chapter  5
Fundamental Design and Spatial Organization Concepts
Pages 26

The world of design seems mysterious for those taking their first design course in landscape architecture. The words and con-cepts the professors use in their lectures can be confusing to students coming fresh from a high school education or transferring from a previous non-design academic major (we discussed this more thoroughly in Chapter 2). While some of the vocabulary is familiar, the intended meaning may not be obvious. Scale, balance, design continuity, contrast, form resolution, sustainability are words and concepts whose meaning may not be entirely clear when they are used in the early Introduction to Design lectures. To the consternation of new students, there does not seem to be such a thing as the correct answer in design as there is in other subjects. No mathematical formulas to learn and apply as in chemistry or mathematics. No problems to answer at the back of a chapter. Wrong answers seem to abound in the critiques of one’s first design efforts. A whole new world of ideas and concepts and a new way of seeing unfold when one embarks on a landscape architecture curriculum. The design exercises are daunting and challenging at first, later becoming exciting challenges as understanding of the concepts and mastery of new skills lead to subsequent breakthroughs as one advances in the design curriculum.