Course Title: Landscape Architecture Theoretical Frameworks 2

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Landscape Architecture Theoretical Frameworks 2

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Jock Gilbert

Course Coordinator Phone: Contact via email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B100.L08

Course Coordinator Availability: Appointment via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course, the second in a sequence of three, will focus on contexts of thought, and how they have given rise to prominent movements and projects in landscape architecture. These contexts are framed as being formed by accumulations of the following : philosophies, theories, design projects, movements, artworks and literature (amongst others). Using Michel Foucault’s ‘Archaeology of Knowledge’ as a point of departure, the course works to initially set up these accumulations to enable an excavation to be conducted in the pursuit of ‘phenomena of rupture, of discontinuity’ between and within these accumulations. Leaving behind the concept of history as a conservative, linear narrative constructed of ‘stable structures’ and ‘vast unities like centuries and periods’ we bring our interest instead to ‘interruptions whose status and nature vary considerably’.
Foucault alludes to the solid nature of historical ground conditions, a solid condition that must be excavated in order to reveal these ‘irruptions…discontinuities, thresholds, ruptures, breaks, mutations and transformations’. This process of excavation is analogous to archaeology.
The word ‘archaeology’ describes the ‘study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains’.
This course presents you with three particular frameworks of thought, that act as instruments through which to conduct your excavation (projects)(site):

Modernism - the carving - revealing the perfect singular idealist form
Post-Structuralism - the dissolving - revealing the multiple
Phenomenology - the blurring – possibility of the infinite

Theoretical Frameworks 2 explores the above method to reveal relationships between design and theory, through the techniques of abstract writing, essay writing and drawing.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Capabilities which will be developed through this course are:

Engage in design practice that is characterised by creative and critical thinking skills, analysis, and synthesis.

Communicate using a range of forms and media to clearly and coherently present ideas that are informed by the underlying principles and concepts of the technical and theoretical frameworks of landscape architecture.

Assume responsibility for own ongoing learning and use initiative and informed judgment to position ideas of practice in landscape architecture and across disciplines.

Reference technical and theoretical frameworks of landscape architecture to describe, critique, modify and adapt relevant and innovative forms of design for professional work in the discipline.

Appreciate the capacity for design practice to be an agent for problem solving and change; and be able to engage this understanding through design to make decisions with some independence.

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Locate critical theories from the twentieth century onwards.
Investigate influential contemporary theory relevant to significant contemporary design issues through site.
Critically analyse design projects in relation to the theoretical frameworks covered in the course.
Demonstrate association through selected frameworks to construct and present an argument.
Effectively present your work to an audience through visual, verbal and written media


Overview of Learning Activities

Lectures, field trips and seminars.

Much of the learning will be based on set readings and linked seminar discussions, so your active preparation and participation is essential.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT Swanston Library has extensive resources for Landscape Architecture Students. The library subject guide is a source of online resources and references - it can be found at:

The Library has additional support information on academic referencing

A range of Study resources can be found at:

The RMIT University Study and Learning Centre offers a variety of services for students with a first language other than English:

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be based on presentation of both written and visual material.

Equitable Learning Services: If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Assessment Policy: Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures:

Student Charter: The Student Charter provides an overview of key responsibilities of RMIT Staff and Students to ensure a successful experience of university life.