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APL8005 : Landscape Architecture Studio 1: Strategies, Forms and Narratives for Contemporary Landscape

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Usue Ruiz Arana
  • Lecturer: Ms Stef Leach
  • Visiting Lecturer: Mr Geoff Whitten
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To develop:
- landscape design skills for adaptation and resilience through experimentation and site-based design projects
- an evolving ethical framework for decision-making focused on inclusivity, de-centring human agency in design and designing for others.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will undertake a warm-up introductory group project (not assessed) and two interrelated design projects during the semester intended to enable students to learn the language of landscape for deciphering existing landscapes, and for embedding narratives in designed landscapes. Outline briefs will be presented during module talks.

Design projects aims and objectives are linked to the following United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals: 3 (good health and well-being), 10 (reduced inequalities), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 13 (climate change), 14 (life below water) and 15 (life on land).

Design Projects 1 and 2 focus on city inhabitants that are often overlooked in design (typically animals and children). The purpose of the projects is to reflect on and consider under-represented users as clients of a designed landscape. For design project 1, students work in teams of mixed backgrounds for the design a local site, sharing skills and knowledge, and to get familiar with studio design tuition. For design project 2, students work individually.

The projects typically include:

- Site Survey and creative response to under-represented users' needs
- Critical site analysis
- Concept development including site-wide strategy
- Action plan
- Planting and management strategy
- Sketches and visualisations

In studio design tuition, small group tutorials are provided on a weekly timetabled basis to provide students with required feedback to progress the design. Design projects 1 and 2 are assessed during critical reviews.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture52:0010:00PIP/Synchronous Online. Core subjects including soundscapes, interspecies, site survey and analysis, concepts and masterplans and child-friendly cities.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1160:30160:30N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00PIP In Studio Design Tutorials. Students seen in groups of 5/6. Includes formative feedback.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00Critical Review (projects 1 and 2). Groups of 5/6.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops23:006:00PIP. Subjects might include contour manipulation and creative group work.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork23:006:00Site visit: design projects 1 and 2.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:301:30PIP. Briefing session
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The design studio is the integrative environment where students can synthesise knowledge from other modules and develop their understanding and skills in the context of a design problem set by tutors. Students are supported in their learning through briefings, lectures, group tutorials, workshops and critical reviews. Design tutorials and reviews are also the principal means through which students receive feedback on their progress.

The design studio pedagogy is centred on a dialogic and responsive approach to students’ own creative work and research. Landscape Architecture pedagogy is reliant on a high proportion of independent learning to support the design process. The MOF hours are consistent with this approach.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj1M50Design project 1 (group work)
Design/Creative proj1M50Design project 2 (individual work)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The design projects presented by the students on completion of the module capture and synthesize the knowledge and skills developed throughout the semester through site visits, briefings and lectures, small group tutorials, workshops and critical reviews. The critical reviews for Project 1 and 2 are linked to summative assessment. The critical review for Project 1 is carried out in teams, preparing students for the individual critical review for Project 2.

Reading Lists