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LAND 364 Design and Nature


Autumn Term 2017 will be devoted to the exploration of design and nature issues within the context of scenic- and fauna-rich mountain ecosystems. Over the last three decades, road-kill has overtaken hunting as the number one human-induced cause of direct death to wild animals on land. As students of Design and Nature, you will concern yourselves with evaluation, design, and writing while exploring the fundamental theories and methods of decision making for an extremely sensitive mountain landscape where wildlife are at risk. You will learn the history and philosophy of landscape planning, issues of perception of the natural and cultural landscape, analytical techniques, and computer technology. Attention is focused on experiences that result in mastery of the sequential components of landscape analysis; research, analysis, and synthesis. Landscape inventory, analysis and design methods are addressed in a series of discussions and projects. Design and Nature brings together and demands the application of the entire content of the curriculum you have experienced to date. Learning landscape analysis and design theories and methods requires exploration of an integrated sequence of increasingly complex project processes and case study situations.


Wildlife Crossings

New Methods

Although there are adequate CSU computing facilities, it will help significantly in this and other courses to have your own computer with InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Rhino, SketchUp, and AutoCAD.

Letter Grade Definitions:

” A ” Submittals are of distinctive thoroughness and quality and students attended each class per CSU guidelines.

” 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.

In order to conclude a relative distinctive thoroughness and quality, I consider the essential components of landscape architectural design values (Vitruvian principals): utilitas (function, usefulness, utility), firmitas (solidity, materiality, strength), and venustas (beauty, delight, desire).

Students are assessed on physical presence in the studio, progress and contributions in class discussions and reviews, on figure grounds for determining design principles, on ecological transects, on design plans, on axonometrics, on eye-level drawings of form and character, on a written reflective summary of intent, and on the final amalgamation of projects.

This landscape architectural studio focuses learning on a series of design projects comprised of a series of tasks centered on a design theme.  All design studio projects require students to analyze existing designs and propose an alternative, reflective solution, and to create a physical prototype for their own design.  Each component of each studio project is focused to achieve particular student learning outcomes. Each design assignment includes explicit due dates and minimum requirements to be met.

The processes and outcomes of the studio projects are exploratory and ‘open-ended.’ The studio includes a range of projects and activities that can be analyzed for their capacity to address skills development, concrete knowledge and tacit knowledge:

Skills development  – occurs when students are working with and through categories or orders of disciplinary specific knowledge using disciplinary specific skills and conventions.

Concrete knowledge – tends to be structured, such as knowledge of composition, materiality, form, space and its experience.

Tacit knowledge  – is indicated by the student’s judgment in relation to knowledge and skills.  It is accumulated through applying skills and concrete knowledge during a process and allows an understanding of abstract notions of order and the conceptualization and synthesis of ideas.

8/22 Introduction – Organize Studio – Begin design research and exploration of precedents 8/24 Class discussion and workshop
8/29 Class workshop 8/31 Review design research and precedents – Begin design analysis plans (10 minimum)
9/5 Drawings due 9/7 Review design analyses – Begin 3D shape analysis
9/12 Class discussion 9/14 Review shape analyses – Begin site selection
9/19 Class discussion 9/21 Review site selection – Begin figure ground of site issues
9/26 Class discussion 9/28 Review site issues – Begin ecological transects, including roadway elements, topography, water, flora, and fauna
10/3 Class discussion 10/5 Review ecological transects – Begin design
10/101 Class discussion 10/11 Review plan – Begin axon and eye level sketches
10/17 Class discussion 10/19 Review axon and eye-level character sketches – Begin analysis of topographical connections between the overpass and overlook
10/24 Class discussion 10/26 Review analysis of connections – Begin figure ground of the overlook
10/30 Class discussion 11/2 Review figure ground – Begin ecological transects of the overlook
11/7 Class discussion 11/9 Review ecological transects – Begin plan for overlook
11/14 Class discussion 11/16 Review plan for overlook – Begin axon and eye-level character sketches for the overlook
11/28 Class discussion 11/31 Review axon and eye-level character sketch for overlook – Begin multi-media presentation
12/5 Class discussion 12/7 Class discussion
Project Review Week – We will meet date-time designated for the last exam for 364 (exam schedule 1-4:40 T-TH)

Student Conduct

This course will adhere to the 2011 Academic Integrity Policy of the Colorado State University General Catalog and the Student Conduct Code for all graded elements with regard to appropriate uses of sources, internet or otherwise; receiving assistance from others; and the use of prior work.

CSU Honor Pledge:

I pledge on my honor that I will not receive or give any unauthorized assistance in this course.




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