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What Can I Do With a Minor in LSS?
Landscape Studies

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Courses

Listed below are the current offerings in landscape studies and cross-listed programs. For courses that may count toward the Landscape studies minor, visit Related Courses page.

LSS 100 Landscape, Design, and the Environment

Through readings and a series of lectures by Smith faculty and guests, we will examine the history and influences out of which Landscape studies is emerging. We will look at the relationship of this new field with literary and cultural studies, art, art history, landscape architecture, history, biology and environmental sciences. What is landscape studies? Where does it come from? Why is it important? How does it relate to, for instance, landscape painting and city planning? How does it link political and aesthetic agendas? What is its role in current sustainability debates and initiatives among architects, landscape architects, planners and engineers?

Students may take this course twice for credit. S/U only.
(E) {H/S/A}
2 credits
Ann Leone and Reid Bertone-Johnson, Co-Directors
Offered Spring 2015

LSS 105 Introduction to Landscape Studies

. This introductory course explores the evolving and interdisciplinary field of landscape studies. Drawing upon a diverse array of disciplinary influences in the social sciences, humanities, and design fields, landscape studies is concerned with the complex and multi-faceted relationship between human beings and the physical environment. Students in this course learn to critically analyze a wide variety of landscape types from the scale of a small garden to an entire region, as well as to practice different methods of landscape investigation. It is a course designed to change the way one sees the world, providing a fresh look at everyday and extraordinary places alike. Priority given to first years, sophomores, and LSS minors.

Enrollment limited to 30
{H/S/A}
4 credits
Steven Moga
Offered Fall 2014

LSS 200 Socialized Landscapes: Private Squalor and Public Affluence

Certain landscapes dissolve economic, political, social, cultural constructs to foster diversity on common ground. This course will trace the development of these socialized landscapes, specifically in Europe and North America in the last two centuries, as places of reform, respite, and refuge. Focusing on a series of case studies we will characterize what makes a place a socialized landscape, identify how it improves its community, and consider how a dysfunctional space might be transformed into a socialized landscape. This discussion-based course will have a practical component insofar as we will propose ways of socializing a real site for a client. Prerequisite: LSS 105 or permission of the instructor.

Enrollment limited to 20
{H/S/A}
4 credits
Not offered 2014-2015

LSS 210 Suburbia: The Middle Landscape

This course will explore suburbia as its own landscape and as a borderland between countryside and city. From the nineteenth-century town-planning initiatives in England to today’s sprawl in America, we will consider such communities as Port Sunlight near Liverpool, England; Shaker Heights, Ohio; Levittown, New York; Columbia, Maryland; and Celebration, Florida. Readings on culture, politics, economics, and regional planning will highlight some of the contradictions that plague the conception, development, and future of suburbia, most notably transportation/isolation, homogeneity/inclusion, safety/security, historicism/utopianism, biophilia/biophobia, conformity/comfort, and capitalism/pastoral aesthetic. Prerequisite: LSS 105 or permission of the instructor.

Enrollment limited to 20
(E) {H/S/A}
4 credits
TBD
Not Offered 2014-2015

LSS 220 Activism by Design

Landscapes have been settled, conquered, threatened, and reclaimed throughout world history. How have indigenous people overcome such devastation as colonialism, industrialism, poverty, and climate change to boast pilot programs in landscape architecture, conservation, and agriculture? Case studies of resilience and ingenuity include the botanic gardens in the West Indies, national parks in Costa Rica, agritourism in Tuscany, sustainable design in the Northwest Territories, and open space in Oakland, California. Can comprehensive analysis of these individual solutions offer glocal templates? Prerequisites: LSS 100 or LSS 105 or by permission of the instructor.

Enrollment limited to 20
{E} {H/S/A}
4 credits
Not offered 2014-15

LSS 230 Power, Place, Politics, and People: The Contested Urban Landscape

Students in this course investigate the production of the built environment and the landscape of cities, focusing on key actors such as neighborhood activists, real estate developers, city officials, and environmentalists, among other advocates and interested parties. Organized thematically and supplemented by readings in urban theory and related fields, the course tackles questions of how urban places are made, why different cities look and feel the way they do, and who shapes the city. Prerequisite: LSS 100 or LSS 105 or by permission of the instructor.

