A Study of Landscape Architecture Design Methods

Christopher James Lidy Thesis submitted to the faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Landscape Architecture

Professor Benjamin C. Johnson, Committee Chair Professor Brian Katen Professor Caren Yglesias, Ph.D. March 22, 2006 Alexandria, Virginia Keywords: Landscape Architecture, Design Methods, Design Theory

Copyright, 2006, Chris Lidy

A Study of Landscape Architecture Design Methods
Christopher James Lidy

Abstract
How do different methods employed by landscape architects impact the design outcome? This paper identifies and defines design methods in landscape architecture that may be classified as part of four internal and external connections and structures categories. Methods are further examined through two design exercises. In the first design exercise, the identified methods are individually applied to the same simple design which is used as a control. The only variable changed is the method used to design. The resulting designs are shown and analyzed. In the second design exercise, three different methods are applied to a complex design. Similar to the first design exercise, all variables are held constant except for the design methods. The resulting design outcomes are shown and analyzed. One conclusion from this work recommends landscape architecture designers use at least one method in each of four categories: 1) Modeling Systems, 2) Interrelationship and Dependencies, 3) Incorporation and Adadaption, and 4) Structure Problems in order to explore complex design issues more thoroughly.

Table of Contents
Title Page Abstract Table of Contents List of Multimedia Object List of Multimedia Object Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Literature Review Chapter 3 Methodology Chapter 4 Design Exercise Chapter 5 Conclusion Bibliography Vita page page page page page page page page page page page page i ii iii iv v 1 2 7 8 33 36 40

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Lists of Multimedia Objects*
Figure 2-1 Design Loop Figure 4-1 Crowd Figure 4-2 Tidal Flow Figure 4-3 Environmental Heating Figure 4-4 Anthropometric Figure 4-5 Flower Figure 4-6 Design Figure 4-7 Support Structure Figure 4-8 Bridge Design Figure 4-9 Egg Shell Roof Figure 4-10 Brain Storming Figure 4-11 Stage Figure 4-12 No Access Figure 4-13 Unlimited Access Figure 4-14 Sketch Figure 4-15 Design Figure 4-16 Small Town Figure 4-17 Parisian Cafe Figure 4-18 Cafe, Washington, D.C. Figure 4-19 Steeple Figure 4-20 Pattern Language Figure 4-21 Andersonville Prison Figure 4-22 Round/Square Peg Figure 4-23 Optimization Figure 4-24 Disaggregation Figure 4-25 Site Plan Mowed Lawn Figure 4-26 Site Plan Prairie Figure 4-27 Rain Garden Figure 4-28 Beaver Dam Figure 4-29 Site Plan Figure 4-30 Section Figure 4-31 Site Plan Figure 4-32 Section Figure 4-33 Site Plan Figure 4-34 Section Figure 4-35 Site Plan Figure 4-36 Section page 3 page 8 page 8 page 8 page 9 page 9 page 9 page 10 page 10 page 10 page 11 page 11 page 12 page 12 page 12 page 12 page 13 page 13 page 13 page 14 page 14 page 15 page 15 page 16 page 16 page 17 page 17 page 18 page 18 page 19 page 19 page 19 page 19 page 20 page 20 page 20 page 20

*Note: Unless otherwise noted, all multimedia created by the author. iv

v .Lists of Multimedia Objects* Figure 4-37 Site Plan Figure 4-38 Section Figure 4-39 Site Plan Figure 4-40 Section Figure 4-41 Site Plan Figure 4-42 Section Figure 4-43 Site Plan Figure 4-44 Section Figure 4-45 Site Plan Figure 4-46 Section Figure 4-47 Site Plan Figure 4-48 Section Figure 4-49 Site Plan Figure 4-50 Section Figure 4-51 Site Map Figure 4-52 Site Map Figure 4-53 Design 1 Beginning Figure 4-54 Design 1 Middle Figure 4-55 Design 1 End Figure 4-56 Summary and Analysis Figure 4-57 Design 2 Beginning Figure 4-58 Design 2 Middle Figure 4-59 Design 2 End Figure 4-60 Summary and Analysis Figure 4-61 Design 3 Beginning Figure 4-62 Design 3 Middle Figure 4-63 Design 3 End Figure 4-64 Design 3 Sections Figure 4-65 Summary and Analysis page 21 page 21 page 21 page 21 page 22 page 22 page 22 page 22 page 23 page 23 page 23 page 23 page 24 page 24 page 25 page 25 page 26 page 26 page 26 page 27 page 28 page 28 page 28 page 29 page 30 page 30 page 30 page 31 page 32 *Note: Unless otherwise noted. all multimedia created by the author.

