Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Program Computers in Landscape Architecture


Course Co-ordinator: Robert Hotten, Lecturer: Peter Diprose

1998 Semester Two, Number: 01.628


Aim/Course Description:

Intermediate introduction to the application of computers in landscape architectural design.

Learning Outcomes/Pedagogic Objectives:

This course has three main objectives.

First, it will provide you with enough practical computing skills to understand and make immediate, effective use of the emerging digital repertoire.

Second, it will provide a theoretical foundation of basic computational ideas.

Third, through critical discussion, it will explore the relationship of traditional and computer-based design techniques, and the cultural implications of computer use.


Microcomputing in Landscape Architecture

This course is designed to introduce students to common microcomputer packages as applied to research and practice in landscape architecture. Development of creative potential and exploration of media and tools are goals.

Surveys basic theoretical and applied aspects of computing and computer graphics for designers and planners. Covers digital design media (numbers, words, graphics, video, etc) and tools (word processing, spreadsheets, image processing, 2D and 3D drafting, animation and modelling, etc) with an emphasis on fundamental concepts and aspects of design computing contructing digital models of the environment.

For those students who do not plan to pursue additional computing courses in the college, this course will provide a sufficient hands-on introduction to the capabilities of different microcomputing packages. For those students who do plan to take additional computing courses, this course will serve as a basic foundation.

Data Analysis

GIS mapping is a promising a tool. "Landscape architects are geospatial designers, and so sometimes you may think of them as creators of artistic expression... But at their hearts they are rational thinkers. They are trained in integration and decision making, and they know how to think holistically, and all of this is coupled with the value system of biophilia." (Dangermond 1997)

Computer-Aided Nature (CAN)

This is an introduction to the area of computer-aided nature (CAN). Recent computer hardware and software have brought cyberspace and virtual reality into the nature versus culture relationship. Several ideas follow.

1. Alluring "second nature" experiences can be realised in virtual interactive 3D objects and scenes.

2. Greater opportunities exist to represent and realize culturally enhancing natural landscape developments as the product of the genius of popular imagination.

3. Conservation of all environments may be more easily effected with the intersection of cyberspace and geo-physical space. (Hotten 1998)

Prospect Refuge Theory

The Experience of Landscape (Appleton 1997) (Prospect Refuge Theory)

Table I The imagery and symbolism of the prospect Table 2 The imagery and symbolism of the hazard Table 3 The imagery and symbolism of the refuge Table 4 Surfaces and Horizons Table 4A Classification of surfaces by configuration Surfaces may be classified according to ordinary geometrical terms, e.g. 'horizontal',
'vertical', 'inclined', 'convex', 'undulating', etc., some of which suggest an affinity
with particular kinds of symbolism; e.g. convex surfaces suggest prospect values; concave
surfaces refuge values; undulating surfaces an alteration of both.
Table 4B Classification of surfaces by texture 1. Terrestrial surfaces A. Open surfaces (i) Naked a,b, etc.; sub-categories by lithology, natural/artificial. etc. (ii) Carpeted a,b, etc.; sub-categories by genera, species, etc. B. Arboreal surfaces (i), (ii) etc.; categories by genera, species, habit of growth, natural/artificial, etc. C. Architectural surfaces (i), (ii) etc.; categories by components (e.g. walls, roofs, etc.), materials (e.g. masonry, timber, etc.) 2. Aquatic surfaces May be classified by various properties, e.g. roughness/smoothness, flow/stagnation,
ice formation, cover of aquatic vegetation, etc. 3. Nebulous surfaces May be distinguished by general descriptive terms, e.g. 'clouds', 'fog', 'smoke', etc. N.B. All the above terminology may be equally well applied to horizons,
and all categories of surface except No. 3 (Nebulous surfaces)
may take on very different appearances under a cover of ice or snow with
consequent changes in the balance of symbolism.

Course Schedule

Note: These times are offered as a guide but may change. Please check the notice area in the studio for more details on a regular basis.


Lecture and Forum: Introduction/Topography (2-3, Room #27) Walkabout 1 (FracHill, Vision 3D), Computer Class (Room 2004, 3-4/4-5)

Week 2 29 Jul Lecture: GIS (2-3, Room #27) Walkabout 2 (Scan, Photoshop, MacGis), Computer Class (Rooms 2004/ET)

Week 3 5 Aug Computer Class (Room 2004, 2-3:30/3:30-5). Tutorials. Walkabout 1 review

Week 4 12 Aug Education Training (Internet), Computer Class (Room ET), Tutorials, Walkabout 2 review


Week 5 19 Aug II. DESIGN
Lecture: Collage (2-3, Room #27), Computer Class (Room 2004, 3-4/4-5), Tutorials, Exercise 1 (Design, Photoshop, Strata Studio)

Week 6 26 Aug Education Training (Photoshop), Computer Class(Room ET), Tutorials, Exercise 2 (Design Maze, Photoshop, ArchiCad)

Week 7 2 Sep Lecture and Forum: Montage: Design in 3D (2-3, Room #27), Computer Class(Rooms 2004/ET), Tutorials, (Premiere, QT Panorama)

Week 8 9 Sep Education Training (Photoshop), Computer Class(Rooms 2004/ET), Tutorials, Exercise 1 due


Lecture: Strata Studio, Artisan, AutoCad, ArchiCAD (2-3, Room #27). Exercise 3. Computer Class(Rooms 2004/ET), Tutorials, Exercise 2 due

Week 10 23 Sep Computer Class (Rooms 2004/ET), Tutorials

Week 11 14 Oct Computer Class (Rooms 2004/ET), Tutorials

Week 12 21 Oct Lecture and Forum: Theory (2-3, Room #27). Computer Class (Rooms 2004/ET), Tutorials

Week 13 28 Oct Computer Class (Room 2004, 2-3:30/3:30-5), Tutorials

Week 14 4 Nov Computer Class (Room 2004, 2-3:30/3:30-5), Tutorials, Exercise 3 due


Time: Wed 2-5

(locations: Landscape room #27/#2004, Education Training, unless otherwise noted)


Basis of Final Assessment:

There will be 2 exercises (50%), assessment of involvement and participation (25%), and a final project (25%). Grading will take account both of the technical aspects of the exercise and of the design content and graphic quality of the work that is presented. Late submissions will be penalized.


Computers in Landscape Architecture

Appleton, Jay, 1996. The Experience of Landscape, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

Boulding, Kenneth, 1969. The Image.

Harris, Steven and Burke, Deborah, editors, 1997. Architecture of The Everyday, Princeton Architectural Press, New York.

Heim, Michael, 1998. Virtual Realism, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Glacken, Clarence J., 1967. Traces on the Rhodian Shore, University of California Press, Berkeley.

Groth, Paul and Bressi, Todd W., editors, 1997. Understanding Ordinary Landscapes, Yale University Press, New Haven.

Kelly, Kevin, 1994. Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World, Addison-Wesley: Reading Massachusetts.

Klee, Paul, 1967. Pedagogical Sketchbook, Praeger, New York.

Leopold, Aldo, 1949. A Sand County Almanac, Oxford University Press: New York.

Reingold, Howard, 1994. The Virtual Community.

Robert D. Hotten, MLA (