Experiencing the Landscape: A Perceptual, Physical, & Digital Journey
To strengthen ASU's aspiring landscape architects, a new class was established specializing in landscape surveying and mapping. The purpose of this class was to holistically engage with landscapes while properly documenting not only the terrestrial elements, but also people's experiences of these spaces. Leveraging the environmental perception and utilizing methodologies founded by Kevin Lynch (1960), the student's journey starts with the mental mapping of natural/urban environments. After establishing the perceptual standpoint, the class focuses on the physical. Revisiting the same areas mentally mapped, the students used a digital theodolite to survey these landscapes. Tobler's (1970) and the principles of spatial theory are reviewed in parallel to the field mapping. Special attention was also given to the dichotomous nature of perceptions and reality. GIS and its criticalness for geodesign is taught next. Using the Esri ecosystem and a GPS, students map their landscapes for a third time. The journey ends with an overlay-analysis of the perceptual, physical, and digital aspects of a landscape. By experiencing all facets of the landscape system, students become better prepared for innovative design.