46) This is not true. if one can gather all available information. The designer chooses a methodology that she or he is comfortable with or has used in the past with no little or no thought on how this choice meshes with the objective of the design. three diverse methods are applied to a complex landscape design problem. they serve as reference points and road maps from the abstract world of design to the concrete world in which the design is placed. causing confusion and frustration for students not able to understand where in the design process they might have gone off course. the answer will be readily apparent and will be the only way to solve the problem. From the information generated by application of each method to a simple design. First. (Winner. (Lynch. discussed. However. the process of design and how methods fit into this process is not understood. The nonlinear and inherently human nature of landscape architecture demands an incorporation of a heuristic approach to landscape architecture. xxvi) Second. understanding the methods in the design process allows a landscape architect to evaluate the end result of his or her design and to quickly construct changes in the design by applying different methods. the increase in computerization and information technologies can lead to a flawed confidence that any problem can be solved if one has enough information or data points. 18) Third. 1 . are not readily changeable at the moment one starts a design. (Polk. In order to examine the role methods play in landscape architecture design eighteen methods are identified. only one variable is easily changeable at the moment of design: the choice of methods. perceptions or cognitive abilities. Each method is applied to a simple design problem and the results are shown and discussed. such as experiences. Finally. and categorized. 75) Fourth. many times the choice of methodology is not given much thought. the mental processes of landscape architecture design merit continual study given the expanding field. (Jones. which should be a conscious choice of methods to achieve a desired result. So the methods influence on the design should match the design intent. Conner.Chapter 1 Introduction This thesis centers on the key question: What effect do different design methods employed by landscape architects have on the design outcome? One component of the design process in landscape architecture is methodology. knowing the eighteen methods and their effects on the design outcome allows a landscape architect to choose a method that is most compatible with the designer’s end vision or design strategy. Four points summarize the key reasons for studying methods of landscape architecture design. (Rowe. they establish the structure of and connections in a design. 28. As a result. First. Other components. Second. 2429) Methods influence three elements in design. (Jones. 270) While many variables shape landscape architecture design. The body of this paper consists of the analysis and implications of this analysis. Under this assumption. they have a direct determination on the design result.

there are details to develop and the work of carrying out the revealed solution. Rowe does not identifies methods per se. which they apply to every occasion.Chapter 2 Literature Review What methods are used in landscape architecture design and how do these methods affect its out- come? A significant book address landscape architect design methods: Kevin Lynch and Gary Hack’s Site Planning 1. but they also half believe in the lightning flash. first published in 1984 currently in its revised and expanded third edition. All of them include the generation and evaluation of new possibilities.3. If design is the imaginative creation of possible forms (of environment in this case). Design is not restricted to genius. 11) Optimizing the Essential Function. Common account is correct: there is a mystery in design. After the revelation. 36/1 (Fall. A second influential publication is Peter G.” The Journal of Enterprise Architecture. nor is it distinct from practicality or detail. 5) Well Spaced Alternatives. Lynch and Hack do not talk about process or design theory. as there is in all human thought. 270-271) Lynch and Hack identify the following twelve methods used in landscape architecture: 1) Learning Probes. 7) Incremental Improvement. 4) Evaluation Criteria. 8) Incremental Adaption. 9) Behavior Settings. Rowe takes a very different tack and views methods as part of a generic design process. 3) Brainstorming. But these are separate problems. whether one thinks of them as grubby nuisances or as the overriding issues of practicality. Rowe’s “A Priori Knowledge and Heuristic Reasoning in Architectural Design published in. some quite old. then design is practiced by many people and in many different ways. Men of genius receive these flashes. Let us begin with a descriptive inventory of the known methods of generation and selecting form possibilities. since site planning is so open-ended a process. 10) Structure of the Problem. Some ways are new. nor is it a uniform or simple process. a lightning flash. and 12) Disaggregation. Practicing designers are aware of its convolutions. and they learn to receive them by following the example of other men of genius.2. but identifies forms of reasoning which are analogous to Lynch and Hack’s methods. They are trained to design in one set way. He states. Lynch and Hack address methods of landscape architecture directly. design is a mystery. 1982). and each is relevant to a particular situation. 2) Subconscious Suggestion. 6) Focus on the Means. They justify the study of methods the following way: “By common account. But the account is otherwise wrong. But most of the new systematic techniques now used for problem solving do not seem very useful either. which are created to achieve certain purposes and are complete with the instructions for making them. Rather. The one way is often clumsy and wasteful. 2 . they concentrate on the identification and definitions of the methods.” (Lynch.

