20 July 2008

Things to read before majoring in Landscape Architecture

A while back I posted 2 FAQs on good summer books to read for LA and EP students. But both the first and second post were really geared towards college students who were already pretty well on track.

So, when someone recently asked me about recommended reading materials for prospective entering students, I was surprised to realize that I hadn't posted my usual answers or identified specifics within those aforementioned original postings. So here goes:

  • I find many of our students benefit from a student subscription to Landscape Architecture Magazine. As the official publication of the ASLA, over several months of issues it presents a fairly clear image of the breadth and depth of the work of the profession.
  • A real classic introductory text is John O. Simonds' Landscape Architecture. It walks through design as a process and some basics of forms and relationships at a very wide variety of scales.
  • Dr. Shearer made the very interesting suggestion of Michael Pollen's Second Nature.
  • Jane Amidon, at Ohio State, has been writing generously illustrated books on some of the leading landscape architects and their projects. The first in the series look at Michael Van Valkenburgh and his Allegheny Riverfront in Pittsburgh. The second in the series looked at Ken Smith's urban projects.

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