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LAND 230 – Drawing the Landscape


Lectures and studio projects engage students in cultural and natural imagery, the consideration and presentation of ideas, the analysis of landscape, and the craft of making forms and spaces. The format allows students to become creatively invested with studio projects that respond to lectures, social media and course information. The course addresses issues of personal skills, landscape architectural literacy and the central role of the profession in design and planning for environment and society. The first of the sequence of landscape design and planning studios, LAND 230 introduces the visual language for exploring, describing, analyzing, and designing landscapes. A series of accessible exercises explores the beginning methods and skills for illustrating landscape elements, spaces, surfaces, and materials. Students will develop and present increasingly beautiful and poetic projects throughout the semester. Peer-to-peer teaching and learning will be encouraged and promoted. For 230, the definition of drawing is beginning graphics, illustration, rendering, representing and sketching. Photography and imaging will be included in projects throughout the term.

My overriding goal is to attract and teach idealistic and creative students in a professionally relevant learning environment. Eventually, through our nationally-accredited course sequence, you will be enabled with the principles, methods and skills necessary to conduct the day-to-day work as well as the most important and sustainable work of the profession. As professor, my job is to make the major and profession accessible to you. As student, your job is to come to class and to do your best on the projects. Always, please feel free to ask me for help with projects and life at CSU.

References: Sullivan, Chip. Drawing the Landscape – 4th Edition. Also, social media sources as discussed in class.

The following link goes to the ASLA frequently asked question page. It has good info about possibilities in the profession.

Letter Grade Definitions – 100% of the grade will be based on your projects and your presence in the studio, as follows:

” A ” Submittals are of distinctive thoroughness and quality.

” B ” Submittals would be of distinctive thoroughness and quality with minor revisions or additions.

” C ” Submittals would be of distinctive thoroughness and quality with moderate revisions or additions.

” D ” Submittals would be of distinctive thoroughness and quality with major revisions or additions.

” F ” Submittals are without, or nearly without, redeeming qualities.

Rubric: Come to class, explore the projects, and do good work.

Digital and Hand Applications

Although there are adequate student facilities in NES, it will help significantly in this and other courses to have your own computer with Adobe Apps, AutoCAD, Google Earth, Microsoft Office and Rhino (not Mac version – yet). Notebook/sketchbook, studio space, and studio materials and equipment, and social media presence are required.

How to Learn Better

Be present at the beginning of each class .. Be engaged .. Do one thing at a time .. Know the problem .. Learn to listen .. Learn to ask questions ..  Distinguish sense from nonsense .. Accept change as inevitable .. Admit mistakes .. Big ideas, small words .. Be calm .. Smile. (Largely borrowed from the Harvard School of Design Student Handbook, 2016)

On the profession:

Address: Greg Miller, ASLA, 2017 President-Elect’s Speech to the Board of Trustees and Chapter Presidents Council, delivered May 21, 2016. You can access more material and view the video here.

I’m Greg Miller and I’m a landscape architect in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I get to design public parks, streetscapes, schools, residences, and therapeutic landscapes. I love being a landscape architect because it combines art with sciences like ecology, sociology, psychology, and hydrology. I create places that integrate people with the outdoors in safe, accessible, and environmentally sustainable ways.

That’s it. That’s the elevator speech. That’s all it takes to briefly tell your story. I’ve gotten to know a lot of landscape architects around the country, and we’re all pretty similar. We share the same comprehensive perspective of the world around us and have similar values and ethics. We’re also extremely proud of the work we do but are generally humble and don’t always feel comfortable telling our story. Our biggest challenge as a profession is the lack of public understanding of our expertise. It’s our biggest challenge because it can trigger a wide range of other problems. We’ve been working hard to raise public awareness, and we’re doing better than ever. The issue is that PR is a relentless effort because the audience and issues continuously change and evolve.
We’re not necessarily shy about stating our value. Fifty years ago, a bold group came together to write a Declaration of Concern that avowed the vital role of the profession as part of a collective effort to solve critical environmental problems. We’ve since established landscape architecture as an example for how to better plan, design, and care for the built and natural environment.

Fifty years later, we’re still facing some of the same environmental issues, and frankly we’ve added a whole lot more concerns to the list. But we’ve established landscape architecture as the profession that can have the most profound role in the solving these issues. Landscape architecture puts it all together. I think we’re poised for explosive growth of our influence. We’re ready to stand together as a society and move into a new era.

One of the main agenda items of this meeting is to discuss rebranding. Those discussions are causing us to take an introspective look at who we are, what we do, and how we’re positioning ourselves for the future. We’re finding that task somewhat difficult. It’s clear in our own minds, but can we find that same clarity in our external message? We see the world as a more complex set of systems, and we’ve gained additional expertise to the point that it’s hard to summarize our capabilities. That’s good, because it’s a reflection of the profession’s increased value. However, it makes it harder to articulate a succinct message.

