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Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
collage, design, landscape architecture, architecture, planning, representation
Landscape design media comprise those graphic and spatial models used to generate imagined landscapes and to represent finished designs. But many of these traditional devices are insufficient for their purposes and/or inappropriately used, limiting conceptualization, understanding, and communication. This thesis critiques the uses of traditional representational media and proposes alternatives, relying on insights from architectural and landscape criticism, environmental psychology, cognitive science, and art history. Collage is one proposed new medium tested here for representing landscape to communicate design intent to the non-expert. Expert and non-expert comparative understanding of collage, orthographic drawing, and plan was assessed by questionnaire. Experimental results of this pilot study suggest that collage is appropriate for use by professional landscape architects to communicate type of place, user, activity and experiential aspects of design to non-experts, in conjunction with labeled orthographic drawings that show spatial information, structures, and activity locations. Collage and orthographic illustrations are best understood when viewed together, either as two separate illustrations or as a hybrid form. Further studies are needed to test the efficacy of collage for communicating user and activity aspects of design to non-experts across culture, age, and gender. Studies of paired illustrations (collage + architectural drawing) and hybrid variations are needed. In addition, studies are needed to test the efficacy of collage for communicating other aspects of contemporary landscape design, such as temporality, dynamism, and process, as well as acoustic, tactile, cognitive, and intuitive qualities of landscape.
Robert L. Ryan