We are excited to launch the Undergraduate Program in Landscape Architecture at Auburn University in the fall 2021 semester. The mission of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree is to equip students with the tools of landscape architecture and to prepare them to contribute meaningfully to society as designer-citizens. This new undergraduate program will allow students to spend all eight semesters of their undergraduate career in a studio-focused curriculum. The BLA has been built upon the solid foundation of our Graduate Landscape Architecture Program, and we are looking forward to introducing undergraduate students to the focus areas of landscape practice that distinguish our curriculum, student work, and faculty research:
Fieldwork: We believe that landscape education and landscape practice begins outside, in the landscape. But we aren’t tourists. When we’re outside, we’re working. We measure and observe, we experiment when called for, we learn to test our assumptions from the studio against the messy (and sometimes thorny) realities of mud, vines, and stone. We fly drones to make our own maps; we draw to understand what we see.
Landscape Advocacy: We don’t wait for work to find us. We believe in the value of public interest design, and we seek out opportunities to serve communities. Landscape architects engage the public to shape our work to respond to its needs. We help rally communities around issues. We build constituencies and momentum.
Design Thinking: We learn by making. We prototype. We generate propositions and test them. Much of our time is spent exploring potential futures through drawings and models. These are critical tools for inquiry, providing us with techniques and methods to challenge assumptions and explore potential design opportunities.
Expanded Field: Landscape architecture is a broad and varied profession, with roots in a diverse set of disciplines, including architecture, gardening, and ecology. We value that breadth and encourage undergraduate students to explore the many ways that their training in reading, understanding, and shaping landscapes may form a career trajectory. We also believe that landscape architects can and should continually find new ways to apply our skills to address the ever-shifting needs of society. This requires being comfortable working in new terrain, with new problems, and with new collaborators. We seek out opportunities to engage this expanded field.
Fieldwork, landscape advocacy, design thinking, and the expanded field permeate our curriculum, culminating in the synthetic final year of the undergraduate program, when students typically participate within the Alabama Lab.