The Future of Landscape Architecture



[Photo of El Parque Ecologico Xochimilco, in Mexico City.]


          The photo shown above shows a sky view shot of El Parque Ecologico Xochimilco

In Mexico City. It shows Landscape architecture at its best, preservation of land while

also shaping it into a masterpiece.  As we proceed into the 21st century the most important issue will be the condition of the global environment.


           Landscape Architecture is no longer concerned simply with arranging places for pleasant use. It is evolving into an art that meets the challenges of a society interested in improving the quality of life. Landscape architects are trying to make as much use of our land resources by preserving it while at the same time creating art out of nature. They do this by using the design process, hence finding solutions to our environmental concerns.                                        


          The design process is a systematic approach, which converts inputs into outputs, or ideas into completed products (ITEA, 2000).   In order to be successful as a landscape architect, one must follow these principles of design. By doing so, it would make it possible to balance art with nature. The design process is the most crucial part of a project because it involves identifying a problem, researching and gathering information, generating ideas and alternatives, and finally choosing a solution.


          Landscape Architecture applies artistic, scientific, and technological principles to the research, planning, design and management of both natural and built environments (ASLA, 2000).  It is landscape architects that design landscapes to meet the changing needs of today’s society. They are accredited for our roads and highway systems, housing, recreational and commercial facilities, and campuses.


            In the past landscape art primarily dealt with arranging places for safe, pleasant living, now as there is an increase in concern for the environment; it has taken a different route. It is no longer and exploitation of nature, but a way to see its true beauty by making use of it and shaping it so that it can be used to its full capacity. It seems that Landscape architects have begun to focus their effort towards social and behavioral aspects for the needs of mankind.






                                                                                                                                                                              Vol. 25 issue 2, p100.

            In an article “Remaking the Landscape”, Beardsley points out that the focus of landscape architecture is changing. It has become a means of expressing one’s attitudes towards nature. Today, landscape architects are met with a variety of challenges when working on a project, from working with a limited budget to integrating their artistic and scientific skills into a successful project. El Parque Ecologico Xochimilco, an environmental project in Mexico City, would be an example of this new role of landscape art. The canals were clogged with aquatic plants, and the islands were sinking as the aquifers beneath them were being depleted. Architect Mario Schjetnans design preserved the gardens, decontaminated the polluted water and brought agriculture to the islands. Today the park is full of life as people wander through it and appreciate its beautiful design, and atmosphere. (Beardsley 2)



                                                                                                                                                                              Issue 2, pg18.


            "Designers develop a preference for a particular way of structuring their design process. Some prefer to make decisions along the way, moving deliberately from one step to the next, while others engage in a free-flowing design in which nothing is frozen until all aspects seem right."(Lynch & Hack qtd. in Erdman 3) It seems the free flowing design is most commonly used. The reason for this is, it is rare to see something turn out the way it was originally planned. This allows for changes to be made that will probably affect the project greatly.


            "Her impulse is not to impose form, it is to evoke form out of what is given-The landscape, the building, the light, the natural materials at hand” (Menand 56). Modern landscape architects are seeing the need to make use of our land resources as much as we can, they in turn, turn it into a piece of art while preserving it at the same time. Landscape architects and Maya Lin share a bond in the fact that they choose to work with what is there, the challenge is to create it into a beautiful piece of art, while at the same time creating harmony between us and nature.




Works Cited:


Beardsley, John. “Remaking the Landscape” Wilson Quarterly. Spring 2001,

          Vol. 25 Issue 2, p100


Erdman, Troy A. “Landscape Art”. Tech Directions. Sep.2001, Vol. 61

          Issue 2, pg 18