the use of heuristic reasoning. no explicit “stopping rule. and that their solutions cannot be strictly correct or false. which is helpful for illustrating where and how methods are involved as one designs. 18) Rowe defines a design process loop where input is subjected to some type of process. “During the course of designing one mode of heuristic reasoning may be found to be unproductive and give way to other kinds. he approaches the subject of design methods in a generic manner adaptable to any design effort and not confined simply to architectural or landscape design. or restricted sets of form-giving rules that partially and provisionally define the “end” or solution state of a problem. both the “ends” and the “means” are unknown at first and one has to define the problem. and solution strategies amended accordingly. The output is then reviewed and feedback is generated.” (Rowe. which in turn generates output. or plausible strategy. 6) Figure 2-1 Design Loop (Polk. The output then become the new input and the cycle continues. 18) Rowe places his methods in the context of a design process. Rowe’s methods are readily adaptable to landscape architecture. The adaptability of Rowe’s methods to other design disciplines is described by his opening statement. 13) 3 . what it should be like. John Boyd’s loop model OODA (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act) (Polk. In the latter kind. a problem formulation that corresponds to a solution and vice versa. in other words. Architectural design problems can also be referred to as being “wicked problems” in that they have no definitive formulation. inference.” always more than one plausible explanation.“Design is often guided by heuristic reasoning involving solution images. Tackling a problem of this type requires some initial insight. “A distinction can be made in the world of problems between those that are well defined and those that are ill defined. evaluated together with a priori knowledge. the exercise of some provisional set of rules. In solving the former kind the “ends” are known and one has to find the “means”. Rowe’s model is rather crude compared to Col. As a result design appears to be essentially an emergent phenomenon where new information about a problem is generated.” (Rowe. i. that includes most architectural design problems.e.” (Rowe. co-mingling may even occur. analogies. 18) Though Rowe is an architect and constructs his arguments from an architect’s viewpoint.

In this stage. and integration of common qualities or attributes found in the chaotic world. presence. to discover or determine the existence. 19) In this case. Before the designer brings together linked elements of the observation. their methods are also prone to blurred classification lines. 18) Combining the work of Lynch and Hack and Rowe generates seventeen methods. Rather. The designer must avoid using the familiar paradigms that do not reflect the current reality. Orient: To construct a mental model that allows the designer to understand the reality of the present situation and the desired state. “Five classes of heuristics can be identified largely according to the kind of subject matter involved. Brain Storming is a way of welling up Subconscious Suggestions that are then further defined with the help of others in a Brain Storming session. and the design’s objective. or fact of. The intent is best captured by Polk: “(Destruction of a domain or breaking the whole into its respective constituent elements) before he” (in this case the designer) “can collect linking elements to recreate a new and improved observation creation of a new perceptions of reality through specific to general induction. synthesis. mixed with some speculation. 16-21) • • Returning to Rowe. and then create a new perspective of reality by constructing from the specific to the general. They are: 1) the use of anthropometric analogies. • • Observe: To gather information and evidence. there is no over lap between Lynch’s and Rowe’s methods. the classification is one of practical convenience for grouping and discussing observations. Act: To implement the decision. 2) the use of literal analogies.Polk defines the following key terms. the chaotic world is the design. Rowe classifies his methods into five branches of heuristic reasoning.the design should move. the site and its surrounding. It must be noted that Boyd stresses the importance of creating a new reality during this stage of the design loop. 4) the use of typologies. These classes were based on protocol analysis of architectural designers at work. While Lynch and Hack do not recognize this issue. However. This involves the selection of methodologies and course of action. it must be pointed out that Rowe recognizes that the dividing line between classifications are not absolute and instead are used for convenience. One interesting note is that while the methods overlap. the designer is able to understand the present state and visualize in what direction or directions--either narrowly or broadly defined-. So one destroys the observed or starting reality so that the influences perceived or real of the starting reality are reduced. he or she must destruct the existing whole.” (Rowe. 3) the use of environmental relations. (Polk. An example is Brain Storming and Subconscious Suggestion. nor totally inclusive of the range of possible heuristics. 4 .” (Polk. This raises the question of whether all possible methods have been identified. Rowe’s five methods have characteristics crossing classification categories. In this stage the designer observes him or herself. Here Brain Storming crosses classification into the Subconscious Suggestion method. Each class is by no means exclusive of the characteristics of others. Decide: To make choices of how to reach the desired state. and 5) the use of formal “languages”. break it into it elements.

