The relationship between research and design in landscape architecture Academic Article uri icon


  • A study was undertaken to explore the incorporation of research into the landscape architectural design process. A review of the literature revealed five discrete models by which research is integrated into design: concept-test; analysis-synthesis; experiencial; complex intellectual activity; and associationist. In-depth interviews with eight landscape architecture educators and a mail-in survey of all landscape architecture educators in North America failed to confirm the utility of these five models. Instead, a different kind of model emerged from the results. In this model, research is incorporated at three stages of the design process: before design; during design; and after design. Before design, there appear to be two categories of research: indirect (which includes intrinsic research, library research, and review of precedents and case studies); and direct (which includes site inventory and analysis). During design, research seems to have two key roles: influencing the concept generation process and the application of the concept on the site. Five models emerged for using research during design: artistic, intuitive, adaptive, analytical, and systematic. Finally, after design research has two roles: evaluation of design, and justification of design. This categorization, as elucidated by educators, provides insight into the landscape architecture design process and its communication and teaching. © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

author list (cited authors)

  • Milburn, L., & Brown, R. D.

citation count

  • 40

publication date

  • June 2003