Course Title: Landscape Architecture History 2

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Landscape Architecture History 2

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013


City Campus


320H Architecture & Design


Sem 2 2014

Course Coordinator: Jock Gilbert

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1856

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: rm 8.11.26

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

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

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

Program Capabilities which will be developed through this course are.

Engaging with and understanding the design canon in a critical way

Effective verbal, written, graphic and visual communication

Effectively presenting your ideas through presentations to an audience.

Exploring research methodologies.

Critiquing projects by engaging in reflective practice.


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

Introductory knowledge of a selected range of the influential critical theories from the twentieth century onwards.
A critical understanding of influential contemporary theory relevant to significant contemporary design problems.
An appreciation of the complex relationship between design theory and practice in the context of the broader critical and cultural concerns and motivations covered in this seminar.
A critical understanding of the extent to which these theoretical frameworks might inform design.
A critical consideration of the limitations and possibilities of theory in relation to design.
An ability to critically analyse and evaluate design projects in relation to the theoretical frameworks covered in the seminar.
An ability to construct and present an argument supporting the position formulated as a result of critical appraisal or analysis.
Written, graphic and verbal communication skills adequate to the communication of the above.
Research and organizational skills adequate to the completion of the above.


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 Online Learning Hub can be found at

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.