Landscape Architecture

Posted March 19, 2020
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A Landscape Architecture Primer

As faculty and students at the Weitzman School gear up to resume classes online, the Department of Landscape Architecture has published a reading list to introduce students to the profession, its history and prime movers, and the issues that animate it today. Along with numerous members of the Weitzman faculty (indicated by boldface type), the list includes canonical writings by leading practitioners and educators in architecture and planning as well as landscape architecture, from Rem Koolhaas to Anne Whiston Spirn. Among the 48 books and articles included are the collected poems of Wallace Stevens and an essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates about the history of segregation and discrimination against African-Americans in the United States.

“It's interesting to see what the landscape faculty at Penn think are the most important readings for incoming students,” says Richard Weller, professor and chair of the Department, Meyerson Chair of Urbanism, and co-executive director of The McHarg Center. “Oh, and just in case you are wondering, as a way of introducing themselves to the incoming students, we did ask faculty to include some of their own writings! But even if you were to take that aspect out of the equation, it’s fair to say that a lot of the thought leadership in the field has come from, and continues to come from, Penn.”

  1. Stevens, Wallace. The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. Alfred A. Knopf. 1990.
  2. Smithson, Robert. “Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape.” In Holt, N. (Ed) The Writings of Robert Smithson, 1979. 117-128.
  3. Berry, Wendell. “Farmland Without Farmers.” The Atlantic, March 19, 2015. Accessed March 15, 2020. farmers/388282/
  4. Tempest Williams, Terry. “Ground Truthing”. Orion Magazine. May 1, 2004.
  5. Richard Buchanan. "Wicked Problems in Design Thinking." In Design Issues, Vol. 8, No. 2, The MIT Press, Spring, 1992. 5-21.
  6. Dümpelmann, Sonja. “Introduction.” In Dümpelmann, Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin, New Haven: Yale, University Press, 2019. 1-17.
  7. Mitchell, W.J.T. “Landscape and Power: Preface.” In Mitchell, W.J.T., Landscape and Power: Space, Place, and Landscape 2nd Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002. vii-xii
  8. Stilgoe, John. “Introduction.” In Stilgoe, J., What is Landscape? Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2015. 1-14.
  9. Spirn, Anne Whiston. “Ian McHarg. Environmentalism and Landscape Architecture. Ideas and Methods in Context”. In Michael Conan, Environmentalism in Landscape Architecture. (ed) Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. Washington DC 2000. 97-114.  
  10. Meyer, Elizabeth. “Slow Landscape: A New Erotics of Sustainability.” In Harvard Design Magazine, vol 31, Fall/Winter 2009/10. 22-31.
  11. Meyer, Elizabeth. Sustaining Beauty. "The Performance of Appearance. A Manifesto in 3 Parts." In Journal of Landscape Architecture. Spring, 2008. 6-22
  12. da Cunha, Dilip. “Introduction: River Literacy.” In Invention of Rivers: Alexander’s Eye and Ganga’s Descent, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019, 1-19
  13. Mathur, Anuradha and Dilip da Cunha. “The Sea and Monsoon Within: A Mumbai Manifesto.” In Mostafavi, M & Doherty, G (eds), Ecological Urbanism. Lars Müller Publishers, 2010. 180-193.
  14. Mathur, Anuradha. “Neither Wilderness Nor Home: The Indian Maidan." In James Corner (ed), Recovering Landscape. Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1999. 204-219.
  15. Mathur, Anuradha. “Traverse Before Transect,” in Steiner et al (eds), Design with Nature Now. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2019. 22-25.
  16. Holmes, Rob. “Design with Change” in Design With Nature Now. Steiner et al (eds), Design with Nature Now. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2019. 258-264.
  17. Corner, James. “Operational Eidetics: Forging New Landscapes,” Harvard Design Magazine, Fall, 1998, 22-26.
  18. Corner, James. "Ecology and Landscape as Agents of Creativity." In Steiner, F. and Thomson, G. (eds). Ecological Design and Planning. Wiley. 1997, 80-108.
  19. Corner, James. “Preface,” The Landscape Imagination: Collected Essays of James Corner 1990-2010 (Princeton Architectural Press, 2014). 6-11.
