Modern & Contemporary Landscape Architecture
—required history/theory seminar in the 1st year of the MLA Program

Washington University in St. Louis


Modern & Contemporary Landscape Architecture surveys landscape architecture practice, including built projects and theoretical currents, from the large park movement of the late 19th century to early 21st century practices.

Weekly topics, related to landscape discourse through time, structure the course. In one sense the topics form a linear history of landscape architecture; at the same time, the course draws connections and criticisms among texts, projects, and contemporary frameworks. Each week, the course provides a number of critical perspectives on landscape architecture.

Together, instructor and student analyze a predominantly Western history of landscape architecture, questioning what has been included and what has been excluded in dominant narratives. The course surveys primary sources and secondary sources, with an interest in their scholarly lineages, but interrogates the notion of lineage in the production of landscapes. We look at how global transformations in social, environmental, economic, and technological realms have affected landscape discourse and practice.

An exhibit of drawings from the "Fieldnotes Study," 2016.

An exhibit of drawings from the "Fieldnotes Study," 2016.