We offer a wide variety of courses and are receiving increasing recognition for our leadership in the use of innovative teaching methods in studio courses, research on emerging landscape design issues, and community-building services.

Our courses integrate the development of core design skills with our research, teaching and service focus on urban ecological design. Highlights include:

  • Culturally-based place making, through design build studio, cultural landscape, and community design studios
  • Ecological infrastructure through natural processes, ecological planning and design, and landscape technology studios
  • Design for ecological literacy in all coursework
  • Participatory design in advanced landscape architecture and interdisciplinary studios

The University of Washington Course Catalog provides a general description for our courses. See below for recent and current course lists. Contact for course syllabi.

2020 – 2021 Course Lists

2021 Winter L ARCH Courses

2020 Autumn L ARCH Courses + Other Course of Interest

Winter 2021
Courses for non-majors and special topics

L ARCH 353: Modern History of Landscape Architecture

MWF 1130–1250 | Maria Taylor
5 credits, VLPA/I&S, Optional Writing (SLN 16157)
Honors section (contact Nick Dreher, for add code)

The words “emergence” and “emergency” stem from the same root, as do ecology and economy. In this time of intersecting climate, social and economic crises, this course will explore the modern history of gardens, designed landscapes, and other forms of intentional interventions in human and material relations with land and place. In covering the period from the late 18th century to the present, we will look critically at the historical development of landscape architecture as a profession and its entanglements with industrialization, urbanization, colonialism and social inequality.

History in this framing is more than the study of precedents; it is the study of causes, contexts, and alternatives. What will emerge from this present moment depends on what we choose to celebrate, critique or continue from the past.. Topics covered will include historical landscapes of industrial and food production, political power and resistance, domesticity and domination, community and conflict, art and infrastructure. Class time will be split between brief lecture, small group activities, and student discussion. Taught  synchronously with some flexibility.

L ARCH 361: Human Experience of Place

Taught asynchronously | Jeff Hou
3 credits, VLPA/I&S, Diversity (SLN 16159)

The version of L ARCH 361 this year will examine the human experience of place in the context of city design. The complexity of cities today requires design investigations that address not only the physical forms but also the social and political forces that shape the built environment. This course examines the multiple and often competing forces that influence the making of contemporary cities and human experience of place. As a survey course, it investigates different paradigms and visions of cities, contested meanings and understandings of urban space, the social and political processes of placemaking, and the everyday experiences and imaginaries. It sees the urban environment, or cityscape, as a continuum of ideas, movements, processes, and change. Furthermore, it questions the conventional notion of design and examines a wider repertoire of spatial practices. Cases around the world including North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America are introduced to contrast and compare design practices and cultural contexts. While exploring the broader processes of city making, the course also explores specific design strategies and tactics that could begin to negotiate the competing social and spatial forces in the contemporary urban environment. For question, please contact Jeff Hou at

L ARCH 498: Climate Changed Urban Agriculture

TTh 1.00–2.20 | Julie Johnson
3 credits (SLN 16159)

With mounting evidence of accelerated climate change and increases in greenhouse gas emissions, concerns for food security gain greater attention. Patterns of drought, extreme heat and flood events impact regions across the globe and portend challenges for Puget Sound. While regenerative agricultural practices and other emerging approaches hold promise for large scale farming, local urban agriculture merits creative visioning to not only supply food, but improve local climates and foster community resilience.

This synchronous 3-credit (C/NC) seminar explores current and emerging paradigms for growing food in cities, and how these contexts may contribute to a more resilient future. Specifically, we will investigate urban agriculture models and practices, and explore how these can adapt to anticipated climate extremes in the Pacific Northwest. A framework for resilience includes consideration of: food security, food sovereignty, environmental justice, community networks, personal well-being, biodiversity, carbon capture, and integrated civic systems.

We will collectively prioritize research themes on the first day of seminar. You will choose and co-lead a session you are most interested in delving into. We will engage with readings, guest speakers, and virtual site visits. In-class discussions and exercises, reflection assignments, and a visioning project will be undertaken across the quarter.

Questions? Suggestions? Please contact Associate Professor Julie Johnson:

Autumn 2020
Courses for non-majors and special topics

L ARCH 212: Designing the Future

Taught asynchronously | Keith Harris
5 credits, VLPA / I&S (SLN 16935)

How do landscape architects and other designers shape our cities, our lives, and our futures? Through fieldwork, hands-on activities, research, and discussion, this course explores innovative and interdisciplinary design thinking and practice that addresses critical human issues from the local to the global scale.

L ARCH 300: Intro Landscape Architecture Design Studio

MWF 1:30–5:20
6 credits, VLPA (SLN 16937)

This studio provides an introduction into the methods and practice of integrating landscape architectural design into urban environments. This is a heavily collaborative class in which students work closely with instructors and one another to discuss, observe, and design local environments.

L ARCH 341: Site Design and Planning

TTh 10–11:20
3 credits, VLPA (SLN 16939)

“Site design and planning is the art and science shaping the places we live and work. Its aim is foundationally moral and aesthetic: to enhance everyday life. This course serves as an overview of the varied issues, scales, land uses, and contexts of site design and planning.”

L ARCH 352: History of Landscape Architecture

MWF 12:00–1:20
5 credits, VLPA / I&S + Writing (SLN 16940)

A critical and historical analysis of the breadth of landscape architecture as idea, art form, experience, place, and practice. How do we read designed landscape, particularly in an urban context? How has the design of landscape reflected ideas about nature, culture, and cities throughout history? How has the role of designer manifested in design of landscapes across cultures, places, and history?

2019 – 2020 Course Lists

2020 Summer Courses of Interest

2020 Spring L ARCH Courses

2020 Winter L ARCH Courses + Other Courses of Interest

2019 Autumn L ARCH Courses + Other Courses of Interest

2018 – 2019 Course Lists

2019 Summer L Arch Course List & Other Courses of Interest

2019 Spring L Arch Course List & Other Courses of Interest

2019 Winter L Arch Course List & Other Courses of Interest

2018 Autumn L Arch Course List & Other Courses of Interest