Seminar: Special Topics


LARC 582




These advanced faculty-initiated seminars provide opportunities for students to conduct in-depth investigations of select topics in landscape architecture. The topics typically align with faculty’s current research.

Summer 2020

AutoCAD workflow for landscape architecture construction

Lisa Lang + Sophie Maguire

Image: Landscape plan in AutoCAD, Smithe and Richards Park, Vancouver (Dialog)

The implementation of a project is made possible through the rigorous process of drawing iteration and coordination that continues beyond conceptual design and into construction drawings. By visiting a project post-occupancy, a landscape architect gains valuable information about the success of certain design details which in turn informs how future projects are detailed and eventually realized. This course seeks to develop your technical ability to work efficiently in AutoCAD to local standards for a confident transition into an office environment.You can also expect to sharpen your critical eye in the field by observing/analyzing how several completed local projects are functioning and exploring how various elements are detailed.

The course will involve site visits to two recently constructed local projects that feature prominently in the public realm. Students will then analyze certain aspects of the projects and speculate on how unique details were constructed, translating them from sketches into construction details. Class sessions will focus on learning and utilizing AutoCAD workflow for detailing/construction drawings as well as some other uses for the software. There will also be an opportunity to more generally consider how to communicate construction details by integrating outputs from other software. After developing your own drawings, there will be a chance to review the actual construction drawings for the projects to compare the outcomes.


Planting design workshop

Dr. Patrick Mooney
6 credits

Entry Courtyard, Ackley Residence, Atherton, California:  Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture (ACLA).  Photo by Marion Brenner.

Landscape designers have long understood the use of plants to provide beauty, aesthetic pleasure and visual stimulation while supporting a broad range of functional goals. However, the potential for plants in the landscape to provide ecosystem services, elicit engagement, and support wellbeing is less well understood.

Using an online lecture/studio format, this course meshes the art of planting design with an understanding of how humans respond to natural environments. Beginning with an understanding of human needs, preferences and responses to landscape, derived from empirical research, the instructor will explain the many ways in which an understanding of human–environment interaction can inform landscape and planting design, and will illustrate this using the work of major landscape architects and designers from the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia. Students will learn design principles and planting design concepts, practices and communication.

The course text, Planting Design: Connecting People and Place by Patrick Mooney, published by Routledge Taylor Francis, is available as an eBook though the UBC Library.

Pre-requisite:  LARC 316 or equivalent or instructor permission.