Architecture (ARCH) 350

Landscape (Revision 1)


Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

ARCH 350: Landscape is intended for students enrolled in the BSc (Architecture) program at the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University. For those students interested in pursuing a career as a registered architect, this course also contributes to the RAIC Syllabus Diploma.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: None

Centre: RAIC Centre for Architecture

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ARCH 350 introduces and explores contemporary theory and practice in the broad field of landscape architecture through readings, case studies, and direct observation of a variety of landscape conditions in your region. A series of landscape settings are used to discuss landscape theory, history, and heritage; the natural processes and services that landscape provides in urban metropolitan regions; and the factors that contribute to sustainable project design.

The role of social, economic, and aesthetic values in shaping the landscape over time, along with a range of environmental issues, will be introduced with reference to the idea of sustainable development.

Course Outline

Part 1: Landscape Settings, Theory, and Heritage

  • Unit 1: Landscape Settings
  • Unit 2: Landscape Theory
  • Unit 3: Landscape Heritage

Part 2: Landscape Process and Services

  • Unit 4: Landscape Planning
  • Unit 5: Landscape and Urban Regions

Part 3: Landscape Site and Sustainable Design

  • Unit 6: Landscape and Site Design
  • Unit 7: Landscape and Sustainable Development

Part 4: A Regional Landscape Portfolio

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of Arch 350, you will understand the

  • History and theory of landscape and garden design.
  • Role of natural systems in shaping the regional landscape, the role of landscape ecology in understanding these systems, and the role of impact assessment and landscape management in assuring sustainable landscape conservation and development.
  • Technical aspects of site planning and design and how these might be applied to the principles of sustainable design through observation, documentation, and critical appraisals of project design, readings, and the review of projects and case studies.

Course Evaluation

There are four assignments in this course, each of which is a Collection. Each Collection will be submitted as a portfolio of documents and annotated images. Assignments 1 to 3 are worth 22% of the final grade. Assignment 4 is a synthesis of the first three portfolio assignments in light of the cumulative understanding acquired throughout the course, and is worth 34% of the final grade. The table below summarizes this weighting.

Course Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 22%
Assignment 2 22%
Assignment 3 22%
Assignment 4 34%
 Total 100%

You must achieve a cumulative grade of 67% or greater to receive credit for ARCH 350.
It should be noted that students who wish to be certified by the CACB must achieve and maintain a final grade point average of 2.3 (67%) or greater.

Course Materials

Textbooks (print):

Swaffield, S. (Ed.). (2002). Theory in landscape architecture: A reader. University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia.

McKinnon, K. (Ed.). (2010). Grounded: The work of Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg. Published by Blueimprint.

Online Materials

Optional Landscape Architecture Journals (online):The professional literature that covers the range of landscape architectural practice and comments on contemporary issues provides an important additional source of information for this introductory course. Free access to the Canadian journal, Landscapes/Paysages, is available online at The American Journal, Landscape Architecture Magazine, can be purchased online on a single issue or annual subscription basis at You are strongly encouraged to explore these and other professional and academic journals devoted to the landscape.

Course Home Page (online): The course home page houses all the online components of your course.

Study Schedule (online): The study schedule on your course home page includes the Course Information, the seven units of the Study Guide, links to the online readings, and links to your assignments.

Study Guide (online): The Study Guide units are embedded in the Study Schedule on the course home page.

Assignments (online): The assignments are on the course home page, along with helpful instructions.

Forms: Forms you may need are available through the myAU portal.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, August 28, 2013.