Course Title: Landscape Architecture Design Studio 8

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Landscape Architecture Design Studio 8

Credit Points: 24

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Course Coordinator: Sue Anne Ware + Craig Douglas

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99253429/51856

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 8.11.21/8.11.26

Course Coordinator Availability: On appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

ARCH 1161 - ARCH 1171

Course Description

General consolidating intent
The studio is predicated by an understanding that the landscape is itself the holding ground of many forces. It offers the opportunity to explore the mechanism of the design process for liberating the potential of all these forces. The aim is a strong design which binds together withy clarity these interrelated potentials as a contribution to the urban fabric. This transformation will aim to benefit all the players – the health of the landscape, a relationship to time and landscape culture, the complex of uses, the spatial experience of being ‘in’ it, etc.

Specific design focus
Most particularly, in this studio, the overriding focus is exploring the positive opportunities of some potentially disastrous effects to public landscape arising from climate change, specifically rising sea levels, drought and rise in temperature. Standing back to consider how best to strategise on behalf of the world. Drawing together complex design processes. Noticing and looking at familiar and really obvious conditions through the lens of change. The studio manifests the belief that, potentially, landscape will play an increasingly vital part in the shaping of the urban environment as the changes to climate take effect.

The Site
Melbourne is a low-lying bayside city, Therefore much of its terrain is now rendered vulnerable to sea level rise, drought and severe weather, which, left unresolved, threaten the existing infrastructures of the public domain. This condition is manifestly a landscape architecture responsibility. We will consider the consequences for one significant public space and its surrounding context: Albert Park. Its site condition, a cup in a shallow catchment close by and inland of Port Phillip Bay, has shaped the development of its surrounding infrastructure and uses put to it over time; the park itself now holds a complex of uses under the jurisdiction of he City of Port Phillip. Does climate change render it threatened, or does it offer it a powerful new role?

The investigation will be informed by design research done by a previous studio, working on sites on the rim of the Port Phillip Bay.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the end of the Semester the student will be able to demonstrate a high standard of design literacy and ability.

The tough realities of the site’s condition make the direction of the studio a preparation for Practice. By virtue of the unique problems exposed by climate change, new and fresh design outcomes from mundane treatments are provoked.

You will become familiar with the role of the consultant landscape architect, drawing on specialists who are themselves facing the changing climate’s challenge to their roles. These civil engineers, environmentalists, officers of Melbourne Water, Council and professional landscape architects are on hand to comment on your informed hunches throughout the semester. As such, you will be the center-pin of a team of consultants, just as the landscape is the center point of the design context.

Simultaneously, what you have learned during the course will be consolidated and expanded upon with recollection of the Culture of Landscape Architecture.

Design is intelligence made visible. Landscape Architecture has the ability to produce visual outcomes. This is the contribution we can make to the discourse around climate change, in that we can provide authorities with a powerful means to communicate possibilities. In this studio, there will be support to ensure your abilities in this area are strengthened and developed.

This site is suited to the design studio for the following reasons:
Previous design explorations
Examples of both real world and speculative design will provide an underpinning to the studio.
Urban Complexity
The site provides typical real-life conditions dealt with by Landscape Architects in their professional lives.
Readily available support
Resident and visiting lectures, professional advisors and critics will be available as ‘consultants’
Easy access
Public Transport ensures a close association and familiarity with the terrain.

See above

Overview of Learning Activities

Key readings will provide a design language to encourage clear thinking and debate about the site.
Central to these is Mark Taylor‘s essay Desertion, (Michael Heizer’s Double Negative)
Carefeul consideration will be given to the site’s condition, through recording of all structural elements, through the lens of the readings, in the form of measured drawings in section and plan

As a group exercise, these drawings will be built into an AutoCAD 3D terrain, based on given contour and cadastral maps.

From the start, personal ‘mind maps’ will be invited through site visits.
Historical maps will inform the present lay-out of the park and context.

