Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design (LAED) focuses on interdisciplinary inquiry related to landscape meaning, spatial patterns, the built environment, and environmental design. The Geography Graduate Group (GGG) faculty who teach and mentor students in LAED courses work in the areas of landscape architecture, urban and community design, sustainable development, public participation, environmental planning, landscape ecology, cultural and historical studies. Courses and research in this area prepares students for advanced research, practice and teaching in landscape architecture and related fields of environmental design.

Landscape architecture and environmental design concern the relationship between people and their environment. Typically, this is manifested through the planning, design, and use of the physical and everyday environment. However, as design is human intent expressed in the material world, a central focus is how society shapes the physical landscape across different scales. Landscape architecture and environmental design is seen as an interactive and dynamic process where each informs the other. Analyses of these processes require a knowledge base in areas as diverse as culture, ecology, policy, economics, and history, among others areas. An appreciation for interdisciplinary inquiry and understanding is a common thread that defines the LAED concentration. Some examples of graduate-level study in LAED include analyses of landscape patterns using methods in geographic information science, design and planning at advanced levels, historical and cultural studies of landscapes and places, and the development of advanced methods and techniques in citizen participation.

Faculty associated with Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design is based in the Landscape Architecture Program, but also include a multidisciplinary group of faculty who are members of the Geography Graduate Group, the Community Development Graduate Group, the Ecology Graduate Group and other graduate groups at UC Davis. They are also closely affiliated with research organizations at UC Davis including the John Muir Institute of the Environment, Institute for Transportation Studies, Center for the Study of Regional Change and California Center for Urban Horticulture. We also cooperate closely with UC Berkeley and courses are available there to supplement graduate study.

In addition to a professional career in geography offered through the GGG, focusing on LAEDwill prepare students to: (1) teach and conduct research in academic programs in landscape architecture, architecture, and planning; (2) serve as researchers and analysts in public, private, and non-governmental research institutions; and, (3) assume leadership positions in agencies engaged in issues of planning and design at the local, regional, national, transnational, and international levels.

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design Courses

Students interested in developing expertise in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design should consider the following courses: 

LDA 201 Theory and Philosophy of the Designed Environment Studio 

LDA 181 A-Q Planning Studio

LDA 191 Workshop in Landscape Architecture

LDA 210 Advanced Landscape Architecture Studio Methods:

LDA 202 Methods in Design and Landscape Research

LDA 205 Urban Planning and Design

LDA 220 Public Space and Culture

LDA 230 Landscape and Memory

LDA 240 Historic, Cultural Landscapes: Concept, Perception, Preservation

LDA 250 Life-Place: Bioregional Theory and Principles

LDA 260 Landscape and Power

LDA 270 Environment and Behavior

LDA 280 Landscape Conservation
Students without a design or planning background should take a graphics course such as LDA 21, Design 21, etc. before taking a studio. It is recommended that these be taken (if offered) during summer session as space is limited during the academic year.