this time-centric research may be dated. neural networks in the brain that produce intelligence and consciousness. In many systems. modes of description is known as hierarchical self-organization. At this point. or the use of. social insect colonies. Methodology is the application of methods to solve a design. hardly a main stream theoretical voice. however. which interact nonlinearly to form compound structures or functions with an identity that requires more explanatory devices than those used to explain the building blocks. body of work on the study of design methods in landscape architecture design. This is a design strategy. such as arts. Examples of these systems are gene networks that direct developmental processes. immune networks that preserve the identity of organisms. the designer generally understands the current situation and has a general or specific end result in mind. These essay talk more of process then methods. The design process is considered the generic thought process of a designer as she or he designs. and possibly more complete. ecological networks. It involves the study. With a methodology. However. methodology. while methods are the structured systematic approaches to problem solving. (2002) After Lynch and Hack’s essay excerpt. all but one of the methods used in these field could in fit into one of the seventeen methods identified by Lynch and Rowe. the next most recent and single scholar is Bernard Lassus.” (Rocha. Having a design strategy allows others to have a common framework to discuss. While the work of Lynch and Rowe has represented essential first steps. 1) 5 . 221) “Almost all interesting processes in nature are highly cross linked. Given the dramatic increases in technology in the landscape architectural field since the early 1980s. and computer sciences. (Jones. management and construction of a complex system. social networks comprised of transportation. science. we can distinguish a set of fundamental building blocks. which to them become the design process. 192-199) The one method not identified by Lynch and Rowe is complex system modeling. This thesis makes the following distinctions. nonlinear models. processes. and systems that observe this characteristic are defined as complex (2). engineering. and telecommunication systems. which is defined as: “A system comprised of a (usually large) number of (usually strongly) interacting entities. This process of emergence of the need for new. During a critique. or agents.Many authors discuss design process. new scientific tools. Methodology is involved in the action phase of the design process. the understanding of which requires the development. and methods but blur their distinctions. Evidence of this conclusion may be found by looking at the essays’ Simon Swaffield included in his Reader: Theory of Landscape Architecture.” (Richards. how many students could answer the question “What is your design strategy?” Another area of concern is that only two authors have researched and written about architecture design methods. collaborate. and understand the working design. One of the reasons there is so much confusion about design process. I expanded my research to include other design disciplines. the designer then makes a conscious choice of a method or combination of methods which becomes the designer’s methodology. out-of equilibrium descriptions and computer simulations. Based on this desired end result. a designer has a roadmap for moving from the general starting area to the desired end. Methodology is not design process nor is design process a method. utilities. as well as economies. complementary. more researchers might result in a more diverse. Compounding this concern is the fact that both authors completed their work around the same period of time--the early 1980s. methodology and methods is that many designers use one method.

16) Structure of the Problem. 8) Subconscious Suggestion.” (Rocha. construct and interact with complex systems. 3) Anthropometric Analogies. control. as well as development of applications to understand and control such systems. 6 . 2) Environmental Relation. 10) Evaluation Criteria. 12) Focus on the Means. 17) Optimizing the Essential Function. Very rarely do landscape architects deal with systems that are not complex by nature. and 18) Disaggregation.Landscape architects study. System modeling can be defined as “concerned with basic and applied research on simulations and analysis of complex systems. That method is complex system modeling or system modeling. Therefore landscape architects need a method to deal with complex systems. there are eighteen types of methods used by landscape architects during a design process: 1) System Modeling. 13) Incremental Improvement. 1) In summation. 7) Learning Probes. 4) Literal Analogies. 15) Behavior Settings. 11) Well Spaced Alternatives. 14) Incremental Adaption. manage. 9) Brainstorming.

and the results are analyzed. Each method is applied to the design problem. Three different methods are selected for their diversity and minimal overlap in characteristics. Each identified method then is defined and a visual representation of the method is developed. First. Established comparative strengths and weaknesses of each method. methods applicable to landscape architecture are identified through a literature review. The resulting designs are analyzed and discussed. Reviewing these strengths and weaknesses might suggest another approach or design strategy based on identified design goals. The second design exercise examines whether a single method can be used in a complex design fairly typical of a real world design problem and whether different methods will result in a different design outcomes. The design is simplistic to facilitate keeping all variables constant except for the method used. The first deals with the investigation of how different methods effects the outcome of a simple control design. The design exercises involve two parts. 7 .Chapter 3 Methodology The methodology used in this study is as follows.

The following diagram shows the intent to use environmental heating to control the structure’s internal temperature. System Modeling System modeling solves a design by looking at a system. the crowd could be thought of as water moving with a tide and managed by the same means as one controls water movement.Chapter 4 Design Exercise Of the four components of the process involved in the design loop. placing the system in the design context and substituting design elements for function and stimuli. Scholars have identified the following eighteen distinct design methods. Environmental Relations Environmental relations incorporates the proper relation between man and the environment and includes considerations of how materials interact with the environment. when designing a plaza. 1. only methodologies are readily changeable. Figure 4-1 Crowd 2. landscape architects incorporate native plants into their designs to repair or minimize the environmental impact of a project. In the landscape architecture design context. In the following example. For example. Figure 4-2 Tidal Flow Figure 4-3 Environmental Heating 8 . the movement of the crowd is similar to the movement of the tide. understanding its function and stimuli.

3. Anthropometric Analogies Anthropometric analogies focus on the human body and its relationship to the design goal. it is very important to incorporate how humans relate to the site. The following example shows how one form influences the design. if one is designing a path to a reptile exhibit. the path could be modeled after a snake moving along the ground. The following diagrams center on the baseline relationship of the human body to the design. Figure 4-5 Flower Figure 4-6 Design 9 . is the bench too big and uncomfortable? Can one see over the wall if standing next to it. Literal Analogies Literal analogies use an existing form or construct to generate the solution for the design. When designing a plaza. and these solutions are then used to develop the design to completion. In the landscape architecture design context. 10 feet away or 50 feet away? Figure 4-4 Anthropometric 4. The program elements are solved. For example.

