Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

Document Type



This thesis explores the use of criticism in the landscape architectural design studio. Criticism is a very useful tool in the communication of ideas and the evaluation of designs, yet its application in design studios has not reached its full potential in the discipline of landscape architecture. To develop an understanding of criticism as a pedagogical tool in the design studio, along with faculty and students expectations of criticism, this thesis uses a two-step approach. The first step explores the intentions of critique used by design instructors during desk crits and juries. The second step explores the students’ perceptions of the criticism they receive during desk crits and juries. The findings from both the faculty and students will be compared to discover both the faculty and students’ expectations and the reality of the design studio critique. Although very little literature exists on the theories of landscape architecture criticism and its use in the design studio, the first portion of this thesis explores theories of criticism borrowed from art, literature, and architecture; landscape architectural criticism; history of the design studio; and the use of criticism during desk crits and juries in the design studio. This thesis combines this research with the qualitative and quantitative data collected from design instructors and students, in order to gain an understanding of their expectations of criticism as a pedagogical tool, and the reality of its use in the design studio. The thesis research culminates into a suggested framework or structure for giving criticism, which could be utilized during a design jury.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Bruce Sharky