March 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm #152077
So I went to my local book store this weekend and of course headed to the Landscape Architecture & Gardening section as I wanted to get hold of some design orientated books. This is when I ran into a bit of an problem, the book store had many books of plants and the different species etc. but I really battled to find anything about design or landscape design. This really bugged me as the Architecture area was full of architectural design related books.
So, my question is this, What books do you feel are “Must have” books for any landscape architect?
Thanks so much in advance!March 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm #152087
“Time-saver Standards for Landscape Architects” a must-have, “A Pattern Language” to make you happy, “Design with Nature” so you can aspire to understand what the heck McHarg was talking about.March 2, 2015 at 6:00 pm #152086
“Landscape Architecture Graphic Standards” is what I meant, actually, I think it is pretty much the same as Time-saver standards. Big expensive tomes you can spend hours leafing through. Great books..!
Have fun!March 6, 2015 at 6:07 pm #152085
@Nigel, thanks for the Kevin Lynch reminder – he IS an excellent thinker, his Site Planning definitely a standard. But sorry, I beg to differ with your statement that ” for an LA plants are your most important media.”
I see plants as secondary to the real bones of the site – the ground plane, and the earth sculpting the LA will be doing in working with the ecological niche your site occupies. Then comes circulation, how will the site be acted upon by humans/animals/users..
And the plants come after that!.
IHMO! (and I do like to argue..!)March 8, 2015 at 9:08 pm #152084
@Nigel, here in calif. my experience is quite different – a passion for plants is all these guys are trained in, to the point that they act like painters rather than architects. Layering, contrast, that is all they talk about, all they have been taught to understand, like painters with paint. Here in Ca., we are taught to just irrigate everything, and the plants are your medium. I find no-one in Calif. really thinks about the systems they are working upon, because of the abundant sunshine and all pervasive irrigation systems. So now, with the drought. the landscapers have to pay the piper. Their designs mean nothing because they do not respect the underlying ecology, the ground plain, the earth. I find designing only with plants so boring – plants change constantly, their color, their forms…it is the earth that we have to first respect. Perhaps it is different where you come from, I hope so.March 11, 2015 at 5:22 pm #152083
seems to differ by school. some don’t bother teaching soil science, others neglect horticulture and only teach about ID and aesthetics of plants, others are still behind on ecology…March 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm #152082
Plants: Dirr’s book on woody plants; Armitage’s on perennials.
‘Sustainability’ (or more accurately on ecology and design): The Green Braid (Tanzer&Longoria), Ecology and Design (Hill), Landscape Urbanism Reader (this will show you what one direct development of “Design with Nature” is, “Granite Garden” and others by Spirn will show
Theory: Theory in Landscape Architecture, Recovering Landscape, Theories in Landscape Architecture, collected essays of Robert Smithson, ‘Sustaining Beauty’ and other essays by Elizabeth Meyer.
History: I’m partial to Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History; J B Jackson (“Landscapes”, “A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time”)March 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm #152081
Wow thanks so much for the great response. I don’t know if I’ll find many (if any) of these around Cape Town but I’ll have a look on ebay.March 11, 2015 at 5:40 pm #152080
Thanks for breaking your response up into categories, it’s really great! I’ll definitely do some research and see if I can find a few of these. I’m very interested in the design and theory side of things.
Thanks for the great response, its much appreciated.March 11, 2015 at 5:48 pm #152079
Well I’m a student who happens to be working at a LA firm too, and in my experience studying so far we have really been pushed when it comes to plant identification and overall plant knowledge as well as horticulture, soils etc. The design side, while still a big part of our studies, almost seems to take a secondary role which I thought was quite strange, hence me wanting to find some good design related books.
So thanks so much everyone, you’ve really been very helpful.March 14, 2015 at 3:17 am #152078
I would have to echo ‘Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History’ by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers. A great comprehensive resource for understanding what influenced design of landscapes throughout the ages, and how multi-dimensional are designs of the present.
Also would echo as stated before, ‘Design with Nature’ by Ian McHarg.
If interested in the New Perennials or natural style side of design, ‘Natural Garden Style’ by Noel Kingsbury is a good introduction.
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