Learning Probes Learning probes start without a comprehensive understanding of all issues relating to the design. The design generates information used to explore the issues and understand the interplay of elements. In the following example.5. strong yet thin. The example starts with what known in its most basic form—what type of structure is needed to support the bridge. Figure 4-7 Support Structure Figure 4-8 Bridge Design 6. the roof structure takes the form of an egg shell. Figure 4-9 Egg Shell Roof 10 . Subconscious Suggestion Subconscious suggestion brings forth the processing power of the subconscious to solve a design. The information is used to “play” with the various elements of the structure and evaluate the results and effects within the design. Many find this method hit or miss and unreliable.

Evaluation criteria Evaluation criteria sets the criteria and subordinates all other design elements to this criteria. In this example. The following diagrams the brain storming process. Figure 4-11 Stage 11 .7. Landscape architects commonly use a criteria for site run and design to that goal. the criteria is for the last row to hear a pin drop on stage. Figure 4-10 Brain Storming 8. Brain storming Brain storming relies on a group or collective effort to generate solutions for the design.

9. rather than focusing on the problem or object of the design. Figure 4-12 No Access Figure 4-13 Unlimited Access 10. In one of the following photos. The solution is found somewhere between these two alternatives. Means-focus Means-focus plays with forms or means to generate a solution. and in the alternative. Here the designer uses free-moving sketches to develop a roof design. access is restricted by car. Well Spaced Alternatives Well spaced alternatives bracket a design solution by the use of extreme alternatives. access is unlimited by car. Neither alternative is the design solution. but they bracket the solution. Figure 4-14 Sketch Figure 4-15 Design 12 .

making small improvements. Incremental adaption Incremental adaption applies a successful design to a similar situation. In the following sketch. 13 . The following sketch shows how a Parisian cafe is copied in Washington.11. Figure 4-16 Small Town 12.C. the designer tries to understand the feel of a small town and convey this to a new development. Washington. Many times this is done by the use of case studies. D. A case study tries to understand the system being studied and apply it to a new situation. at the same time improving parts that will not diminish the feeling of a small town. Incremental improvement Incremental improvement enhances a design gradually. D. Figure 4-17 Parisian Cafe Figure 4-18 Cafe.C.

13. steeples are generally associated with houses of worship. The following images show the underlining pattern and relationship of three different towns. As the following example illustrates. one or a combination of these layouts might be useful. For example. designing an amusement park. Pattern languages Pattern languages are the rules representing the order and correct function of the relationship between man and his environment. in the western culture. This is what the design intends to communicate by the use of a type form. Figure 4-19 Steeple 14. Figure 4-20 Pattern Language 14 . Typologies Typologies are past solutions whose principles are considered constant and invariable within cultural contexts. These relationships or patterns can be applied to different designs by increasing or decreasing the scale.

Figure 4-22 Round/Square Peg 15 . the key problem could be how to maximize and preserve a great view. standard design problems include issues such as what material to use in constructing a walkway and what type of plants to use in the design. Once a solution is developed for this problem. hygiene. In the following example. Structure-of-the-Problem The structure-of-the-problem method focuses on the key problem. such as containment. or filtration for run off. the design falls into place. gathering areas. common behaviors would include parking. Behavioral Setting Behavioral setting design identifies behavior patterns that are independent and stable.15. Figure 4-21 Andersonville Prison 16. In landscape architecture design. For example. a prison has areas designed to address certain behaviors. etc. In the landscape architecture context. food preparation. Meanwhile. the round pegs represent standard design problems. The square peg is the unique or key problem that must be addressed before the design is complete.

solves for each subset and then combines the solutions of each subset to form a solution. Optimization Essential Function Optimization identifies the key functions of the design and works through each function. Each problem must be solved separately and then combined to complete the design. In the following example. In the following example. and these solutions are used to develop the design to completion. The information gathered is used to better understand how each function will fit into the design. such as topography and site run off.17. each piece represents a design problem. Figure 4-23 Optimization 18. Disaggregation Disaggregation divides a problem into subsets. each piece of the game must be separately solved before the game is complete. In the landscape architecture context. The program elements are then solved. each function is separated into program elements. Figure 4-24 Disaggregation 16 . solving each as if it were the most important function.