It also makes it harder on the future of the practice. Students and early-career professionals are expected to know more and communicate in a greater variety of ways. We expect the next generation to know the basics and be experts in a wide range of other topics. We’re asking them to retain the art of the profession, while layering more sciences into the design process. In addition to geology, botany, sociology, psychology, and ecology, we’ve added epidemiology, neuro-physiology, and anthecology (study of pollinators) to the curriculum. We’ve also added transportation engineering, hydrological engineering, materials science, and macro-economics as basic components of our body of knowledge.

Our traditional skills, and emerging areas of expertise, will position landscape architects as the profession most adept at solving the problems associated with climate change, increasing urbanization, over-extended natural resources, and social injustice. We can live up to that challenge.

The way we get there is two-fold: continue successful programs that are producing results, and create complimentary programs that will build on those successes. The primary way to build on our successes is to reinforce and promote the work that our chapters are doing in support of the national agenda. We have great chapter leaders who are excited to enact their own local programs. Every chapter is different, so the support needs to be flexible. Here are the key programs areas and ways that I think we can assist chapter development and produce greater results.

Public Relations ASLA has created a fantastic plan for public relations. On the national level, our honors and awards, World Landscape Architecture Month, and a whole host of other programs give us a tremendous wealth of material to promote the profession. Our biggest opportunity comes with empowering chapters to increase the effectiveness of their own PR campaigns. The public relations summit is already doing that and can continue to provide tools for chapters to use in their own efforts. We can get every state to designate April as Landscape Architecture Month. Chapters can use their resources to create visitors guide apps that highlight award-winning and notable projects. Let’s distribute the existing templates and allow chapters to build the PR network across the country.

Advocacy ASLA has also created an incredibly effective advocacy network. We need to continue to reinforce state and local level advocacy. The advocacy summit has been doing a great job of teaching chapter leaders how to enact their own plans, but we need to make our efforts more proactive. Greater understanding of the profession by state legislators will reduce our need to defend licensure. The more we assist city leaders to craft policy, the greater the likelihood that landscape architecture is codified as a critical element of urban planning and development. Expanding and diversifying our collaborative efforts with allied professionals will build relationships and further establish landscape architecture as a pre-requisite to good design.

Membership Our membership programs have established ASLA’s retention rate as one of the highest among professional associations. ASLA continues to provide critical support to chapters through the Chapter Presidents Council and membership committees. We need to continue to evaluate our programs and communications media to stay relevant to the next generation of landscape architects. We also need to help foster collaborations between professional and student chapters. Leadership development and expanding our diversity should be common themes throughout all of our efforts.

Professional Practice ASLA’s support of professional practice comes in many forms. One area of exciting development has been the growth of the Professional Practice Networks (PPNs). Recent changes including discussion groups on LinkedIn, publication of The Field, and the Online Learning series are making the PPNs much more effective. There may be a way to expand PPNs to include a more regional or local focus and create further interconnectivity between our members.

Renovation, restoration, rejuvenation, remediation, and reinvigoration allow us to grow within our footprint and will continue to redefine our communities. I think the golden years of the profession lie ahead of us, and I’m excited for what the future brings.

When people ask me what I do, I ask them how long they have. The long answer is long. The short answer is: I design the places that you enjoy in a way that will allow your great-grandchildren to enjoy them too.

The conceptualization and synthesis of ideas – schedule based on class progress:

8/21 Introduction – Begin self-portrait 8/23 Class discussion of your self-portrait photo – Begin drawings for two photos
8/28 Class discussion of your drawings – begin options 8/30 Review options – Begin earth, fire, water, wind
9/4 Labor Day Holiday 9/6 Review drawings – Begin Tree 45s
9/11 Review  – Begin Tree forms – 45s 9/13 Review  – Begin Mike Lin & Thomas Schaller smooth color
9/18 Review  – Begin Photoshop 9/20 Review  – Begin Photo – b7w 45s and smooth color
9/25 Review  – Continue Photoshop methods 9/27 Review  – Continue Photoshop methods
10/2 Review  – Begin landscape plans 10/4 Review  – Begin plan rendering
10/9 Review  – Begin landscape axons 10/11 Review  – Continue axons – hand drawn and Photoshop
10/16 Review  – Begin quarry stone installation in perspective 10/18 Review  – Continue quarry stone installation in perspective
10/23 Review  – Continue quarry stone design in perspective 10/25 Review  – Continue quarry stones w/ mountain and spruces
10/30 Review  – Begin Rhino 3D 11/1 Review  – Continue Rhino 3D
11/6 Review  – Begin Chelsea Competition in Rhino 11/8 Review  – Continue Chelsea Competition in Rhino
11/13 Review  – Begin  cross-sections 11/15 Review  – Begin in-class cross-sections – due at noon
 11/27 Review  – Begin in-class for pencil outlines, purposeful ink, and color between… 11/29 Review  – Continue in-class drawing
12/4 Review  – Begin continue in-class drawing 12/6 Review  – Continue in-class drawing – Begin final project
Project Review Week – We will meet to review final projects on the date-time of the CSU finals schedule for the hours 9-11:40 M-W.
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