material experiments, hand drafted material details, 1:1 construction and material case studies, students will gain experience working with the materials to understand the inherent constraints and opportunities of each material. In addition, a series of field trips will help students understand the geographies of material extraction and the processes of assembly and installation. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  11. This seminar builds on the class Material Logic to investigate and test landscape materials and construction methods with an emphasis on prototyping and digital fabrication. Students will learn to take an idea from concept to prototype to 1:1 construction. Through research, lectures, and site walks, this course will build student's understanding of current landscape construction methods and ask them to develop new materials and assemblies to respond to specific site and design considerations. Through exercises, students will advance their CAD and Rhino skills, as well as learn how to prototype ideas through the use of 3d printers and CNC machine. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  12. This class will explore the botanical, horticultural and ecological aspects of plants and plant communities. Through lectures and field trips, students will become familiar with the form, physical qualities, identifying characteristics, seasonal aspect, preferred growing conditions, native habitats and ecological function of common plants of New England. In addition, lectures will focus on contemporary ecological theories around disturbance ecology and ecological succession to gain an understanding of how designers can work with these forces to shape landscapes over time. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  13. Off-campus professional experience in offices of practicing architects, interior architects, landscape architects, industrial designers or physical planning agencies. Students are required to make all pertinent arrangements with the outside individuals or agencies and to provide the BEB Office with the supervisor's name and sponsor address. Three professional elective credits are available for those who work a minimum of 20 hours per week for the six weeks of Wintersession. A pass/fail grade is assigned once the professional sponsor has written a letter of evaluation.
  14. This course develops the different levels of dexterity and control in the construction of architectural drawing. The pedagogy allows for students to build a basic understanding of orthographic drawing typologies and traditional drawing methods while preparing them for more complex hybridized drawing methods. A parallel segment of the course addresses freehand representation, developing observation and translation tools necessary to design. Through these multiple approaches, drawing is developed as a tool to transform conceptual ideas into tangible form. The class will be taught as a series of lectures that discuss both why and how we draw accompanied by skill building workshops. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration. .
  15. Landscape is a term that can refer to a specific locale, design, or a collection of ideas. The term usually implies a system of interrelated cultural and natural forces operating within a context of a defined scale or disciplinary boundaries. In this course we examine and discuss the foundational definitions of the term landscape and the theoretical stances that are active in the creation of contemporary landscape architecture, land art and other creative disciplines. Writing assignments will be based upon fundamental texts, direct experience, and contemporary projects. Weekly readings will be discussed and diagrammed in class for content and structure. Students will produce a series of five short (2 to 3 page) analytical essays and case studies. There will be weekly discussion sections with course TAs to review readings, two field assignments, and one field trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration. Open to qualified undergraduates and non-majors by permission of Instructor.
  16. As a discipline, Landscape Architecture is in the unique position of communicating design, ecosystems, and the passage of time at vastly varying scales. As a platform for design and expression, Landscape Architecture is one of few that works with space, a distinctly different experience from that of object- based design. This course will explore the graphic and experiential possibilities inherent to spatially-based projects using immersive software. The development of these immersive environments will utilize a range of tools, including manual materials, digital montage, AR type overlays, and interactive links .These 2D "equirectangular renderings" should serve as finished illustrations in themselves but should also fulfill their roles in projected immersive environments. Additionally, they should elevate and explain the process of creation. Elective Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor.

Wintersession 2022

  1. In this studio, we will study principles of this ecological and urban phenomenon and how they might be employed in the future to solve the burgeoning problems urban centers will face under the stresses of global climate change considering the unique environmental, historical and cultural context the bay of Naples presents. We will look extensively at how hot earth further compounds the problem of Urban Heat Island Effect and how it poses exceptional challenges within the hazards of hydrothermal and hydro-magmatic activity so common to everyday life. Given the prospects of daylighting the undercurrent and harnessing the cool subterranean water supply to create "blue" and "green" spaces to help mitigate the effects of UHIE - how might the presence of thermal and therapeutic waters, conversely, promote the preservation of a hydro-diverse landscape unique to this region? How might this ecological condition be differentiated in the densest of urban settlements vs. parks, farms and nature reserves found within the greater metropolitan region? This is a co-requisite course. Students must plan and register for LAS-W725 and LDAR-W625. Students will receive 3 studio credits and 3 liberal arts credits. Applications open in September. Registration begins in October at a time to be announced. All students are required to remain in good academic standing in order to participate in the WS travel course/studio. A minimum GPA of 2.50 is required. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from the course, either before or during the course. Also in cases where WS travel courses and studios do not reach student capacity, the course may be cancelled after the last day of Wintersession travel course registration. As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Wintersession travel courses until the course is confirmed to run, which happens within the week after the final Wintersession travel course registration period. Permission of Instructor required. 2022WS Estimated Travel Cost: $2,629.00 - airfare not included. ***Off-Campus Study***
  2. This seminar explores the parallels between designing and constructing the ground. It's focus is on landform - analyzing it as part of a larger natural system; understanding its inherent opportunities and limitations; altering it for human use & occupation; and building it with varying construction methodologies. The means for this exploration will primarily be through three-dimensional representations with two dimensional contour plans; however, diagrams, sketches, sections, and narratives will be necessary throughout the semester. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by the Landscape Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  3. As the scope and objectives of the design disciplines expand and diversify, the ability to implement effective research methodologies has become increasingly critical to position designers to generate and validate new knowledge. This course will survey research methods relevant to the design disciplines that have emerged from the sciences, the social sciences and the arts with special focus on those utilized by landscape architects. Methods we will examine include case studies, descriptive strategies, classification schemes, interpretive strategies, evaluation and diagnosis, engaged action research, projective design and arts-based practices. Students will work individually and in teams to analyze and compare different research strategies, understand their procedures and sequences, the types of data required, projected outcomes, and value by examining a set of projects of diverse scales. Visiting lecturers will present research based design projects. The goal of the course is to provide students with a framework of research methodologies with which they can begin to build their own research based practices. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by the Landscape Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.