  20. Reed, Chris and Nina-Marie Lister. "Ecology and Design: Parallel genealogies." In: Reed C and Lister NM (eds). Projective Ecologies. Cambridge, MA/New York: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2014.
  21. Lutsky, Karen and Sean Burkholder. “Curious Methods,” Places Journal, May 2017. Accessed 9 March 2020.
  22. Mattern, Shannon. “Methodolatry and the Art of Measure,” Places Journal, November 2013. Accessed 9 Mar 2020.
  23. Eduardo Rico + Enriqueta Llabres Valls, “Interacting with Simulations," LA+ SIMULATION (Fall 2016): 58-65.
  24. M’Closkey, Karen. “Introduction,” Unearthed: The Landscapes of Hargreaves Associates. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013. 1-24.
  25. M’Closkey, Karen and Keith VanDerSys. “Introduction,” Dynamic Patterns: Visualizing Landscapes in a Digital Age. Routledge, 2017. 1-40
  26. Jillian Walliss and Heike Rahmann (eds.). Landscape Architecture and Digital Technologies (Routledge, 2016). xvii-xxiv.
  27. Tomlin, Dana. “Speaking of Geodesign”. In GIS Science 1. Wichmann Verlag. 2012.
  28. Haddon, William. "On the Escape of Tigers: An Ecologic Note." In American Journal of Public Health and the Nation’s Health, December 6 (12): 2229-2234. 1970.
  29. Davis, Mike. "Cannibal City: Los Angeles and the Destruction of Nature" in Urban Revisions: Current Projects for the Public Realm, edited by Russell Ferguson; exhibition curated by Elizabeth A. T. Smith, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, 1994. 39-57.
  30. Lin, Zhongjie. "When Green was the New Black: What Went Wrong with China's Eco-city Movement?" in Terreform (ed.), Letters to the Leaders of China: Kongjian Yu and the Future of the Chinese City, Terreform, 2018. 190-201.
  31. Gouverneur, David. The Latin American Urban Landscape: A Mosaic of Enhanced Influences. Landscape Architecture Frontiers, July 2019, Volume 07, 2018. 1-24.
  32. Gouverneur, David. “The Informal Armature Approach” Conference Proceedings. Responsive Urbanism in Informal Areas, Towards a Regional Agenda. Habitat III. United Nations. Cairo 2014.
  33. Pevzner, Nicholas. "Landscape, Public Imagination, and the Green New Deal." Landscape Architecture Magazine, July 2019. 68-81.
  34. Fleming, Billy. "Design and the Green New Deal," Places Journal, 2019.
  35. Winant, G. 2019. "Professional-Managerial Chasm," n+1 only/professional-managerial-chasm/
  36. Roy, Ananya. 2006. "Praxis in the Age of Empire," Planning Theory, 5(1). 7-29.
  37. Coates, Ta-Nehisi. "The Case for Reparations." The Atlantic 313.5, 2014. 54-71. reparations/361631/
  38. Allen, Stan. "Diagrams Matter." ANY: Architecture New York, no. 23 1998. 16-19.
  39. Dunne, Anthony and Raby, Fiona. Speculative Everything, Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby, MIT Press, 2014. Chapter 1, 1-10, and Chapter 9, 159-189.
  40. Easterling, Keller. “Zone: The Spatial Softwares of Extrastatecraft.” Places Journal, June 2012. Accessed 17 Mar 2020.
  41. Koolhaas, Rem. "Junkspace." October 100 2002. 175-90.
  42. Marcinkoski, Christopher. “Fallow or Failure? Urbanization in the Age of Speculation.” New Geographies 10 2019. 75-82.
  43. Weller, Richard. “Stewardship Now? Reflections on Landscape Architecture’s Raison d’être in the 21st Century.” Landscape Journal. 33.2 2015. 1-25.
  44. Weller, Richard. “Landscaper Genres: Towards a Taxonomy of Contemporary Landscape Architecture”. Landscape Architecture Frontiers. 2019, Volume 26 Issue 168. 8-26.
  45. Hamilton, Clive. Human Destiny in the Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis: Rethinking Modernity in a New Epoch. Clive Hamilton et al, (Eds) Routledge, 2015. 1-13.
  46. Purdy, Jebediah. ‘Imagining the Anthropocene.’ Excerpt from After Nature - A Politics of the Anthropocene. Harvard University Press, 2015.
  47. Harraway, Donna. “Making Kin.” Environmental Humanities, vol. 6, 2015. 159-165.
  48. Weller, Richard. “We are Designing the Planet Whether You Like it or Not.” The Dirt: September, 2019. designing-the-earth-whether-you-like-it-or-not/

Department Journals

LA+ Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture. Edited by Dr Tatum Hands


Scenario Journal: Edited by Nicholas Pevzner and Stephanie Carlisle

Scenario 7 POWER
Scenario 6 MIGRATION

Writing Skills

Verlyn Klinkenborg, “Several Short Sentences About Writing” in Ecotone, Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2012, pp. 126-133.