Thinking about Landscape Architecture : Principles of a Design Profession for the 21st Century book cover
1st Edition

Thinking about Landscape Architecture
Principles of a Design Profession for the 21st Century

ISBN 9781138847187
Published March 29, 2016 by Routledge
240 Pages

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Book Description

What is landscape architecture? Is it gardening, or science, or art? In this book, Bruce Sharky provides a complete overview of the discipline to provide those that are new to the subject with the foundations for future study and practice. The many varieties of landscape practice are discussed with an emphasis on the significant contributions that landscape architects have made across the world in daily practice. 

Written by a leading scholar and practitioner, this book outlines the subject and explores how, from a basis in garden design, it 'leapt over the garden wall' to encapsulate areas such as urban and park design, community and regional planning, habitat restoration, green infrastructure and sustainable design, and site engineering and implementation.

Coverage includes:

  • The effects that natural and human factors have upon design, and how the discipline is uniquely placed to address these challenges 
  • Examples of contemporary landscape architecture work - from storm water management and walkable cities to well-known projects like the New York High Line and the London Olympic Park 
  • Exploration of how art and design, science, horticulture, and construction come together in one subject 

Thinking about Landscape Architecture is perfect for those wanting to better understand this fascinating subject, and those starting out as landscape architecture students.

Table of Contents

1. What is a Landscape Architect? 2. The Language and Concepts of Design, 3. Design Process and Life of a Project, 4. Historical Context of Landscape Architecture: From the Garden of Eden to the New York Highline and Sustainable Design, 5. Fundamental Design and Spatial Organization Concepts, 6. Gardens, Communities, Parks, and Urban Design, 7. Designing with Plants in Mind, 8. Concrete, Soil, Wood, and Other Materials, 9. Design Realization, 10. Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Design, 11. The Future of Landscape Architecture

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Bruce Sharky is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a professor at the Robert Reich School of Architecture at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Bruce is also a registered professional landscape architect

His interests in landscape architecture are varied and have evolved over the years and through work in varied locations and countries. He has worked professionally in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Winnipeg, as well as in state government. He has lectured and taught design courses in countries as varied as China, Chile, Japan, and Israel, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico and Portugal. He had a private landscape practice in Anchorage, Alaska, for 15 years prior to taking on the position of director of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, Louisiana State University. In 1990, Professor Sharky was honored as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects for his years of service and contributions to the profession.


Landscape Architect and Professor Bruce Sharky, through his many years of practice and worldwide teaching has written a thorough introduction and definition of the art and science of Landscape Architecture: its scope, its amplitude, and its present and future relevance in the XXI century.

The book establishes definitions of methodology, scope of work, outlook and design concepts for students and professionals alike. It touches succinctly and clearly into the history and evolution of the profession, and of the scale and typological landscapes professionals are committed to today. It also defines the amplitude and limitations of a profession difficult to define. A book much needed at schools, as well as in private corporations and public institutions.

Mario Schjetnan, FASLA, Landscape Architect/Architect