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The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB), the official accrediting body for first professional programs in landscape architecture in the U.S., has included landscape performance in its recently-revised accreditation standards for all bachelor’s and master’s level programs. Landscape performance is listed in the Professional Curriculum section as one of the topics to be covered under “Assessment and Evaluation.”
The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) strongly supported this change, as did many of our colleagues in academia and professional practice, who provide input to the revision process. Future landscape architects must be able to assess and communicate the environmental, social, and economic impacts of design solutions.
Moving forward, as each landscape architecture program comes up for accreditation renewal (every 6 years), the program will need to demonstrate how landscape performance is being addressed. The revised 2016 LAAB Accreditation Standards take effect starting with landscape architecture programs scheduled for accreditation reviews in fall 2017. The revised 2016 LAAB Accreditation Procedures are effective immediately.
To assist faculty in incorporating landscape performance into coursework, LAF has developed a Resources for Educators database of sample teaching materials for studio, seminar, and lecture courses. Materials include syllabi, reading lists, and sample student assignments, as well as faculty reflections on their pedagogical approaches and experiences teaching landscape performance.
LAF will also continue to provide support to faculty through its Landscape Performance Education Grants. These $2,500 mini-grants allow select university faculty to develop and test models for integrating landscape performance into standard landscape architecture course offerings. Ten mini-grants were awarded in 2014 and 2015. LAF will offer five more for the Fall 2016 term/semester. Applications will be available in May and due June 15.
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