Ranked as one of the top twenty graduate landscape architecture programs in the country by DesignIntelligence, Auburn’s Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is designed to teach and model emerging real world conditions. The mission of the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree is to equip students with the tools of landscape architecture and to prepare them to contribute meaningfully to society as designer-citizens. Our curriculum, student work, and faculty research is distinguished by a focus on three areas of landscape practice.
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 Research: We utilize design as a method for engaging situations and places that stretch us — particularly those places where landscape architecture is needed, but landscape architects haven’t yet gotten involved. Some design is client-driven. Design research is question-driven, which means not only that we work in service of questions, but also that we work on questions. We subject our own motives and means to design investigation. The rich, complex, and messy issues that we focus on require this kind of study: as we jump in, we have to make sure that we are asking the questions that matter.
Fieldwork, landscape advocacy, and design research permeate our curriculum, culminating in the Alabama Lab, which students typically work with in their final two semesters.