We value studying landscapes through an analytical, intuitive and iterative process of modeling and drawing. We embrace a hybrid approach to making that incorporates the craft of hand drawing and modeling as well as new modes of digital modeling, digital fabrication, simulation, and animation.
In order to design, we must first learn to observe and ask questions. We cultivate both an arts-based practice of exploration and a science-based practice of experimentation.
At RISD, the landscape architecture department exists alongside other arts and design disciplines which have a unique relationship to craft and materials. We have the opportunity to explore materials in disciplines ranging from ceramics, to film, photography, painting, and graphic design. We leverage these practices to provoke and inspire new ways of understanding the landscape.
We push students to develop an ethical stance to guide their work, involvement with the profession, and engagement with the communities in which they will practice. Our goal is to provide students with the design and critical thinking skills needed to address large-scale environmental issues coupled with the faculties to develop concrete action-based solutions at the site and material scale.
We believe in the power of aesthetics and beauty to inspire humans to connect to and care for the environment. We learn to translate form, material, and space, into experiences that inspire greater connections between communities and their environments.
Practicing landscape architecture with integrity means confronting and addressing questions of social equity, environmental justice, accessibility, and privilege in designed landscape. We learn design skills with a critical eye toward understanding the impact of their application, the values brought to design work, and who this work serves and excludes.
Coastal environments are key sites where the relationships between social and ecological systems are negotiated. RISD landscape architecture offers a joint Master of Landscape Architecture and Master in Marine Affairs degree program in partnership with the University of Rhode Island that provides the cross-disciplinary thinking necessary to tackle pressing challenges facing coastal settlements such as human induced climate change.