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Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice

This course is a critical introduction to the history, theory, and practice of landscape architecture. It is intended for masters-level students in the landscape architecture professional program and beginning students in the Master in Sustainable Urbanization. Space permitting, the course is also open to students enrolled in any other master program at SLU or another Swedish university. Because of its international makeup it is conducted in English.

Course evaluation

Additional course evaluations for LK0313

Academic year 2022/2023

Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice (LK0313-10035)

2022-08-29 - 2022-10-31

Academic year 2021/2022

Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice (LK0313-10116)

2021-08-30 - 2021-11-01

Academic year 2020/2021

Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice (LK0313-10178)

2020-08-31 - 2020-11-01

Academic year 2019/2020

Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice (LK0313-10034)

2019-09-02 - 2019-10-31

Academic year 2018/2019

Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice (LK0313-10054)

2018-09-03 - 2018-11-05

Syllabus and other information


LK0313 Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice, 15.0 Credits

Landskapsarkitektur: historia, teori och praktik


Landscape Architecture

Education cycle

Master’s level


Title Credits Code
Single module 15.0 0201

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirementsMaster’s level (A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to 150 credits of which 90 credits in Landscape Architecture, and/or Architecture, and/or Urban Planning and/or Human Geography and/or Community Planning, and English 6, or admitted to the Landscape Architecture for Sustainable Urbanisation – Master´s programme.


To provide deep understanding of different landscape architecture and design theories and viewpoints through history and their relation to landscape architecture practice.

After completion of the course the student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

- understand theories and concepts in landscape architecture and design

- analyse major fields of landscape architecture research, their methodology and relation to other design disciplines

- discuss key theories and case studies of landscape architecture history in Sweden and internationally; critically relate these knowledges to the development of modern society

- elaborate practical implications from theories in landscape architecture and design

- discuss main theoretical viewpoints in today’s landscape architecture and its relation to sustainability

Competence and skills

- apply key landscape architecture theories and historical precedences into a landscape architecture design concept

Judgement and approach

- reflect on a personal approach in the field of landscape architecture and future professional role

- decode contemporary landscapes and reflect on them from a personal point of view concerning design and ethical standpoints.


The course is consisted of lectures, seminars, field trip and writing an essay. Suggested literature list covers the history and contemporary practice of landscape architecture, design theory and landscape architecture/architecture theory. A field trip to a city or place in Europe, and visits in Uppsala-Stockholm are included in the course. Different topics will be discussed in seminars.

Students will produce one conceptual design which reflects discussed theories and historical case studies.

Students will produce one analytical text with a critical assessment of a chosen landscape architecture project. Students will write a reflecting text about their own approach as a designer in relation to given lectures, field trips, literature and seminars. Special attention will be given to critical thinking and the producing of graphic communication such as sketches, photos, figures and diagrams.

Excursions, study visits, seminars and activities connected to them are compulsory.

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed written works, conceptual design, and participation in compulsory activities. If a student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.

If a student has been granted targeted study support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative form of assessment.

If this course is discontinued, SLU will decide on transitional provisions for the examination of students admitted under this syllabus who have not yet been awarded a Pass grade.

For the assessment an independent project (degree project), the examiner may also allow a student to add supplemental information after  the deadline for submission.  For more information, please refer to the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course instance which the student has been admitted to and registered on.

If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information, please refer to the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.

Additional information

Field trips are financed by the student. Information about costs will be available on the course homepage 4 weeks before the course starts.

Responsible department

Department of Urban and Rural Development

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom landskap och trädgård (PN - LT)
Replaces: LK0249

Grading criteria

There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Litterature list


Introduction lectures and seminars consist of two parts: the first part covers the role of history and theory in landscape architecture and the second part focuses on the contemporary debates in landscape architecture.

Part 1

Introduction: History, theory and practice in landscape architecture

Compulsory readings

Boone, K. (2020). Notes Toward a History of Black Landscape Architecture. Places Journal.

Hunt, J.D. (2004). Historical Ground: The role of history in contemporary landscape architecture Routledge & CRC Press. (introduction)

Swaffield, S. R. (2006). Theory and Critique in Landscape Architecture: Making Connections. Journal of Landscape Architecture, 1(1), 22–29.

Upton, D. (1991). Architectural History or Landscape History? Journal of Architectural Education (1984-), 44(4), 195–199.

