Course Title: Landscape Architecture Theoretical Frameworks 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Landscape Architecture Theoretical Frameworks 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


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


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024

Course Coordinator: Heike Rahmann

Course Coordinator Phone: Contact via email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 100.08

Course Coordinator Availability: Contact via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course, the first in a series of three, provides a broad historical survey of landscape architecture, from prehistory through to the contemporary period. It takes two theoretical approaches; the historiographical and the typological. These will be employed as ways of seeing and understanding the immensely broad body of work that is Landscape Architecture and to establish an understanding of the constructed nature of the historical lineage of Landscape Architecture. The inherent difficulties in using these approaches will also be drawn out with reference to key theorists and thinkers. Key moments of departure in this lineage will be identified through the exploration of three recurring and overlapping themes: nature, public and civilisation.


You will be introduced to a range of landscapes and landscape architectural projects through selected eras and geographies. This historiographical approach will be considered as a fundamental analytical tool or theoretical framework, a way of seeing through ordering.


The landscapes and projects that will be presented historically, will be further considered typologically. These landscape types – including park, garden, town, region, street, square/plaza and city – will be discussed not as fixed classifications but as points for discussion and comparison. The formal material, programmatic and spatial characteristics of the landscapes and projects will be considered in relation to type and the development and evolution of these typological characteristics through time will be analysed and investigated with a focus on critical departure points through the themes of public, nature and civilisation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

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:

  • Critically apply a broad and coherent body of knowledge incorporating ecological, cultural, economic and ethical issues of landscape architecture in the medium of design using a range of design methods and practices.
  • 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.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Recognise a constructed historical lineage of Landscape Architecture
  2. Identify key moments of departure in this lineage
  3. Engage with spatial typology as a formal analytical tool
  4. Adopt typology as a spatial language through the investigation of landscape projects
  5. Represent and communicate the outcomes of your investigations in relation to landscape projects
  6. Effectively present your work to an audience

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include:

  • Lecture series
  • Tutorial workshops
  • On-line tasks
  • Critical readings
  • Library induction
  • Presentation and feedback

Overview of Learning Resources

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 including a collection of reference books and journals.

The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies;

There are services and resources available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the RMIT student website.


Overview of Assessment

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

Assesment Tasks 

Assessment Task 1: Critical Writing, 30% CLO 1, 3, 6 
Assessment Task 2: Visual Essay, 50%, CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Assessment Task 3: Exam, 20% linked CLO 1, 2, 4, 6 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

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 Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.