ARC8121 : Landscape Architecture Studio 1: Introduction to Design

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

Design Workshop Exercises. ‘Limbering Up’.

A series of short exercises intended to introduce students to aspects of landscape architect. They are supplementary to the main studio programme.

Workshop one: soundscape narratives. Two exercises: Sound diary and collage.

Workshop two: cultural narratives. Students will use photography to record and decipher the human activity in a local landscape.

Workshop three: interspecies narratives. Habitat study: a reflection on non-humans as end users of a designed landscape.

Main Studio.

Two projects of different lengths will be undertaken during the semester. Outline briefs for both projects will be presented online in a module talk in the first teaching week. This session will be recorded and made available for non-synchronous viewing. A second briefing session will be held at the start of Project 2.

Design tuition (small group tutorials) will be provided online on a weekly timetabled basis, using Teams, Miro and/or other appropriate software. These sessions will be recorded, in order that any students who miss their tutorials can view other tutorial sessions (and thereby gain from the advice and critical commentary given to other students). The aim is to replicate (as far as possible) the benefits of the studio teaching situation. In addition there will be a weekly scheduled drop-in design surgery conducted using Teams/Miro (or equivalent).

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 resident in Newcastle will be able to follow a given route through a local park (non synchronous). Students not resident in Newcastle will have the option of undertaking the exercise in a suitable greenspace of their own choosing. Alternatively, they will be able to view an online video recording of a walk through the selected Newcastle park. All students will be encouraged to supplement their experience of the walk (whether physical or virtual) with views of the park available from Google Earth. 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, using materials available online or provided by tutors. Depending on the prevailing public health guidance, students who are resident in Newcastle may be able to visit the site in person. All students will be provided with recordings of walks made on the site by tutors, so that they can have a vicarious experience of the site. The design project involves master-planning, detailed design, preparation of a planting strategy and indicative construction details.

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, introduction to CAD, hand-drawing skills, introduction to Sketch-up, concept diagramming, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, photography for landscape, Photoshop, visualisation.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading170:0070:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching74:0028:00Tutorial, surgeries and critical reviews
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00Groups of 4 discuss ideas in front of peers
Guided Independent StudyProject work1137:00137:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Movement workshops- video demos
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Contours workshops- video demos
Guided Independent StudyProject work52:0010:00Critical reviews
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion97:0063:00Design workshops
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion87:0056:00Skills workshops (excl week 9)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork15:005:00Virtual site visits
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork34:0012:00Site visits if rules allow.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery60:303:00Slots to discuss projects with tutors.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk42:008:00Introduction to studios
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. Tutorials 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 although students will be given formative feedback (verbal) during the workshop sessions.
Work produced in the Design Workshops is collected in a portfolio to be submitted at the end of the module and assessed for the level of technical and

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj1M25A series of graphic outputs from the ‘limbering up’ design workshops
Design/Creative proj1M25A series of graphic outputs from the skill building workshop presented in one document
Design/Creative proj1M50Design project submission
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

For the communication skills and techniques part of this module, assessment is one piece of coursework, which will demonstrate that the student has developed a range of qualitative representational skills important to the design process.
For the design workshops, assessment will be based on a portfolio of outputs from the workshops. This should demonstrate that the student has explored design concepts and strategies and has acquired an understanding of the language used in discussing and evaluating design solutions.

The main project assesses the development of design skills and is assessed through the traditional method of critical review, where students give a visual and oral presentation of their work to an audience of tutors and peers. The work is discussed and the tutors assess the work against the criteria set out in the project brief. These marks are moderated by another tutor or tutors. Feedback is given orally during the review (and a student is nominated to take notes of the discussion as a record of the feedback given).

Reading Lists