Way, T. PLATFORM: Why History for Designers? (Part 1). (n.d.). PLATFORM. Retrieved June 16, 2022, from Part 2

Recommended readings

Angelo, H. (2021) How Green Became Good: Urbanized Nature and Making of Cities and Citizens. Chicago U. Press (Introduction: pp.1-26)

Duncan, J. S., & Duncan, N. G. (2001). The Aestheticization of the Politics of Landscape Preservation. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 91(2), 387–409.

hooks, bell (1991) "Theory as Liberatory Practice," Yale Journal of Law & Feminism: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 2. Available at:

Lipsitz, G. (2007). The Racialization of Space and the Spatialization of Race Theorizing the Hidden Architecture of Landscape. Landscape Journal, 26(1), 10–23.

Mitchell, D. (2016). Cultural landscapes: The dialectical landscape – recent landscape research in human geography: Progress in Human Geography.

Mitchell, W. J. T. (Ed.). (2002). Landscape and Power, Second Edition. University of Chicago Press. (introduction)

Taylor, D. E. (2009). The Environment and the People in American Cities, 1600s-1900s: Disorder, Inequality, and Social Change. Duke University Press.

Part 2

Contemporary debates

Compulsory readings

Carlson, D., & Collard-Arias, M. (2022). Trajectories of practice across time: Moving beyond the histories of landscape architecture. Landscape Research, 47(1), 25–34.

Hutton, Jane (2020) Reciprocal Landscapes: Stories of material movements. Routledge (several chapters)

Recommended readings

Bélanger, P. (2020). No Design on Stolen Land: Dismantling Design’s Dehumanising White Supremacy. Architectural Design, 90(1), 120–127.

Dang, T. K. (2021). Decolonizing landscape. Landscape Research, 46(7), 1004–1016.

Decolonizing the Green City: From Environmental Privilege to Emancipatory Green Justice. (n.d.).

Erling Björgvinsson, Nicholas De Genova, Mahmoud Keshavarz & Tintin Wulia (2020). ’Migration’ Retrieved June 20, 2022, from PARSE 10—Spring 2020 Editorial

Fleming, B. (2021). Frames and Fictions: Designing a Green New Deal Studio Sequence. Journal of Architectural Education, 75(2), 192–201.

Gould, K. A., & Lewis, T. L. (2017). The Environmental Injustice of Green Gentrification: The Case of Brooklyn Prospect Park. In A. Gould and Tammy L. Lewis. New York: Routledge,

Hood, W. and Mitchell Tada, G. (2020) Black Landscapes Matter. University of Virginia Press. (several chapters)

Rothenberg, J., & Lang, S. (2017). Repurposing the High Line: Aesthetic experience and contradiction in West Chelsea. City, Culture and Society, 9, 1–12.

Scott, E. E., & Swenson, K. (Eds.). (2015). Critical Landscapes: Art, Space, Politics (1st ed.). University of California Press.

Spencer, D. (2017). Agency and Artifice in the Environment of Neoliberalism. In E. Wall & T. Waterman (Eds.), Landscape and Agency (1st ed., pp. 177–187). Routledge.

Subjectivity – agency, positionality, power, and privilege, reflexivity, relational thinking, co-production, link to sustainability…

Part 1 subjectivity, positionality

Compulsory readings

Sandra J. Schmidt (2017) Hacked Landscapes: Tensions, Borders, and Positionality in Spatial Literacy, Journal of Geography, 116:3, 99-108, DOI: 10.1080/00221341.2016.1257046

Recommended readings

Rendell, R. (2005) ‘Architecture-Writing’, in Jane Rendell (ed.) ‘Critical Architecture’, special issue of the Journal of Architecture, (June 2005), v. 10. n. 3, pp. 255-64.

Rose, G. (1997). Situating knowledges: positionality, reflexivities and other tactics. Progress in Human Geography, 21(3), 305–320.

Warf, B. (2010). Positionality. In Encyclopedia of geography (Vol. 1, pp. 2258-2258). SAGE Publications, Inc.,

Richards, M-L (2019) Out of Line_ Erasure and vulnerability as sites of subversion | Future Achitecture Library. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2021, from

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being: The Racial Production of Architecture and Architects. (n.d.). Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Retrieved June 23, 2022, from

Part 2 alternative modes of practice and social agency

Compulsory readings

Petrescu, D. and Torgal, K. (2017) The Social (Re)Production of Architecture: Politics, Values and Actions in Contemporary Practice. Routledge (chapters TBA)

Mitrasinovic, M. (2016) Concurrent Urbanities: Designing Infrastructures of Inclusion. Routledge (chapters TBA)

Wall & T. Waterman (Eds.), (2017) Landscape and Agency. Routledge. (chapters TBA)

Recommended readings

Dobraszczyk, D. (2021) Architecture and Anarchism: Building without Authority. Paul Holberton Publishing

Brenner, N. (n.d.). Neil Brenner, “The agency of design in an age of urbanization—dialogue with Daniel Ibañez,” in Neil Brenner, Critique of Urbanization. Basel: Bauwelt Fundamente Series, Birkhäuser Verlag, 2016, 224-236.