Spring 2022

  1. Students will work within a guided research topic to develop a design investigation with defined objectives, methods, and outcomes. As a 9-credit studio, this course will also require that students design and execute a material, representational, or theoretical experiment tied to a design detail within their investigations. In this thesis studio, students will have periodic formal reviews with an advisory panel, and will use feedback from the panel to produce a book that gives a written and graphic presentation of the research context, process, and findings as well as a final assessment of the outcomes. Estimated Materials Cost: $250.00 Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  2. This seminar focuses on the ecology, policy and design of freshwater and coastal systems. Through the study of water from the top of the watershed to the coast, this class focuses on the role of designers and allied professionals in the design and management of the dynamic interface between land and water. Through a multi-scalar approach, students will learn about the impacts of urbanization on water quality and coastal ecosystems, current approaches to the restoration of freshwater and coastal ecosystems, storm water management techniques and calculations, and the impact of climate change on water resources. Major requirement for MLA-I program; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors and Brown University students by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  3. This course examines current issues raised by the design of built environments and explores the cultures, conditions, events, attitudes and design works of the past that form the ideological, physical and practical background against which today's landscapes are made, interpreted and valued. Critical to this course will be the establishment of frameworks for historical inquiry, the refinement of research methodologies, and the development of multiple perspectives through which to question and understand the designed environment. Permission of Instructor required.
  4. This course will explore the use of plants as a design medium while balancing the horticultural considerations. There will be analyses of existing gardens, field trips, and the creation of schematic and detailed planting plans for different types of sites. Topics such as seasonality, texture, color and form will be discussed. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  5. Since it's creation over 100 years ago, landscape architecture has expanded beyond horticultural preoccupations to a discipline that engages natural, political and cultural systems to build ecological and social resilience. This professional practice seminar explores contemporary practices of landscape architecture through the exploration of six current trends in practice: operating, researching, engaging, constructing, programming, and sustaining. These topics are explored and discussed through student research initiatives, in-class lectures, readings, case study presentations from a wide range of practitioners, office visits, and site visits. The goal of the course is to expose students to the variety of ways to practice landscape architecture today. Students are encouraged to ask questions, bring their own experiences to class, and be open to new ideas and perspectives. Please see 2014 class blog for student content and writing samples: http://principlesofpractice2014.tumblr.com Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  6. The advanced course studies multimedia drawing It explores the possibilities with the material and content of two dimensional expression. The class encourages greater connections with the design studios by testing and reevaluating design work through the lens of phenomenology and seriality. Scale and composition are emphasized in the detailed and constructed drawings that are required in class. Individual investigations are developed throughout this advanced course to encourage a way of making marks that connect with the various modes of exploration in their studio work. Estimated Materials Cost: $225.00 Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  7. What do these words mean and what is their relationship to each other in the architectural design disciplines? Each word is packed with complex and evolving meanings that reflect the state of human knowledge about the environments in which we live and in which we intervene. Each word reflects our understanding of systems, physical, cultural and social, biotic and abiotic, as well as our aspirations to conserve, restore, or reshape those systems. Each word is ubiquitous in the contemporary quest to construct a sustainable, resilient future. But do we really understand what they mean? Are they critically interdependent or can they be considered separately? This studio will examine these questions with the twin objectives of establishing an evolving and dynamic understanding of the terms and generating working methods that respond to the complexities of scale encountered in the landscape. Estimated Materials Cost: $250.00 Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  8. This seminar engages the rich dialogue that occurs between digital space and manual space. It will focus on independent lines of investigation exploring drawings that generate and communicate three dimensional experiences that transform over time. We will be using multiple technologies including photography, scanning, collage, photoshop, and sketchup, overlapped with direct actions taken upon the drawing surface. The focus throughout the spring will be the development of a set of drawings that utilizes the many tools of drawing from digital media to hand drawing. This seminar is an opportunity to advance theoretical and experimental expressions of your RISD trajectory. Major elective Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor.
  9. This seminar addresses contemporary issues in of cities within a historical, cultural and global context. Lectures will cover the history of urbanization, urban spatial form, and contemporary urban theory. Students will spend the semester studying and comparing global cities through 3 phases of research: historical development of the city, contemporary urban issues and future scenarios. Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors & Brown University students by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  10. This final core studio stresses large-scale and planning issues, complex sites, and urban conditions. The city is a living organism which evolves in a particular locale with a particular form due to a combination of environmental and cultural factors. These factors, the forces they represent and the material results of their interaction form, in their interrelated state, what can be called "urban systems." The many forces at play within cities-social, cultural, economic, ideological, ecological, infra structural, morphological and visual-combine in various ways to created both an identifiable urban realm and the many sub zones within this. Yet, none of these factors is static and unchanging; and, as a result, urban systems, urban dynamics, and urban identity are likewise in a continuous state of flux. This studio will explore these systems and the complex issues at play in our urban areas and the potential for positive change. Estimated Materials Cost: $250.00 Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  11. All Landscape Architecture graduate students at RISD are required to submit a Thesis Book that is the culmination of the work undertaken in the Advanced Design Research Studio (Thesis). The Thesis Book class is designed to support the written and graphic component of the Thesis Book. The course will provide resources to support the framing and reflection of the thesis work through writing. In addition, the graphic layout of the book will be used as a tool to help structure the inquiry into student's thesis topics. Estimated Materials Cost: $200.00 Major requirement; LDAR majors only. Registration by Landscape Architecture Design Department, course not available via web registration.