The prairie planting offsets the increased run off of the parking lot by increasing holding capacity.Design Methods Applied to Simple Designs The following is the work generated by applying each method to the problem of run off from a parking lot. and filtration of run off. a brief description of how the method is applied. absorption. System Modeling: The design is based on the functions of natural hydrologic system. First. Many authors discuss design process. and the resulting design. Plantings on the site are changed from mowed lawn to tall grass prairie. Second. while methods are the structured systematic approaches to problem solving. This thesis makes the following distinctions. The design problem is kept simple and all variables except method type are kept constant. the design process is considered the generic thought process of a designer as she or he designs. another design example is used. methodology is the application of methods to solve a design. The processing capacity of some part of the natural system must be increased to accommodate the change in run off from the parking lot. Figure 4-25 Site Plan Mowed Lawn Figure 4-26 Site Plan Prairie 17 . The work is organized by: the name of the method type. methodology. The limitation of the design problem resulted in some method types not being applicable to the design. Where this happens. and methods but blur their distinctions.

Literal Analogies The design uses a beaver dam to control the hydrology of the site. The water is held in a pond on site Figure 4-28 Beaver Dam 18 .Environmental Relation Rain garden design transitions the man-made area into the large environment and minimizes the ecological damage. The method can be used to solve smaller problems within the site. Figure 4-27 Rain Garden Anthropometric Analogies The method is difficult to use as a sole method to solve this design problem. such as how big should a manhold should be or how a person would walk from their car to the building to generate the shape and path of the sidewalks. Beavers are encouraged to settle on the site and dam the small stream.

one would assemble a group that included end users of both the parking lot and the stream in which the run off flows into.Learning Probes As one plays with the design form. raising the parking lot and allowing vegetation to grow under the structure solves the run off problem. the method cannot be used. a solution becomes apparent. Figure 4-31 Site Plan Figure 4-32 Section Brain Storming The brain storming method requires more than one person. If one were to use this method. Figure 4-29 Site Plan Figure 4-30 Section Subconscious Suggestion The structure of the roof is taken from a partial picture of a suspension bridge. Since the author is the only person involved in the design. Then one could have a diverse brain storming session with each group bringing a different element to the session and building on each others’ ideas. the designers and the developers. 19 . In this case.

meeting the stated criteria. The other design sinks the parking lot. to use the water to raise a control gate. The design is constructed to gather the run off from the parking lot. The solution is between the two. Figure 4-33 Site Plan Figure 4-34 Section Well Spaced Alternatives One design raises the parking lot. to retain the water and to slowly release it. Figure 4-36 Section Figure 4-35 Site Plan 20 .Evaluation Criteria The criteria is set as a maximum amount over time of water leaving the site.

retain.Focus on the Means The form of the roof is generated by the exploration of form through the use of free-style sketches. Figure 4-40 Section Figure 4-39 Site Plan 21 . Figure 4-37 Site Plan Figure 4-38 Section Incremental Improvement Here a standard design used for controlling run off is improved by changing the design of a sidewalk to capture. and filter run off.

Incremental Adaption A rain garden is adapted to a parking lot design. Maybe in a few years. Behavior Setting Slowing run off. the inclusion of a rain garden will identify the building project as being enviromentally friendly or green. and dispersing water are identified as behavioral settings and are incorporated into the design. this should be incorporated into the parking lot design. but it is applicable to the way the cars enter and leave the site. Pattern Languages The pattern language may not be applicable to the run off from this site. Americans drive on the right side of the road. retaining. and as a result. Figure 4-42 Section Figure 4-41 Site Plan Typologies Typologies are not directly applicable to this design problem. Figure 4-43 Site Plan Figure 4-44 Section 22 . filtering.

A green roof is constructed over the parking lot that mimics the pre-development hydrology. Figure 4-45 Site Plan Figure 4-46 Section Optimizing the Essential Function The optimal parking lot in this case is to have preamble pavement with a filtration system under the parking lot. Figure 4-48 Section Figure 4-47 Site Plan 23 .Structure of the Problem The key problem is rain running off the parking lot.

Figure 4-49 Site Plan Figure 4-50 Section 24 .Disaggregation: The design is broken into two problems: holding the rain where it falls. and infiltrating the rain water. The design solves the problems by using heavy vegetation to hold rain where it falls and sand-filled holes to capture and infiltrate rain water.

and all the remaining land in the area is held by developers with plans to build. The river is polluted and environmentally degraded. Three diverse methods are selected and applied to a common landscape architecture design of normal complexity. • • • • • • • 1. The methods when applied to a standard landscape design problem. DC. The city is building a baseball stadium next to the site on the west.000 square foot retail 160 residential units 235 room hotel Two underground levels of parking with 1. while making the area attractive and desirable when baseball is not played. Figure 4-51 Site Map Figure 4-52 Site Map 25 . DC. The area around the site is undergoing massive redevelopment. The proposed use of the site is as follows: Program elements: Site is 5.087 spaces The goals of the design are to: 1) integrate the public and private space of the plaza. and 2) incorporate the new stadium and surrounding proposed development.000 square foot office 36.1 million square foot project 3 buildings 600.8 acres near the new baseball stadium in Southwest Washington. The design problem selected is the development of the Florida Rock location in Washington.Three Methods Applied to a Complex Design Simple designs do not fully test the methods in a landscape architecture application. Currently the site is occupied by a concrete plant and has about 900 feet of river front on the tidal portion of the Anacostia River.