Overview of Learning Resources

Readings ……

Lab Work ……

Expert input from Robin Edmond, Landscape Architect, Doug Oldfield, GHD,
City of Port Phillip and Melbourne Water.

Overview of Assessment

Attendance & participation
Ongoing participation in design cultures is vital for the development of all designers (students and graduates alike). Your participation in ALL aspects and components of studio is expected. Studio courses operate on tight schedules. Any loss of participation decreases opportunities to fully develop your project and this may affect your mark. Weekly discussions and various lectures/briefings/in class activities are crucial for you to develop an understanding of the complex issues informing design briefs. Therefore it is highly recommended that students attend class. Weekly pin ups and informal critiques are a necessary learning/teaching component of studios and provide the opportunity to gain feedback and participate in discussions. All design critiques will occur in class time only.

Throughout the semester all individual exercises set in studio must be completed. These exercises are intended to support the work at final presentation. It is expected that relevant exercises undertaken during the semester will to be incorporated into the work presented at the final presentation and/or in portfolio.

Mid semester presentations:
Participation at Mid Semester is compulsory. There is no preceding formal hand in. Students are required to arrive before the start time for critique to pin-up their work as organised with the studio lecturer and other students. Post mid semester all students will receive written feedback about their projects including a clear statement of whether the project is at pass standard, on the borderline of pass/fail or below pass standard. Students who work is borderline or below pass standard need to discuss their progress with their studio teacher. It is very important that you understand what you need to do to be successful by the end of the semester.

Special Consideration: Students who are ill or facing an emergency preventing them from presenting must notify the lecturer of their inability to attend as earlier as they are able to preceding the presentation. Students must lodge as a Special Consideration Form requesting delayed assessment. Alternate arrangements for review of student work must be negotiated directly with the studio lecturer. Failure to comply with the Special Consideration requirements in a timely manner will result will in students receiving a warning in writing that their work is not at pass standard for mid semester.

End Semester submission and presentations
In the Landscape Architecture Program all student work is submitted in advance of final presentations. This gives you a chance to have a good sleep and a day to prepare for your presentation. All work that you wish to present must be submitted at this time. To avoid the inequity of some students submitting only part of their part and bringing the remained on the day each piece of submitted work will be checked and tagged. Students found to be cheating at any point in this process will fail studio.

At the end of semester your work to be submitted on Monday 4 June from 2-4pm for the student to be eligible to present their work and receive a grade. Administration staff cannot receive early submissions as it adds unreasonably to their workload at these peak times (in this circumstance please have another student submit it for you). Students not submitting work at this time will fail unless they have/do apply for and receive Special Consideration.

Special Consideration: Students who are ill or facing an emergency preventing them from presenting must notify the lecturer of their inability to attend as earlier as they are able to preceding the presentation. Students must lodge as a Special Consideration Form requesting delayed assessment.
In this circumstance you will be marked on your portfolio. It will not be possible to present at a different time.

Assessment in studio is based on the quality of the work in the final presentation which is then subject to modification by teacher review of portfolio and then through moderation processes across the various studios

The final mark received is a holistic assessment of the final design and the technical components of studio. The areas listed here are analytical categories that inform the mark. The final mark is not a sum of these categories; but a mark determined by your lecturer in relation to the studio agenda and with advice from the critic panel. This mark is intended to represent a balanced account that weighs up the positives and negatives of a project with some consideration for your performance throughout the semester. The panel advises the studio lecturer in marking and the studio lecturer reviews this mark once portfolios are submitted. This gives you an opportunity to improve you work for the portfolio and receive a mark that recognise this. The assessment or mark is based significantly on design.

