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60 302 Themes and Concepts in Landscape Architecture

Full course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Tema og konsepter i landskapsarkitekturen
Course code: 
60 302
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2020 Autumn
Assessment semester: 
2020 Autumn
Language of instruction: 
Maximum number of students: 
Person in charge
Janike Kampevold Larsen
Required prerequisite knowledge

This course is mandatory for 1st year Master of Landscape Architecture students, and open to other students that have passed the foundation level.

Course content

The course introduces the students to basic concepts and elements in landscape architecture. It provides a broad ranged introduction to the discipline and the way it is being taugth at AHO. Students will be introduced to most of the teachers at the Institute of Landscape and Urbanism who will all give a lecture on one of their fields of research and expertice. The course reflects on the disciplines intimate connection with other disciplines, on garden history, spatial planning, urban design and urban space, sustainable infrastructure and the role of water territories in the contemporary landscape.

The course is structured around lectures and seminars. Some of the teachers will take the students on fieldtrips.

Professor in charge: 

Janike Kampevold Larsen, Hannes Zander

Additional staff: 

Marianne Skjulhaug, Rainer Stange, Sabine Muller, Luis Callejas, Peter Hemmersam, Elisabeth Ulrika Sjødahl, Hanne Bat Finke, Jonny Aspen, Karin Helms, Giambattista Zaccariotto

Learning outcome

After passed course the student shall understand how ecological, infrastructural factors shape the urban landscape, and will have a broad knowledge of landscape architecture’ s themes and concepts.

Students will be introduced to basic landscape architectural theory and theories on contemporary urbanism.

Working and learning activities

The course consists of 11 lectures, all of which will be followed by a 2 hour text seminar. Lectures will focus on core themes within the institute's portfolio of teching and research. 

 Tuesday mornings 10:00 - 13:00 from August to October.

Tentative plan, order may change:

  • August 25: Janike Kampevold Larsen: Introduction to landscape architecture’s core concepts, relationship to other fields and to theories. 

  • September 1: Hanne Bat Finke: Landscape art, when form is more than function

  • September 8: Rainer Stange: Garden history. Water in the Garden over 1000 Years.

  • September 15: Luis Callejas: The Nature of Image

  • September 22: Peter Hemmersam: Urban design 

  • September 29: Jonny Aspen: Urban space

  • October 6: excursion week

  • October 13: Marianne Skjulhaug: Peri-urban – anticipation and temporality

  • October 20: Sabine Müller: Water urbanism, water machines, water places

  • October 27: Elisabeth Sjødahl: Beautiful Landscapes and Heavy Pollution - larger landscape projects organized as environmental infrastructures

  • November 3: Karin Helms

  • November 10: Giambattista Zaccariotto: Void as a tool in urban landscape configuration


Mandatory Reading: 

Relevant literature for each lecture and the following seminar will be uploaded to Moodle.  

Recommended Reading

Boulevard Book. History, Evolution, Design of Multiway Boulevards Allan Jacobs Allan Jacobs. Elizabeth MacDonald, Yodan Rofe. The MIT Press August 2003

The Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture. Waterman, Tim. AVA Publishing, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2009

Digital Landscape Architecture Now. Amoroso, N. & Hargreaves, G. Thames and Hudson 2012

Suggested Reading:

Great Streets. August 1995 The MIT Press August 1995

Des arbres dans la ville.  Caroline Mollie, Actes Sud & Val'hor, Paris, 2009

Promenades de Paris. Adolphe Alphonse, Paris, 1867-73, 2002

Blågrønn hovedstad. Oslo Elveforum, Oslo, 2010

Design With Nature . McHarg, Ian. 1971,  Garden City: Natural History Press.

The Granite Garden . Spirn, Anne Whiston, New York, Basic Book, Inc., 1984.

CENTER,  Volume 14: On Landscape Urbanism (Paperback) The Center for American Architecture and Design; 1st edition (April 1, 2007)

Landscape Urbanism  - Kerb 15 (Paperback) RMIT Press 2007

The Recovering of Landscape . Corner, ed. 1999. Princeton Architectural Press.

The Landscape Approach, Lassus, Bernard. 1998, University of Pennsylvania Press.

Mappings,  Cosgrove, Denis (ed.), 1999, London

Unnatural Horizons: Paradox and Contradiction in Landscape Architecture . Weiss, Allen S., 1989, New York : Princeton Architectural Press

The Landscape Urbanism Reader, Charles Waldheim. Princeton Architectural Press; 2006

Territories: From Landscape to City . Agence Ter  and Lisa Diedrich  (Editor). 2008, Birkhäuser Basel

Intermediate Natures: The Landscapes of Michel Desvigne by E. Kugler  (Translator), James Corner  (Foreword), Gilles A. Tiberghien (Contributor) 2008, Birkhäuser Basel

The New Economy of Nature. Gretchen Daily and Katherine Ellison, Island Press, 2003

Politics of Nature, Bruno Latour and Catherine Porter. Harvard University Press, 2004

Living Systems. Margolis/ Robinson, 2007. Built examples,

innovative materials and technologies in landscape architecture praxis.


JOLA  (Journal of Landscape Architecture)

New geographies

‘ scape: The International Magazine of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism

Topos: European Landscape Magazine

Also, you might want to check out following thematic websites on the internet:

LE:NOTRE www.le-notre.org

LE:NOTRE°Mundus  Le Notre’s non- European partners network

ECLAS The European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools

ELASA - European Landscape Architecture Students Association

NLA- Norwegian Landscape Architects (Students) Association

IFLA International Federation of Landscape Architects

European Urban Landscape Partnership: the planning and management of the urban landscape

During the individual coaching sessions each student will be given texts and or litterature related to the topic of their assignment

Form of assessmentGroupingGrading scaleComment
Project assignmentIndividualPass / failThe students are to submit a written assignment at the end of the semester. Choose one of the themes that have been presented during the semester, and write an essay of app. 4-5 pages. Supervision will be given during the elective’s week. The assignment is due November 15
Form of assessment:Project assignment
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Comment:The students are to submit a written assignment at the end of the semester. Choose one of the themes that have been presented during the semester, and write an essay of app. 4-5 pages. Supervision will be given during the elective’s week. The assignment is due November 15