The design develops into an amalgamation of parts.Method 1 Disaggregation Figure 4-53 Design 1 Beginning Site Organization Figure 4-54 Design 1 Middle Constructed Layers Figure 4-55 Design 1 End. 26 . Final Form.

Figure 4-56 Summary and Analysis 27 .

28 .Method 2 Focus on the Means Figure 4-57 Design 2 Beginning Morphology Figure 4-58 Design 2 Middle Site Development Figure 4-59 Design 2 End. The design has external connections. but the internal connections and internal and external structure needs to be developed.

Figure 4-60 Summary and Analysis 29 .

Method 3 Learning Probes Figure 4-61 Design 3 Beginning Start with basics Figure 4-62 Design 3 Middle Play with connection between elements Figure 4-63 Design 3 End. The design connects internally. Completing the design requires more external connections and internal and external structure. 30 .

Figure 4-64 Design 3 Sections 31 .

Figure 4-65 Summary and Analysis 32 .

11. only the choice of methods are outside the personal reality of the designer. The design does not exist by itself and these methods help place the design in context of the larger world. Brain Storming 8. Focus on the Means 3) Incorporation and adaption —These methods deal with external existing structures which can be thought of as a framework or skeleton on which designers build connections. The complex designs are not complete. What is the relevance of this? Some methods identified are closely related. Incremental Adaptation 13. Therefore. System Modeling 2. Typologies 14. Subconscious Suggestion 7. An examination of the methods allows one to place the eighteen methods into categories. 5. Environmental Relation 3. Can they be categorized by function? Using different methods changes the outcome of the simple design and they are fairly complete. Design by Behavior Setting 33 . a combination of methods must be used. 1. Within the design loop.Chapter 5 Conclusion Reviewing the effects of methods on the simple and complex designs. Design by Evaluation Criteria 9. Learning Probes 6. These external structures must be incorporated into the design. Anthropometric Analogies 4. Literal Analogies 2) Interrelationships and dependencies—These methods develop internal connections which must be developed in order to avoid running the risk that a design ends up as just a sum of its parts. These categories are defined by the methods effects on the outcome of the design. Well Spaced Alternatives 10. The use of one method distorts the design and makes it not relevant. Pattern Languages 15. Incremental Improvement 12. These eighteen methods can be classified into four categories: 1) Modeling systems—These methods develop external connections to the design. The design must transition from the design to the world outside of the design. the following questions are generated.

Structure of the Problem 17. 16. then every other element in the design is subordinate to the lake.4) Structure problems—These methods develop internal structures. it runs the risk of become irrelevant. • • 1) Methods give structure to the path way between the current situation and the desired state by establishing a priority and weighting the design elements and programs or a design strategy. methods determine how design elements connect. The results should create redundancies. A design must prioritize and weight its design elements and programs in order to create a framework on which to build. it will have internal and external structure and connect internally and externally. 34 • • . If this well understood convention is changed. the design may fail because it will lack one or more of the following: • External connections: If a design is not connected to the surrounding area. • External structure: External structure incorporates existing conventions into the design. Methodologies/methods are important for many reasons. While using all four does not guarantee the design will be adaptive and sustainable. Optimizing the Essential Function 18. If the most important element is a lake. (Hasslberger. the process must incorporate all four categories of methods. American cars drive on the right side of the road. Applying different methods to the same design project will result in different designs with different connections and structures. the design will have a greater chance of reaching a critical mass of necessary connections and redundancies to ensure a substainable design able to adapt to the ever-changing world. 1) Referencing a solution in terms of known elements or coordinates anchors the abstract world of the designer to the concrete world. The second reason it is important to use all four categories of methods is because it helps designers navigate a vast. almost infinite solution space to find a solution. When the design incorporates methods from all four categories. The methods are akin to the “tetra space” coordinate system in which four axis are needed to reference or fix a point in space. which moves the end result closer to the goal of adaptive or sustainable design. if all four categories are addressed during a design process. the design is more easily understood and relevant to the people using the design. it causes problems for those in the design and those entering the design. more connections are generated. Different methods address different types and ways of constructing connections in a design. If all four categories are not used in a design. Otherwise the design is a amalgamation of parts with no synergy. 3) In landscape architecture design. interconnections and interdependencies within the design system. must be addressed. By referencing internal and external connections and structure. • Internal structure: Internal structure establishes an order and weight of the design elements within the design. 2) In addition to establishing structure. The external connections. it will greatly increase the chances of this happening. such as connecting to infrastructure and community. 4) Methods also shape the output of a design. Disaggregation Using all four of these categories in any design is important for two basic reasons. • Internal connections: Elements within a design must have some connections. First. If a broad range of methods are incorporated into the process. For example.

