UNDER THE SKY - Experiencing Landscape Architecture

Minor code: BK-MI-194

Language: English

Participating institutions: Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

Maximum participants: 30

Education methods: Excursions, lectures, analysis exercises, workshop and design studio


The 15 ECTS minor UNDER THE SKY - Experiencing Landscape Architecture gives an insight into the field of landscape architecture by experiencing the outside space: from the analysis phase till the build phase.

The minor is dealing with basic understandings related to a landscape architectonic design like; the dynamics and challenges related to climate change, water and vegetation on one hand and the experience, the sensorial and aesthetics qualities of a place, its stories on the other hand.

During the minor students will visit diverse landscapes and landscape architectonical projects. The empirical research and observations on site are central in the course and will be combined with established desk analysis methods.

As end result and culmination of the minor a 1:1 (temporary/simple) artefact will be built on a given site, where the relation with the user is also involved.

Experiencing the outside space, building on site, dealing with challenges related to climate change, the performance of appearance.

For whom?

  • Architecture (Delft, Eindhoven, ea.), Urbanism, Urban Design, Civil Engineering, Industrial Design, W.U.R. Landscape Architecture.
  • Academies and HBO courses in the direction of Architecture, Urbanism or Landscape Architecture. Other courses on request.
  • There are also places available for students from Leiden University and Erasmus University.

What will you learn?

At the end of the minor you are acquainted with the state of the art of landscape architecture in the Netherlands through site visits, fieldwork and lectures .

You are able to identify a basic spatial concept of a landscape architectonic object - from inventory ‘in loco’ to constructive analyses.

You can develop a spatial design for a public space integrating current issues like climate change, water issues, sustainable ecosystems and the more intangible issues like stories, sensorial and aesthetics aspects of a place.

You are able to build and display on site a temporarily, 1:1 artefact as an end result of a design process.

Course overview

The minor consists of two main interconnected courses offered in quarter 1; the course Under the sky - Fieldwork consisting of fieldwork and desktop analyses, lectures and a design workshop; and the course Parkscape, designing experiences in a time of climate change consisting of a design assignment of a public space and a design of an artefact to be build/displayed on site.

The site visits and fieldwork (related to the desk research and the lectures) stimulate a constructive analysis process, which serves as input for the design assignment.

Quarter 1

Course: Under the sky - Fieldwork (BK7361 – 10 ECTS) fieldwork and desktop analyses, lectures and a design workshop

During the course an analysis method based on experiments with a narrative approach will be introduced. The experience of the place and the immersion on the site will be achieved through interviews and participation of the user. An experimental ‘Learn how to look’ method will be stimulated,  next to the understanding of more conventional spatial-visual tools like sightlines, panoramas and serial visions from the eye level perspective.

The lectures intend to discuss designs to increase the referential scope. Students need to create their own design and critical position. It also deals with questions like; What are the new changes and challenges inside the field of landscape architecture? What are the landscape architectonical design instruments? How can sensorial, routing and place experience inform a landscape architectonical design in a moment of urgent changes? What is the relation between user and landscape? How can you embrace sustainability and aesthetics in one design?

The analysis exercise 3D /4D construction is about movement and movement speed (the fourth dimension). By moving through a route we can identify paths and route gradients as structural elements bounding the whole design and become aware of visual experience at eye level of a scenic space.

The second analysis exercise introduce the idea of an ’experimental mapping’ which depicts the subjective, dynamic and intangible characteristics of the place such as: processes, cultural activities, memories, history, spheres, sensorial observations, narratives (stories), experiences, rituals, the 'sense of place'.

Course: Parkscape, designing experiences in a time of climate change (BK7362 – 5 ECTS)

In this course the student will be challenged to design  a public space like a park.

Parkspace focuses on the integration of two main aspects of a design process in order to create a spatial intervention. It aims to achieve a design involving the design of experiences as much as the design of form and the design of sustainable ecosystems. The first aspect is related to the understanding of natural processes, vegetation succession and green blue networks and the increasing demand of space for these networks due to climate change in the city and polder landscape.

The second aspect is related to the experiences of nature. It deals with more intangible and emotional aspects of the design also related to aesthetics and how a place is perceived. How to create a narrative through materialisation? How to construct experiences?

The Parkscape course is directly related to a workshop ‘Learning by Making’. During this workshop the design the students are developing for a public space will be discussed and reviewed to find out a main concept in order to synthetize it in a built artefact on 1:1 scale .

Some aspects will be stressed like the process of building with your own hands in relation to drawing and designing speculation on paper, how to turn abstracts concepts into a concrete artefact and possible interaction with public. This artefact may be understood in a broad way and could be a built element, a film, an act, a landmark, a disclosing of existing elements. It is the culmination of the minor and a concise answer of analysis exercises, lectures, discussions and design process.




Dr.ir. Saskia de Wit

Students about this minor:

"Not only spatial composition, sight lines, routes are important in a landscape architectonical design but also the experience as a connection between users and spatial design is crucial. This minor has also made me understand how soil, landscape types and vegetation can influence a design. All those aspects have a great influence on the end result; you should introduce them in the design at an early stage.''

- Kjell Wansleeben, Bouwkunde – TUDelft
" I have experienced the minor Landscape Architecture as a very instructive, versatile minor in which I have been able to develop further my design qualities in a creative environment. The minor offers both; analysis and design exercises in a good mix, I thought. It makes the course fun and educational at the same time.”

- Florian Fakkert