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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments

A practical, single-source guide tosuccessful strategies for landscape architecture research

As the scope of landscape architecture expands to engage with other disciplines, and streams of information directing this field continue to grow and diversify, it becomes increasingly important for landscape architects to be able to implement a range of effective research strategies when seeking, creating, and validating knowledge. Landscape Architecture Research offers a framework for advancing better design thinking solutions by supplying readers with a system of inquiry tactics that open up a wider range of research possibilities. With a logical and innovative approach that favors legitimacy of knowledge based on collective, grounded practices, rather than strict adherence to protocols drawn only from scientific models, this comprehensive, illustrated guide produces a sound argument for establishing a new paradigm for legitimizing research quality. Landscape Architecture Research presents:

  • Case studies that show how the range of presented research strategies have been successfully used in practice

  • New perspective on the relationship between theory, research, practice, and critique, a relationship that is specific to landscape architecture

  • Detailed coverage of the ways that new knowledge is produced through research activities and practical innovations in landscape architecture

The first and only book on this topic of growing importance in landscape architecture, Landscape Architecture Research keeps professionals and students in step with the latest developments in landscape architecture, and delivers a dynamic and flexible game plan for verifying the integrity of their work.


In landscape architecture, research refers to the analysis of the decision making and systematic inquiry that occurs throughout the design process. The ever present tension between science and art defines and challenges landscape architecture. Landscape Architectural Research offers a framework for employing appropriate research methods in support of a more scientific approach to the discipline. This scientific approach will lead to better design solutions and will further legitimize the work of landscape architects for clients and allied professionals.

About the Author

M. Elen Deming, DDes, ASLA, RLA, is Professor and Head of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois. She is past editor of the award-winning Landscape Journal, as well as current President and Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. She currently serves as on the editorial advisory boards for the European Journal of Landscape Architecture and Landscape Journal.

Simon R. Swaffield, PhD, FNZILA, is Professor of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University in Canterbury, New Zealand. In 2007, he received the Outstanding Research and Communication Award from CELA. He is founding editor of Landscape Review and frequently authors and edits journal articles.

Table of Contents



CHAPTER 1 Introduction.

1.1 Knowledge in Landscape Architecture.

1.2 The Need for a Guide.

1.3 The Gatekeeping Dilemma in Context.

1.4 Mapping the Terrain.

1.5 Building a Research-Based Discipline.


CHAPTER 2 Knowing Landscape Architecture.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 The Nature of Professional Disciplines.

2.3 Domains of Knowledge in Landscape Architecture.

2.4 Research Needs.


CHAPTER 3 Theory/Research/Scholarship/Critique.

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Competing Ideals of Theory.

3.3 Representing Theory.

3.4 Theoretical Conversations.

3.5 Research and Scholarship.

3.6 Studio Design as a Research Setting.

3.7 Theory and Critique.

3.8 Conclusion.


CHAPTER 4 Integrating Design and Research.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Problems and Purpose.

4.3 Framing a Research Question.

4.4 Degrees of Research.

4.5 Assessing Research Quality.

4.6 A Developmental Heuristic.


CHAPTER 5 Descriptive Strategies.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Observation.

5.3 Secondary Description.

5.4 Descriptive Social Surveys.

5.5 Complex Description.

5.6 Descriptive Case Studies.

Descriptive Strategies: Summary.


CHAPTER 6 Modeling and Correlational Strategies.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Descriptive/Synthetic Models.

6.3 Analytical Models and Correlation.

6.4 Simple Correlation.

6.5 Multiple Correlations.

6.6 Spatial Correlations.

6.7 Predictive Modeling.

6.8 Dynamic Simulation Modeling.

Modeling Strategies: Summary.


CHAPTER 7 Experimental Strategies.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Classic Experiments.

7.3 Field Experiments.

7.4 Quasi Experiments.

7.5 The Metaphor of Experimentation.

Experimental Strategies: Summary.


CHAPTER 8 Classification Schemes.

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Collection/Inventory/Catalogue.

8.3 Typology.

8.4 Taxonomy.

8.5 Index.

8.6 Bibliography and Literature Review.

Classification Strategies: Summary.


CHAPTER 9 Interpretive Strategies.

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 Ethnography.

9.3 Discourse Analysis.

9.4 Iconology and Iconography.

9.5 Historiography.

Interpretive Strategies: Summary.


CHAPTER 10 Evaluation and Diagnosis.

10.1 Introduction.

10.2 Parameters, Norms, and Rubrics.

10.3 Design Evaluation.

10.4 Diagnostics.

10.5 Landscape Assessment.

Evaluation and Diagnosis Strategies: Summary.


CHAPTER 11 Engaged Action Research.

11.1 Introduction.

11.2 Action Dimensions in Pedagogical Research.

11.3 Participatory Design in Service Learning.

11.4 Participatory Action Research (PAR).

11.5 Transdisciplinary Action Research (TDAR).

Engaged Action Research Strategies: Summary.


CHAPTER 12 Projective Design.

12.1 Design as Research.

12.2 Design Operations.

12.3 Design Interpretations.

12.4 Design Reflections.

Projective Design Strategies: Summary.

References 221.

CHAPTER 13 Logical Systems (Axioms, Rules, and Argumentation).

13.1 Introduction.

13.2 Logical Relationships.

13.3 Synthetic Logic.

13.4 Expanded Field Analysis.

13.5 Spatial Syntax as Logical System.

13.6 Pattern Language.

Logical Systems: Summary.


CHAPTER 14 Research and Practice.

14.1 Introduction.

14.2 Integrating Research Strategies into Practice—Evidence-Based Design.

14.3 Integrating Research into Practice—Polemical Transformation.

14.4 Integrating Knowledge into Practice—Grassroots Movements.

14.5 Organizing Practice-Based Research.

14.6 Reprise.



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Trade Paperback
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M Elen Deming
Simon Swaffield
M. Elen Deming
Architecture-Landscape Architecture
Landscape design
landscape architecture, landscape architectural research, landscape architects, science and art in landscape architecture, landscape architectural research methods, scientific approach to landscape architecture research, research methods in landscape arch
Landscape architecture – Study and teahcing
Research — Methodology.
Landscape D


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