Assessment criteria:
The emphasis of various assessment criteria will vary in relation to the studio agenda. These criteria are as follows:
1. Conceptualisation
2. Development
3. Qualities of the Finished Product
4. Communication
5. Presentation
6. Technological development
7. Engagement with Sustainability (where relevant)
8. Precedents (intelligent and appropriate use)

HDH - (80%-100%) High Distinction :
This is an all around exemplary project. It is challenging, critical, of wider significance, a contribution to the profession and RMIT. It exhibits outstanding design qualities and displays an exemplary degree of mastery, accomplishment, and judgment. It must be communicated and presented in an outstanding way.
DID - (70% - 79%) Distinction:
A high quality project or possibly a project with exemplary qualities but with some areas / aspects which are not so highly developed.
CRC - (60%-69%) Credit:
Student project achieves qualities beyond minimum standards. It has overall merit and commendable qualities without major deficiencies.
PAP - (50% - 59%) Pass:
Students project achieves minimum standards or shows significant positive qualities to counter balance unresolved or poorly resolved areas.
NNN - (below 49%) Fail:
Student project did not meet a minimum level of competency. There are too many major areas poorly resolved.
DNS (0%) Work is ineligible for a final mark. This applies where a student withdrew from the studio after the cut-off date – March 31st in first semester and August 31st second semester.
DNSN- (0%) Did Not Submit (0%) This applies where a student was expected to present work, but failed to do so, without arranging or being eligible for Special Consideration.
RWT Result Withheld (result pending). This occurs where a student has been granted Special Consideration, and the result will be amended to Pass/Fail after assessment as described above.

All high distinctions, fails and border-line marks are subject to review by teaching staff at moderation. The panel makes the decision independently of the studio lecturer, based on available work supported by the portfolio. The moderation panel can moderate the work by one grade only. The folio therefore must be of sufficient quality to match the grade. This panel reviews the mark independently of the studio lecturer. Marks are also compared across studios and if necessary adjusted to ensure that students in different studios are marked equitably.

Regular verbal feedback will be provided during student presentations / desk crits in class, and this constitutes the major source of feedback for the design studio. Students should arrange to have other students take notes of comments received about their work while they are presenting.

Written feedback must be provided, as a minimum, at the following occasions;
1) Mid-Semester Presentations;
This feedback must include at least an assessment of whether the student is performing adequately or not, and measures they could take to improve their performance.
The critique sheets of panel member comments with detailed discussion of strengths and weaknesses of the project from the point of view of the assessor.

2) End of Semester Presentations;
After assessment has been completed, and moderation has occurred, the student must receive;
• A summary spelling out your performance across the assessment tasks and comments on their performance across the studio.
• The critique sheets from panel members, when provided, with detailed discussion of strengths and weaknesses of the project from the point of view of the assessor.
• Final results will only be issued by RMIT University via Student Administration.

If you are not satisfied with your result because you do not think that it is a fair outcome given your perception of the quality of the work then you have a right to appeal. RMIT has established procedures for appeals to results. The process begins informally:
1) First speak to your studio lecturer to attempt to resolve the issue.
2) Speak to the studio curator.
3) If still unsatisfied with the outcome make an appointment with the Program Director
4) The final procedure for appeal is the Student Union who can advise you about the formal RMIT process and provide support and advocacy for you during this process.

The portfolio is a record of this semester’s studio work. Students must pass the portfolio component in order to pass design studio. This document is also used for moderating students’ marks across all the design studios. Your portfolio therefore must be of a sufficient quality to uphold the grade from presentation. All students, regardless of the studio they are undertaking, must prepare a portfolio to the following specifications:
The folio must be submitted in both hard copy and electronic copy.
• Format for the folio is flexible in relation to the specific studio agenda. Enough work must be included to be representative of your work.
• Digital submission; CD (refer to Design Studio Digital Archive explanatory notes). It is intended that your work will be archived onto a database or CD-ROM for teaching purposes. In order for this to occur, RMIT requires a signed authorization form as attached at the back of this document.

