Course Title: Landscape Architecture Design Research Seminar 2

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Landscape Architecture Design Research Seminar 2

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Philip Belesky

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9740

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 100.08

Course Coordinator Availability: please email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The Design Research Seminars in Landscape Architecture form an integral part of the Master of Landscape Architecture.

The Design Research Seminar Stream is intended to introduce you to and broaden your understanding of Design Research. This includes you gaining familiarity and gaining experience in a variety of Design Research methods including but not limited to quantitative and qualitative research, project and practice based design research methodologies.

Your capabilities and knowledge is progressively scaffolded up through four Design Research Seminars and is intended to not only to expand your understanding of research in the medium of design but also to advance the scholarship that constitutes design.

The Design Research Seminars seek to provide training in principal methods of design research in Landscape Architecture and aim to build your academic research capacities.Through the seminars you are expected to increase you experience and proficiency in applying and experimenting with: research as / about / for design; qualitative and quantitative research methods; and academic writing including application of conventions and styles.

Collectively the Design Research Seminars aim to enable specialisation within the discourse of Landscape Architecture, with individually chosen design research trajectory. Of particular focus in the Design Research Seminar stream is an understanding and practice of the crafting of design research questions and the reflective modes within the design process.

In this course you will have the opportunity of engaging directly with practicing landscape architects, leading design professionals from industry as well as those engaged with design research in the Phd postgraduate program at RMIT.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The capabilities that are developed through the program in which you are enrolled are described in the Program Guide.

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  •  Initiate, execute and situate substantial Landscape Architectural design research projects which demonstrate an engagement with urban and global complexities and an applied critical knowledge of the ecological, cultural, political, economic and ethical issues of Landscape Architecture
  • Generate innovative outcomes for Landscape Architecture design projects at a range of scales through a mastery of practice which synthesizes creative, critical, analytical, reflective and theoretical thinking skills
  • Effectively and fluently disseminate design research across disciplines to specialist and non-specialist audiences through a mastery of communication skills in a range of forms and media which shows a sophisticated understanding of the technical and theoretical frameworks of landscape architecture
  • Express a high level of personal responsibility within independent design research projects combining an ability to employ a range of design processes for the generation and evaluation of design research projects
  • Interrogate, question, engage and act in a broad range of social and cultural situations, and demonstrate effective teamwork and collaborative practices including an openness to others from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds
  • Evidence the capacity to be an agent for change and innovation in the profession of Landscape Architecture in local and global contexts and in wider society as a whole 


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

  • Undertake a specific design research methodology and be able to clearly articulate an understanding of its lineage and consider its implications
  • Test and develop a design research method through undertaking a landscape architectural enquiry
  • Reflect on the method through undertaking the above

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities for the design research seminars will vary in the way the activities are weighted, but they will include:
Lectures and presentations, field visits, experiments, seminar classes and tutorials.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be expected to utilise library and electronic resources as well as field based enquires to engage with landscape architectural and broader design discourse. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

The University Library has extensive resources for Landscape Architecture students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies  

The Library provides guides 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:

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.

The outcome of a research seminar depends on its content, methodology and topic. As the seminars aim to develop design research skills, a visual research essay will be the medium which reflects on the work, describes the research methodology and research process, includes a thorough documentation of the design research products themselves and discusses the research findings in a wider professional context. This medium will be aiming to provide training for the final document required in the capstone Project A and B courses in the Master of Landscape Architecture. Recommended length of the final visual research paper is 3000 to 5000 words. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

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: