Remixing the Landscape Architecture History Class
Jost, Daniel Carl
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The pedagogical goals for landscape architecture history courses required as part of the curriculum in professional degree programs in landscape architecture vary from school to school. One goal of some of these courses has been to provide a broad survey of the field of landscape architecture. But analysis shows some of the major design challenges and project types designers face today have minimal representation in the imagery in Elizabeth Barlow Rogers's Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History, which many landscape architecture history classes in the U.S. use as a primary text. This project explored how a one-quarter survey of historical landscapes that is offered as part of a landscape architect’s professional education might be taught in a way that more closely correlates with some of the work designers are involved with today, as described by the American Society of Landscape Architects and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. I remixed Rogers’s textbook together with other sources to provide a topically, stylistically, culturally, and chronologically broad introduction to the landscape architecture field that provides professional students a variety of examples of how they might learn from historical works of landscape architecture. Prior to creating this class, interviews were conducted to understand how current surveys of landscape architecture history that are required within the professional landscape architecture curriculum were being taught, in an attempt to build on this understanding. The class resulting from these explorations was taught in the spring of 2015 at the University of Washington. Reflections are provided on the experience.