LA8775 Landscape Infrastructure and Systems V: Nature 3.x

University of Minnesota Department of Landscape Architecture. Spring 2015

Matthew Tucker, ASLA
Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture

LA 8775 is a research seminar focused on the examination of topical issues concerning the implementation of landscape infrastructure and systems at project sites of complex programmatic, regulatory and construction contexts. As a research seminar, the course is speculative in nature and requires students to undertake self-initiated, advanced inquiry into topics central to their research and professional career trajectory. Students will engage in joint investigation, with the instructor and  classmates, into issues concerning complex site-scale problems requiring innovative site-scale infrastructure approaches and practical, integrated application. A significant component of this course is the investigation and translation of emerging environmental research from landscape architecture and allied disciplines into project strategies and site-scale technologies applicable for future design practice. The course research will be contextualized against the milieu of practice, with concentration on investigation of innovative typologies of landscape infrastructure.

For Spring 2015, the course examined the changing definitions of Nature and rising awareness of environmental crises embedded within the emerging Anthropocene paradigm and how these theoretical shifts translate into innovative trajectories of landscape architectural praxis. A key aspect to the course was a transdisciplinary investigation of urban nature, with emphasis on ruderal or feral ecologies on post-industrial (and post-natural) sites. Given the expanding defintions of nature and the blurring of the traditional nature-culture dichotomy, the course also investigated new typologies of "site" beyond traditional notions of terra firma.