Given the multidisciplinary nature of Landscape Urbanism, this series correspondingly ranges across urbanism, landscape architecture, planning, geography, philosophy, cybernetics and social theory. It aims to explore the role of these disciplines in relation to the development, theorisation and practice of Landscape Urbanism. Specifically, this course will introduce and elaborate the paradigm under which Landscape Urbanism understands and employs the ‘Landscape’ component of its title. As opposed to presenting the discipline as a simple conjunction of its two terms therefore, the aim, particularly within the first term, is to elaborate the ways in which Landscape offers a processual, scalar and temporal medium through which the particular conditions of contemporary urbanism might be processed.

Structurally the course aims toward a synergy with the programme of the design studio, since, in its first term, it addresses the models and methods employed by Landscape Urbanism alongside an historically and socially contextualised account of the conditions through which these have developed. In the second term contemporary urban conditions are addressed as the focus of the programme whilst the conditions and possibilities these pose for the practice of Landscape Urbanism are critically explored. Whilst the programme of term one is principally concerned with an introduction to the discipline and its methods, then, the second term has a more contemporary and geographically specific orientation intended to respond to the specific sites addressed within the design core and the development of each student’s own critical agenda.

Students will be expected to work in groups for the seminar portion of the course.In the first term, the sessions will be largely given to lecture with minor input from student groups. In the second term, a greater role will be handed over to student group presentations.

Douglas Spencer gained a BA Hons in History of Art Design and Film Studies from Sheffield City Polytechnic, a Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies from Sheffield City Polytechnic, and is currently undertaking a PhD in Architectural Theory at Westminster University. He has published research in a number of journals and books on the subjects of Urbanism, Landscape Urbanism, Utopian Design and critical theory