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

Main Studio.

Two projects of different lengths will be undertaken during the semester. Outline briefs for both projects will be presented online 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 resident in Newcastle will be able to follow a given route through a local park. 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.

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 online 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, 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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00Synchronous online. Students are seen in groups of 4.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching72:0014:00Critical reviews. Synchronous online. Students present work in groups of 4.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops25:0010:00Non-synchronous lecture materials and tasks.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Synchronous briefings (recorded for non-synchronous online viewing)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops210:0020:00Non-synchronous lectures, reading materials and tasks
Guided Independent StudyProject work1160:00160:00Project work related to main studio projects 1 and 2.
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion87:0056:00Skills workshops. Non-synchronous lecture materials with synchronous tasks.
Guided Independent StudyProject work195:0095:00Work related to design and skills workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork34:0012:00Site visits. Subject to latest government regulations / university guidance.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork41:004:00Virtual site visits. Non-synchronous online. Alternatives / supplements to actual site visits (see
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery100:305:00Synchronous online. One-to-one bookable sessions, not mandatory.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk42:008:00Synchronous (sessions recorded for non-synchronous online viewing).
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 online briefings, group tutorials, workshops and critical reviews. Online 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
PiP hours: A significant component of learning and teaching happens through open air ‘site visits’. We expect these events to take place, subject to government and University guidelines on health and safety. Where additional present in person activity is envisaged, this will be delivered at programme level through Studio hours. Please refer to programme level PiP briefing note.
Synchronous v Non-synchronous Hours: While there is both synchronous and non-synchronous learning and teaching activity for all modules, across the programme the structured guided learning is weighted towards non-design modules and the scheduled learning and teaching activity hours are weighted towards Landscape Architecture Studio modules. The latter is a reflection of design studio pedagogy, which 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

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 proj1M15Design project 1 organised by school
Design/Creative proj1M50Design project 2 organised by school
Portfolio1M20Design workshop exercises 1 and 2 organised by school
Reflective log1M15N/A
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