Landscape Architecture Students Field Studies

Landscape Architecture

Auburn University’s Landscape Architecture programs prepare students for careers as landscape architects who will imagine, design, and build the 21st century’s landscapes. Landscape architecture both offers the tools to engage many of the most pressing issues the world faces today and works with a medium—the landscape—that is richly expressive and engaging. In our studio-focused curriculum, students explore contemporary issues, directly engage landscapes and communities outside the walls of the university, and learn with a faculty of leading landscape practitioners and researchers.

We live in a designed world

We are motivated by the recognition that design is already everywhere around us. From forests that are grown and cut to provide timber, to cities dealing with legacies of declining heavy industries, to the streets of new suburbs, our world and our landscapes are shaped by the choices people make. These choices are design choices, even when they are not made by designers. Human impact is inescapable: scientists describe our current age as the ‘Anthropocene’, which literally means the “age of humanity,” because the collective impacts of our civilization on our planet are so broad and pervasive. The world is already being designed, we just believe that it could be better if the vision, imagination, and practical knowledge of landscape architecture are involved.

The world is rich, complex, and messy

We focus our attention on places where issues like climate dynamics, poverty, and the spatial legacies of racial inequity manifest. Too often, these issues are oversimplified, reduced to dualities that offer easy answers, papering over richness, complexity, and messiness. We push ourselves to go deeper. We aim to be both humble enough to admit that we cannot solve these issues on our own and confident enough to tackle them head-on, working with collaborators, partners, and communities. Grounded in the landscapes of our home state of Alabama, we focus our attention on places where these issues are prominently felt: post-industrial cities, infrastructural landscapes, rural landscapes, and coasts. We champion underdog landscapes: places that are undervalued, overlooked, and unappreciated. We are optimistic that landscape architecture can bring real value to these situations, that we can help imagine and build the landscapes of futures that people — in Alabama, in the United States, around the world — will want to live in.

Let’s get dirty

We spend time getting to know the landscapes where we work—we jump in and we get our hands and boots dirty. The attitudes we cultivate are at the core of who we are. We aim to be curious, resourceful, precise, and attentive. We believe in the value of repetition: we do, we reflect, we repeat. Our end is always action, so we build the know-how needed to get to it.