Changing methods may help a designer remove mental blocks. the four categories of methods are not limiting. The categorization of the methods allows a designer to check the design in terms of internal and external connections and structures. sustainable. the design may not be complete and may need to be reworked to address the lacking categories. the use of all four categories of methods in a design is essential to achieve the ultimate goal of landscape architecture: the creation of a design that is adaptive. Limiting the process to a cookbook or formulaic approach restricts the solution set and fails to allow for a better solution based on different combinations and types of methods. If all four methods are used. A single method does not address all the structures and connections needed to generate a relevant design. break out of design ruts in which designs look similar and improve design results. Future research questions generated from this work include more research into the design process model and the cognitive side of design. Possible other methods may have been explored and published in languages other than English. they must be able to see or sense connections. and if so. a design is more likely to be referenced and fixed in the concrete world. Another complication in my research was due to the fact that I was limited to researching English-only studies and research. If a single method is exclusively used in a design that has the complexity normally found in a landscape architect design. The variables in landscape architecture design are methods. experiences. Certainly no cookbook or formula exists for design because too many variables exist within the design process. interrelationships/dependencies. What cognitive abilities are used in landscape architecture design? Can cognitive ability be improved or taught. Each method or combination of methods increases the number of design alternatives for any given design problem. If the design lacks one or more of these categories. Instead. Moving between these four categories during a design and reinforcing one or more that was not present ensures a more comprehensive design result. and perceptions with the real world in which the design must exist. how should it be done? Should studio include a formal lecture component where methods are taught and cognitive abilities improved? 35 . However. as demonstrated by the application of the eighteen methods to a simple design. methods connect outsiders to the designer’s abstract personal reality and to the design. allowing a landscape architect to select from a large design solution set. the four categories—system modeling. and relevant or a complex system. Unfortunately I was unable to identify or analyze these potential sources. incorporation/adaption and structure problems—ensure that the necessary connections and redundancies exist to create a design that adapts to the ever-changing world. a designer may construct different connections and structures resulting in changed designs. cognitive abilities and perceptions—and the “real” world. Finally. Methods connect a designer’s cognitive abilities. Together. A designer always runs the risk of getting lost in his or her own constructed reality. By changing the methods employed. For others to understand a design. and connect the design to their perception of reality or the “real” world.• 5) Methods are the way to establish a connection between the personal elements of the design process—experiences. The conscious choice of methods changes the results of a design. A landscape architect should be familiar with all eighteen methods. Each method affects the design differently in terms of building connections and structure. the design will most likely fail.

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000 in a year. 40 . soliciting bids and RFPs from nursery. estimating costs. Responsibilities include: meeting with the clients and prospects. George Washington University.CHRISTOPHER JAMES LIDY EDUCATION Master of Landscape Architecture. Staples 2000 to 2001 Developed new business. GA) 1989 to 1990 Infantry and leadership training. Senior Account Executive. Washington. Virginia Tech. retaining accounts. accounts receivable and payable. Identified. Blacksburg. growing and maintaining customer base. Operations Manager. hospital groups. General Management. Washingtonpost. virtual career fairs and resume database searches. masonry. VA. Achievements 1999: closed the top two accounts in the division and promoted to senior account executive. 1989 • EXPERIENCE Owner. Sherwin-Williams 1990 to 1994 Developed new sales territory by prospecting and generating new accounts. Tulane University. Infantry Officer’s Basic Course (Ft. 1997: achieved new account growth rate of 22 percent and awarded regional sales award. Business Development Associate. Waste Management 1995 to 2000 Developed a territory by generating new business. DC 2005 • B. New Orleans. identifying and developing budgets. 1996: generated new account growth of 19 percent. Products sold included banners. property management companies. Grew territory from $0 to $250. 1995: promoted from sales representative to account executive nine months after joining company Professional Coatings Representative. administrative and logistical support to customers and sales representatives. determining client needs. and day-to-day management of the commercial center. developing design from site survey and construction of base map to client presentations. Outside Sales Representative. Natural Designs 2002 to present Own and manage a residential and small commercial landscape design and installation company emphasizing the use of native plants. LA. negotiating terms. and overseeing contractors in field.com 2001 to 2002 Marketed advertising for online jobs board.S. 2007 • Certificate of Landscape Design. renewing contracts and cross selling. technical. generated and qualified prospects. targeted and constructed strategies to close large commercial accounts with multiple locations and service demands. manufacturing plants and regional distribution facilities. Managed inside commercial sales. irrigation and lighting contractors. 1998: generated new account growth of 19 percent. carpentry. 1997-1996: closed 4 of the top 10 regional accounts. conditions and prices with contractors. led groups of 2 to 40 lieutenants in simulated combat exercises. Benning. Accounts included utilities. assessed prospects’ needs and developed strategic procurement programs designed to meet the specific objectives of the client.

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