Portfolio to be submitted on Monday 4 June from 2- 4.00pm
• The folio must provide a thorough explanation of the student’s work over the semester, and clearly represent their underlying thinking and how it leads to the final proposition. It needs to be understandable to a design literate audience with no familiarity with the student or the studio. The work included in the folio is not be original material (in case of loss). The portfolio informs assessment in that it is used for moderation. It will not be examined independently, and no feedback will be provided.
• The value of a portfolio to a student is as a self-curated document, which provides a record both of work and of the development of an approach and of techniques over the course. It is advisable to keep a wide range of work in this format as your portfolio of each semester’s work provides the base material to be formally developed in the Portfolio Course in year 4.

Digital Folio:
Each student is required to submit the following items as part of their Design Studio Folio Submission:
- CD or DVD clearly labelled with the following:
- student name
- student number
- studio title
- studio tutor
- date
- ideally all of your presentation work (including folio) can be submitted, however the minimum
- requirement is to provide high resolution .PDF files of your presentation panels.
- all files should be appropriately labelled and include the following information:
- student name
- student number
- studio title
- specific content
eg. student name_student number_ studio title_specific.file format
Joanne individual _3135632_studio red_panel 01.pdf

The intention of the digital submission is primarily to create a Landscape Architecture Program
Archive. This archive has many possibilities which include: to envision research such as mapping
changes in the Landscape Architecture Program relative to the practice of Landscape Architecture, to act as a teaching and learning archive, and to promote the practice of Landscape Architecture through
marketing and publications.


Participation in any interim exhibitions, end of semester exhibition and associated events, as negotiated with lecturer and class, is expected, and will be clarified by the studio lecturer during preparation for the event. Each design studio is responsible for communicating the essence of the design studio’s research at the School Exhibition. To this extend it is the responsibility of the design studio members. This includes all students and studio tutor(s) – to select a number of critical projects (or parts thereof) and present them in such a manner that best represents the design studio’s ambition and outcome. In this manner someone viewing the work should be able to read the intention of the studio, the direction of the research and how it engaged with the studio ambition, outcomes discoveries, and the studio’s engagement with the discourse of Landscape Architecture. It is essential that we avoid an unreadable wallpaper smattering of work.


Academic administration procedures
What do I do if I need help because I have become ill or are facing other difficulties that are impacting significantly on my studies?

A request for an extension MUST be made to the School of Architecture and Design in normal circumstances 48 hours before the due date, using the “Application for Special Consideration” form. The form must be accurately completed before it will be processed. Information required includes the Course number, title and the name of the lecturer as well as the title of the assessable work (eg. major essay) requiring special consideration. Full documentation to support the application (medical certificate, supporting letter from a councilor or a personal statement of your situation) must be attached. The application form is to be handed to the studio lecturer for negotiation of dates after which you will need to arrange for it to be signed off by the Studio Co coordinator before you submit it to the Student Administration Office for the School of Architecture and Design. The assessed application, including the deliberation and new due dates where appropriate, will be returned as rapidly as possible to the student’s pigeon hole, and copies will be provided to the relevant Course lecturers. Students who have been granted an extension of time to submit are subject to the “Late Submission” policy for the new deadline. No extra presentation arrangements will be made for Special Consideration and students will be marked on Portfolio. With special consideration, students can apply for grading consideration or request an extension of time but not both. In the case of an extension of time, a temporary mark of RWT will be registered, followed by a mark after assessment, based on work alone, by an arranged date.

Course evaluation and feedback
The RMIT CES (Course Evaluation Survey) completed near or at the end of semester will be used as the basis of student feedback for each studio. These will be completed anonymously, processed by RMIT and will be available for studio teachers after assessment is complete. This anonymous feedback from students about student learning experiences is invaluable for improving RMIT Landscape Architecture Program.

Academic misconduct
University Plagiarism Statement: Students are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism in oral, written or visual presentations is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing, as though it is one’s own. Plagiarism is not acceptable. The use of another person’s work or ideas must be acknowledged. Failure to do so may result in charges of academic misconduct, which carry a range of penalties including cancellation of results and exclusion from your course.

Students are responsible for ensuring that their work is kept in a secure place. It is also a disciplinary offence for students to allow their work to be plagiarised by another student. Students should be aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding the use of copyright material.