The Landscape Guide

Landscape Architecture History and Theory CD

Please see the Contents of the Garden History Reference Encyclopedia CD and the on its use in teaching and learning the history of garden design. As explained below, it is also a Landscape Architecture History CD.

Landscape architecture developed out of garden design. This is widely agreed (see for example Kenneth Helphand's illustrated The History of Landscape Architecture). The Garden History Reference Encyclopedia CD deals extensively with this aspect of landscape architecture and examines its relationship to garden history and design theory.

The other key issue is the emeregence of Landscape Architecture as a separate profession, the formation of the American Society of Landscape Architects and its influence on the worldwide profession and the formation of the International Federation of Landscape Architects and the IFLA Central Region. One must know how the landscape profession developed to be able to answer the question 'What is landscape architecture?' Professionals who cannot give a secure answer to this can hardly be clear about any other aspects of the art they practice.

The key document in the history and theory of landscape architecture is the book which launched the term: Gilbert Laing Meason's On the Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy (London 1828). Frederick Law Olmsted's adotpion of landscape architecture as a professional title derives from this book. But only 150 copies of Meason's book were printed and fewer than ten are known to survive. The Garden History CD contains the full text, all the illustrations and an explanatory commentary by Tom Turner. This is the first time it has been re-published since its original appearance.

The sections of the CD dealing with landscape architecture are as follows:

eTexts relating to Landscape Architecture History

  1. Guide to the History of Landscape Architecture, by Tom Turner
  2. Gilbert Laing Meason. The full text of Meason's On the Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy (London 1828). Meason was the 'inventor' of the term Landscape Architecture, which has since come to be used by a world-wide profession, represented by the International Federation of Landscape Architects, by the American Society of Landscape Architects, by the UK Landscape Institute and numerous other national associations. Only 150 copies of his book were printed and its contents are not well known. This is the first time the book has been re-published. It is accompanied with an analysis of the text by Tom Turner. A clear appreciation of how landscape architecture began is regarded as central to comprehension of the modern profession.
  3. Notes on the Top twenty theorists and designers in the history of landscape architecture and on the question What is landscape architecture?
  4. John Claudius Loudon's included comments on Meason in his Gardener's Magazine (1828) and in his Encyclopedia of Architecture (1833). These comments transmitted the term to Andew Jackson Downing and, later, to Frederick Law Olmsted - setting the course of American landscape architecture.
  5. Andrew Jackson Downing's Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening. (Section 1, Section 2 and Section 9). Downing was 'the first American writer on landscape architectural topics' (Norman T Newton in Design on the Land) and an 'incalcuable' influence on American garden design and landscape architecture (Oxford Companion to Gardens). Loudon's writings were his starting point.
  6. Frederick Law Olmsted's description of his winning design for the Central Park, New York, competition (1858). Olmsted 'the father of American landscape architecture' entered the profession as a result of the Greensward Plan for Central Park, done in partnership with the English architect Calvert Vaux.
  7. Norman T Newton's account of the scope of landscape architecture, from Design on the land.
  8. Geoffrey Jellicoe's account of the scope of landscape design, from the Landscape of Man
  9. Ian McHarg: notes and links on the twentieth century's outstanding landscape planner.

eTexts relating to landscape architecture design theory

  1. Design methodology: an overview by Tom Turner
  2. Surface water drainage and management ( from Landscape Design October 1985) arguing for 'privileging' water in the design procedure
  3. Wilderness and plenty: construction and deconstruction(from Urban Design Quarterly September 1992) arguing that the professional structure of the construction industry would benefit from deconstruction.
  4. 'Feminine' landscape design: a tale of two tragedies (from a Sheffield Spring School lecture,  April 1993) arguing for the 'way of the hunter' to be balanced by the 'way of the nester'
  5. Postmodern landscapes (from Landscape Design May 1993) arguing for landscape and garden designers to take account of postmodern ideas and theories in their work
  6. Pattern analysis(from Landscape Design October 1991) arguing for a design method based on pattern analysis, instead of the modernist Survey-Analysis-Design (SAD) method taught in most of the world's landscape and garden design schools.
  7. Revolutions in the garden (from Tom Turner's City as landscape, Spons 1996). After looking at the design revolutions which have taken place in the 1690s, 1790s, and 1890s this essay finds the seeds of a fourth design revolution in the work of  Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, Charles Jencks, and Ian Hamilton Finlay.
  8.  The flowers of garden design theory (from Garden Design Journal Autumn 1999, published as 'Timeless with delight') this article suggests a design method which integrates knowledge drawn from various fields, including the fine arts, philosophy, the natural and social sciences.
  9.  PAKILDA:  Pattern Assisted Knowledge Intensive Landscape Design Approach (from Landscape Design May 2001). Developing the method outlined in the Garden Design Journal, this article  the  recommends a design method for landscape design and planning.
  10.  Design history and theory (from a lecture delivered at the University of Uppsala in April 2002) this article relates the PAKILDA method to the set of design objectives outlined by Vitruvius in the first century: utilitas (Commodity), firmitas (Firmness) and venustas (Delight).

Landscape architecture products and materials are discussed and illustrated on this website.See landscape and garden products and materials.