Course Title: Landscape Systems

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Landscape Systems

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007

Course Coordinator: Archana Sharma Bhatt

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6902

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 8.11.26

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

How welcome to my eyes this shady hill
lovely blithe plants, blest shores and green valleys,
these fresh and crystal clear rushing waters,
where, when I was sad, I found comfort.
Costa 8:29; 1995

And yet this very comforting environment is threatened today by irresponsible actions of humankind. We can start conserving and preserving the environment through ecologically-sensitive landscape planning and responsible decision making. This course is based on the tenet that human society must co-exist and evolve with nature and thus imparts an understanding of envisioning, designing and planning landscapes with regard to the natural flows and functioning of the surrounding natural environment.
Landscape Systems can be simplistically explained as an organization of systemic components of landscape. This course provides an understanding of landscape as an integrated network of various systems such as pedology, geology, hydrology, and plants. The course renders an insight into mutual interactions of these systems interactions with other forces such as climate. Further, the course also explores the human intervention in natural environment manifested as altered land use, built environment, and constructed landscapes, while simultaneously appraising the resultant impact on the environment. The theoretical discourse is backed up by field trips for practical knowledge and experience.
Landscape architects start their work with a site analysis. Therefore this course is concerned with the relationships between physical site factors and natural processes that have modified and are still operating to modify a site. An understanding of these relationships will enable the landscape architect to analyse any environmental impacts of proposed projects and to plan projects with a greater degree of realism in terms of working with systems rather than against them.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Learning Objectives:
• Basic knowledge concerning the form and functions of natural landscape systems and networks therein.
• Familiarity with the physical terrain and ecology of Melbourne, Victoria thus lending an enhanced confidence in carrying out a site analysis that includes natural landscape processes.
• Introduction to the process of context-responsive site-analysis.
• Understanding with regard to the complex and far-reaching impact of a landscape planning decisions made at local level.
• Realization with regard to the responsibility of a landscape architect towards the well being of overall natural and human environment.
• An interest among students to foster their own quest for knowledge through independent investigations with regard to natural and constructed landscape systems, human interventions and consequent impacts through independent reading and observations.
• The fine art of compromise and responsibility as a team member through group projects.

See above

Overview of Learning Activities

What opportunities does the course provide for me to learn? What will I be expected to do? .

The students are expected to read widely in the areas covered in lectures and during field trips, and they will be taught in a manner that requires active participation and development of their logical faculties.

In the beginning the emphasis is on the broader landscape; the landscape one sees when visiting a country as a tourist. But unlike tourism which focuses on purely aesthetic qualities, this course aims to make the student understand what has gone on and is still going on in the landscape. The student should develop an ability to "read" the landscape so; that he or she will be able to feel a familiarity with the landscape; a sense that one will not get lost in it, a sense that one can benefit from its resources and a sense that one can look after its preservation.

Consequently, the approach is one of reconnoitring selected areas of the earth sciences and ecology, rather than an emphasis on a single field of earth science in detail. We will start at that which can be easily visually imagined and proceed to those topics requiring a more abstract conceptual understanding, such as the soil environment experienced by the plant roots. The course will take this approach also to fieldtrips and field assessment of specific sites. The lecturers will use case studies with which they are familiar to illustrate their lectures.

Overview of Learning Resources

See below

Overview of Assessment

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