Chair Landscape Architecture

Design as a core competence in Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture encompasses a wide range of activities with contributions coming from diverse scientific fields, yet the design of specific spaces stands at the forefront of the academic discipline. Furthermore, studies of the design process have shown that design problems cannot always be given a single definitive description. For this reason, quantitative and functional approaches often fall short. The design process requires guidance from the designer and his individualized perspective. These design themes inform the entire process.

Landscape architectonic qualities as atmospheres

A central question of the academic disciplines emerges from these considerations: What is a design theme, how can it be described, and how can it be developed during the design process? These questions lead furthermore to the challenge of judging the quality of landscape architectural design. In the history of landscape architecture, the problem of defining quality in conceptual terms independent from contemporary fashions has received little systematic treatment. The ongoing development of ideas from reception aesthetics has introduced new models to landscape architecture, based on concepts of immersion, presence, and atmosphere. These terms make it possible to study spatial atmospheres without relying on normative requirements, but instead to derive them from systematic observations

Design-based Research

The central position of design in the discipline of landscape architecture raises a second important question: what are the most important theories and methods of design - based research? New knowledge in landscape architecture emerges in many cases through completed projects and the accompanying description written by the lead designer.  Based on the contemporary discourse regarding design practices, suitable methods are chosen to transfer previously unacknowledged forms of design knowledge into the academic discourse. Such an exchange has been initiated by the Design-based Doctoral Program in Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Entwurfsbasierte Promotion in Architektur und Landschaftsarchitektur, PEP) and implemented together with the architecture departments.

All members of the department are practicing designers.

The experience of design practice forms the foundation for teaching and research. The department teaches design in the Bachelor and Masters programs. The most important teaching format is the studio, which involves students and teachers working together in the design studio. Studios are accompanied by parallel seminars and exercises, which teach students how to carry out basic techniques and introduce them to the necessary theoretical foundations. Landscape architecture design and design-based research are integrated in the Master’s colloquium and in PEP.

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