Mitrasinovic, M. and Rendon, G. (editors) (2017) Cooperative Cities. Journal of Design Strategies, Vol. 9, Fall 2017. Parsons School of Design, New York. (several articles)

Place – memory, materiality, performativity, experience, relationality, power, belonging, boundaries and borders, stigmatization, making sense of place, place-making, relating with place

Part 1 – place

Compulsory readings

Hayden, Dolores. (2009) Urban Landscape History: The Sense of Place and the Politics of Space". Understanding Ordinary Landscapes, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009, pp. 111-133.

Tuck, E. and McKenzie (2015) Place in Research: Theory, Methodology and Methods. Routledge (pp.1-48)

Recommended readings

McKittrick, K. (2006) Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle (introduction: Geographic Stories) Minnesota University Press

Lipsitz, G. (2011). How Racism Takes Place. Temple University Press. (sections 1, 2, 5)

Hayden, D. (1995). The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History. MIT Press.

Part 2 - Place making/unmaking

Compulsory readings

Abrams, K. (2017). “Hijinks in Harlem: The Whiteness of ‘Place’”. Avery Review 24 (June 2017),

Ujijji Davis, “The Bottom: The Emergence and Erasure of Black American Urban Landscapes” in the Avery Review 34 (October 2018), https://www.

Anguelovski, I., & Gottlieb, R. (2014). Neighborhood As Refuge: Community Reconstruction, Place Remaking, and Environmental Justice in the City. MIT Press. (chapters TBA)

Recommended readings

Yigit Turan, B. (2021). Superkilen: Coloniality, Citizenship and Border Politics. In Landscape Citizenships. Tim Waterman, Jane Wolff, and Ed Wall (eds.). New York and London: Routledge.

Björgvinsson, E., Keshavarz, M. (2020). Partitioning Vulnerabilities: On the Paradoxes of Participatory Design in the City of Malmö. In: Dancus, A., Hyvönen, M., Karlsson, M. (eds) Vulnerability in Scandinavian Art and Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Site explorations – different types of/perspectives on mappings

Compulsory readings

Corner, J. (1999) The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention. In Mappings, edited by Denis Cosgrove. 213-52. London: Reaktion.

Kahn, A and Burns, C. (2021) Site Matters: Strategies for Uncertainty Through Planning and Design. Routledge (chapters TBA)

Parikh, A. (2020). Insider-outsider as process: Drawing as reflexive feminist methodology during fieldwork. Cultural Geographies, 27(3), 437–452.

Recommended readings 

Halder, S. Michel, B. (2018) This is not an atlas: A global collection of counter-cartographies (First edition). (2018). [Map]. Transcript Verlag. Introduction pp. 12-37

Amoo-Adare, E. (2011). Engendering Critical Spatial Literacy: Migrant Asante Women and the Politics of Urban Space. In O. Oyĕwùmí (Ed.), Gender Epistemologies in Africa (pp. 101–118). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Cuff, D., Loukaitou-Sideris, Todd Presnerr, Maite Zubiaurre, and Jonathan Jae-an Crisman (2020) Urban Humanities: New Practices for Reimagining the City. MIT (chapters TBA)

Reflecting on history – what is absent or hidden, left out… (the archive?)

Compulsory readings

Burns, K. (2010). Ex libris: Archaeologies of Feminism, Architecture and Deconstruction. Architectural Theory Review, 15(3), 242–265.

Lipsitz, G. (2011). How Racism Takes Place. Temple University Press.

(sections 3-visible archives ,4-invisible archives )

Recommended readings 

Fabiola López-Durán. (2018). Eugenics in the Garden Transatlantic Architecture and the Crafting of Modernity

Marie-Louise Richards ISSN: 1755-068 vol.7 (1) 39 Hyper-visible Invisibility: Tracing the Politics, Poetics and Affects of the Unseen. pp-39-52

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Landscape Architecture for Sustainable Urbanisation - Master's Programme Landscape Architecture Programme - Uppsala, Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 74982 SEK Cycle: Master’s level (A1N)
Subject: Landscape Architecture
Course code: LK0313 Application code: SLU-10007 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Urban and Rural Development Pace: 100%