Conceptual Landscapes : Fundamentals in the Beginning Design Process book cover
1st Edition

Conceptual Landscapes
Fundamentals in the Beginning Design Process

Edited By

Simon M. Bussiere

  • Available for pre-order on April 3, 2023. Item will ship after April 24, 2023
ISBN 9780367513047
April 24, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
272 Pages 212 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Conceptual Landscapes explores the dilemma faced in the early moments of design thinking through a gradient of work in landscape and environmental design media by both emerging and well-established designers and educators of landscape architecture. It questions where and, more importantly, how the process of design starts.

The book deconstructs the steps of conceptualizing design in order to reignite pedagogical discussions about timing and design fundamentals, and to reveal how the spark of an idea happens - from a range of unique perspectives. Through a careful arrangement of visual essays that integrate analogue, digital and mixed-media works and processes, the book highlights differences between diverse techniques and triggers debate between design, representation, technology and creative culture in the field.

Taken together, the book’s visual investigation of the conceptual design process serves as a learning tool for aspiring designers and seasoned professionals alike. By situating student work alongside that of experienced teachers and landscape architects, the book also demystifies outdated notions of individual genius and sheds new light on the nearly universally messy process of discovery, bridged across years and diverse creative vocabularies in the conceptual design process. Lavishly illustrated with over 210 full colour images, this book is a must-read for students and instructors in landscape architecture.

Table of Contents


Part 1: The Spark of an Idea

  1. Excavating Ideas
  2. Elizabeth Mossop

  3. Obsessions
  4. Emma Mendel

  5. Composite Drawings + Landscape Ideations
  6. Karen Lutsky

  7. Pictorial Cartography and Digital Printmaking:
  8. Experiments in Representing the Working Landscape

    Forbes Lipschitz

  9. Materiality as Inquiry: Environmental History for Enacting New Worlds
  10. Sara Jacobs

  11. Developing Concepts
  12. Scott Jennings Melbourne

  13. Critical Making
  14. Emily Vogler

    Part 2: Concept in Translation

  15. Materializing Atmospheres: Translating the Immaterial
  16. Zaneta Hong

  17. Tacit Concepts
  18. Ferdinand Ludwig & Sergio Sanna

  19. Sediment in Process: designing an active channel for Alameda Creek
  20. Justine Holzman & Rob Holmes

  21. Grounding the Site: Uncovering Concepts in the Landscape Architecture Design Process
  22. Mary Pat McGuire

  23. From Ideas to Design Actions
  24. Yun Hye Hwang

  25. Translations between Patent Innovation and Environmental Design Pedagogy
  26. Richard Hindle

    Part 3: Forming Futures

  27. Designing Parks – The Art of Creating Lively Places
  28. Leonard Grosch

  29. Disrupted Futures: The Rise of Speculative Digital Landscape Simulation in Conceptual Design.
  30. Aidan Ackerman

  31. Landscape: "For Illustration Purposes Only"
  32. Fadi Masoud

  33. Conceptualizing the Design of Fluid Geographies
  34. Kees Lokman

  35. UX for Landscape Architects: A New Paradigm for Conceptual Design

Andrea Hansen

Afterword: A concept, in five parts

Simon Bussiere

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Simon Bussiere is Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Ecological Design at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. His research explores intersections of ecological urbanism, design communication, and pedagogy.


"How do we initiate the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes frustrating, sometimes daunting process of creativity that leads from inception through iteration and interrogation to a coherent and lush and functional design? Simon Bussiere and his colleagues from teaching institutions around the world probe the depths of this question for landscape architecture students and emerging professionals—and even the more seasoned among us—exploring not one or two but a multitude of starting points for the creative process. In doing so, Bussiere offers us insights into the critical minds of leading academics—giving us a clear and comprehensive sense of the state of the contemporary academy. More importantly, however, the sheer diversity of approaches invites young and aspiring designers into the conversation, begging for them to write the next chapters of design teaching as they explore their own individualized and situated understandings of the world today. A remarkable collection for those interested in understanding how new ideas are born."

Chris Reed, FASLA, Founding Director, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design

"The design "concept," and the mysteries of how conceptualization ossifies is always a profound topic among beginning design students and among seasoned practitioners. What Simon expertly curates in Conceptual Landscapes is a series of essays that unpack a plurality of approaches to concept generation. Importantly, the manuscript highlights the humanity in design and makes the case for promoting a diversity of voices in the design professions in an age where society is often looking for technologies and metrics to solve complex problems. Conceptual Landscapes will serve as an important text for beginning design students and those interested in the formation of landscape design ideas for years to come."

Bradley Cantrell, FAAR, ASLA, Chair and Professor in Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia School of Architecture

"What I appreciate most about Simon Bussiere's approach to the topic of ‘conceptualization’ is his understanding that ideas are found in myriad experiences, sources and processes, from individual to the collective consciousness. He has assembled the knowledge base and reflections of significant practitioners and academics to explore the realm of creativity, and how that informs how landscapes are written and read. This publication will surely be on every burgeoning landscape architect’s ‘must read’ list."

David A. Rubin, FASLA, Founding Principal, DAVID RUBIN Land Collective

"Clearly, Bussiere delights in the ‘ephemeral, sporadic, recursive, and bewildering’ nature of the creative process. Fortunately for readers, he has assembled here a diverse and charismatic array of landscape architecture professors and practitioners, whose approaches and methods embody the endless possibilities of conceptualizing landscapes. Readers are likely to leave this volume more humble yet more courageous designers."

Timothy A. Schuler, Contributing Editor, Landscape Architecture Magazine