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New Resources to Teach Landscape Performance


Attention landscape architecture faculty preparing for the upcoming schoolyear: The Resources for Educators section of now features materials from 10 university landscape architecture courses that incorporate landscape performance. The materials include syllabi, reading lists, assignments, sample student work, and faculty reflections on their pedagogical approaches and experiences teaching landscape performance. Whether you are looking to devote a class period to landscape performance or use it as an organizing theme for the entire semester, these teaching materials provide you with some tried and tested models.

The course materials were developed through LAF’s Landscape Performance Education Grants, a program that offers $2,500 mini-grants to faculty to develop and test ways to integrate landscape performance into standard landscape architecture course offerings. Five new courses were recently added from the faculty members that participated during the Spring 2015 term. They include studio, seminar, and lecture courses, ranging from introductory to advanced.

Many landscape architecture faculty are already teaching performance in some capacity, and the concept is being increasingly embraced in academia and practice:

“In my opinion, students graduating with a landscape architecture degree must have exposure to the theories and methods regarding landscape performance, including aesthetic and ecosystem service contributions, in order to become responsible and effective designers.”
            — Kofi Boone, Associate Professor, North Carolina State University

Students also see tremendous benefit to being exposed to performance in their landscape architecture coursework:

“Learning about performance landscapes is beneficial to our education, and I think it should be taught more due to the state of our planet. If I had to critique any aspect of our performance studio it would be that I wish we could have done more with it. There need to be more non-studio classes addressing landscape performance.”
          — Wayne Nemec, Third-Year BLA Student, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

LAF is committed to helping the next generation of design professionals obtain the knowledge and technical skills they need to measure and communicate the environmental, economic, and social impact of landscape solutions. The Landscape Performance Education Grants were made possible with support from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s Foundation for Education & Research. A total of ten $2,500 grants were awarded in 2014 and 2015. LAF is actively pursuing funding and sponsorships to be able to continue the program in future years.

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