FS23 Cartographies of Living Systems: A Critical Approach

FS23 Cartographies of Living Systems: A Critical Approach

Elective Course 063-0704-23 G
Time: Thursday, 08:00 - 10:00, HCI G 3, ETH Hönggerberg
Teaching team: Prof. Teresa Galí-Izard, Bonnie-Kate Walker
Language: English
Prerequisites: Enrollment in ETH MSc Landscape Architecture or MSc Architecture.

This course is an introduction to essential aspects of designing with living systems. The lectures cover a curated list of constructed landscapes that embody a high level of complexity in their composition, systems, and evolution. In class and through additional drawing exercises, the students explore the components of the sites in detail: their plant communities, infrastructure, management regimes, climatic and geologic contexts, and the larger systems and territories in which they are embedded.

Through this course architecture students will be introduced to meaningful landscape projects, and will learn a methodology for understanding the field of landscape architecture and its potential in relationship to the dynamic performance of living things. With this knowledge, they will be able to work with landscape architects as collaborators and colleagues.

Front meadow at the Great Dixter in June. Source: Chair of Being Alive, 2022.

In the lectures, the students learn about a selection of significant built landscapes that span a range of sizes, ages, and places of origin. The projects are taught through an analytical framework that prioritizes key landscape elements that are often overlooked in traditional representations of projects. The students contribute to the course by translating this complexity through drawing exercises.