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ARC8121 : Landscape Architecture Studio 1: Introduction to Design

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Charlotte Veal
  • Lecturer: Dr Usue Ruiz Arana, Mr Smajo Beso, Dr Ian Thompson
  • Visiting Lecturer: Mr Geoff Whitten
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 40
ECTS Credits: 20.0


To introduce students to landscape design and to develop their design and communication skills through skill-building workshops, design exercises and site-based design projects.

Outline Of Syllabus

Main Studio.

Two projects of different lengths will be undertaken during the semester. Outline briefs for both projects will be presented in the first teaching week. A second briefing session will be held at the start of Project 2.

Project One: This is an exploration of the perception of space and form in the landscape. Typically, this will involve walking through a particular landscape, noting its salient characteristics and their effect upon the emotions. It fosters a subjective awareness of landscape. Students are required to record their emotional responses to the spaces which they encounter during the walk and to present these in graphical form.

Project Two: This involves the design of a sculpture park on a green site in Newcastle provided by the tutors. Students will be required to undertake desk study of the site, following a site visit and using materials available online or provided by tutors. The design project involves master-planning, detailed design, preparation of a planting strategy and indicative construction details.

Design Workshop Exercises. ‘Limbering Up’.

A series of short exercises intended to introduce students to aspects of landscape architecture. They are supplementary to the main studio programme. Outline briefs will be presented at the start of each exercise.

Workshop one: soundscape narratives. Students will keep a sound diary and produce a collage depicting their emotional response to a pre-recorded soundscape.

Workshop two: interspecies narratives. Habitat study: students will design an element of the landscape to respond to non-humans as end users of a designed landscape.

Skills-building Workshops.

A series of workshops throughout the semester which introduces students to a range of design-related communication skills and software. It shares some teaching with ARC8115. Topics covered include such things as Digimap, creation of base plans, scales of drawing, hand-drawing skills, introduction to Sketch-up, concept diagramming, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, photography for landscape, Photoshop, visualisation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00Syncrhonous online design tutorials. Students are seen in small groups. Includes formative reviews.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00Critical reviews. Synchronous online. Students present work in small groups.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00PIP in studio design tutorials. Students are seen in small groups.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops14:004:00PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops43:0012:00Skills building workshops (shared with ARC8115). Synchronous online.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00Skills building workshops (landscape). Synchronous online.
Guided Independent StudyProject work1317:30317:30N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork44:0016:00Site visits. Subject to latest government regulations / university guidance.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery70:303:30PIP in studio. One-to-one bookable sessions, not mandatory.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk62:0012:00PIP
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, group tutorials, workshops and critical reviews. Designtutorials and reviews are also the principal means through which students receive feedback on their progress.
Work completed as part of the skill-building workshops is collected as a reflective log/portfolio assessed at the end of the module.
Work produced in the Design Workshops is collected in a portfolio to be submitted at the end of the module and assessed.

Contact hours combine synchronous in studio (face to face) and online individual tutorial sessions. Synchronous in studio sessions allow for large group reviews and face to face peer contact whereas synchronous online sessions enable targeted and smaller group reviews. 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 proj1M15Design project 1 organised by school
Design/Creative proj1M50Design project 2 organised by school
Portfolio1M10Design workshop exercise 1 organised by school. Limbering up exercises.
Reflective log1M15Portfolio
Portfolio1M10Design workshop exercise 2 organised by school. Limbering up exercises.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The design projects and portfolio/reflective log presented by the students on completion of the module capture and synthesize the knowledge and skills developed throughout the semester through site visits (live/online), briefings, small group tutorials, design surgeries, workshops and critical review.

Reading Lists