Enrollment limited to 20
{E}{H/S/A}
4 credits
Steven Moga
Offered Fall 2014

LSS 240 Cultural Landscapes and Historic Preservation

Debates over the meaning, interpretation, and management of unique, artistic, historic, and/or culturally significant places will take center stage in this course. Students will consider how and why some landscapes and buildings get preserved and protected while others are redesigned, ignored, neglected, or demolished. Major themes in the course include continuity and change in the built environment, notions of cultural heritage, and the concept of authenticity. Readings include theoretical and historical perspectives on the topic supplemented by case studies and field investigations. Prerequisites: LSS 100 or LSS 105 or by permission of the instructor.

Enrollment limited to 20
{H/S/A}
4 credits
Steven Moga
Offered Spring 2015

LSS 250 Studio: Landscape and Narrative

This studio asks students to consider the landscape as a location of evolving cultural and ecological patterns, processes and histories. Beginning with readings and discussions students work through a series of projects that engage with the narrative potential of landscape and critically consider the environment as socially and culturally constructed. A variety of media are used in the design process including drawing, model-making, collage and photography. Priority given to LSS minors and ARCH majors.

Note: LSS 250 will fulfill the Introduction to Architecture studios requirement for Path C (Architecture) of the Art major at Smith College.

Enrollment limited to 14
{A/S}
4 credits
Reid Bertone-Johnson
Offered Spring 2015

LSS 255 Art & Ecology

Environmental designers are in the unique and challenging position of bridging the science of ecology and the art of place-making. This studio emphasizes the dual necessity for solutions to ecological problems that are artfully designed and artistic expressions that reveal ecological processes. Beginning with readings, precedent studies and in-depth site analysis, students will design a series of projects that explore the potential for melding art and ecology.

Note: LSS 255 will fulfill the Introduction to Architecture studios requirement for Path C (Architecture) of the Art major at Smith College.

Enrollment limited to 14
{A/S}
4 credits
Not Offered 2014-2015

 

LSS 256 Studio: Design for Social Sustainability: Our Place in the Public Realm

More than ever we are faced with the need to make good sense of the public realm from the human perspective. How formal and informal landscapes can encourage or discourage use applies to a variety of places: urban wildlands to neighborhood mini-parks, high-style urban squares to one-day parking space plazas, community centers to third spaces, upscale shopping malls to ad hoc night markets, suburban neighborhoods to downtown artist lofts. In an increasingly "glocal" world, this applies to all kinds of people. With a growing and increasingly diverse population, we have the challenge of balancing complex social and environmental needs. In the LSS 256 studio we will remix the venerable traditions of social factors methodology with designs for daily life activities and the spaces that contain them.

4 credits
Not offered 2013-2014

LSS 260 Visual Storytelling: Graphics, Data, and Design

This course is an introduction to graphic communication, the visual representation of ideas and information, for students of diverse backgrounds such as Art, Architecture, American Studies, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Science and Policy, Government, and Sociology. The course will include lectures, readings and exercises on graphic design, typography, layout, information graphics, data visualization, and portfolio design. Students will be exposed to graphic design software (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) through exercises that will build the skills necessary to complete a design portfolio, or an equivalent independent final project showcasing a cohesive visual argument. For students interested in visual communication, data visualization, graphics, and portfolio design. Priority given to LSS minors and ARCH majors. Pending CAP approval.


{A}
4 credits
Carolina Aragon
Offered Spring 2015

LSS 288/CLT 288 Bitter Homes and Gardens: Domestic Space and Domestic Discord in Three Modern Women Novelists


The work of certain writers--often women and often Wharton, von Arnim, and Colette--is categorized as small in scope, narrowly focused, and therefore marginal in some ways. Here are questions, based in part on readings in landscape and domestic design theory, that we can ask to help us see their work differently: When and how is it appropriate to juxtapose writers' biographies on their fiction? How do they represent domestic discord--loss, rage, depression--in their fiction? In particular, how do local landscapes and other domestic spaces--houses, rooms, gardens--figure in this representation? Texts will include novels, short stories, correspondence, excerpts from journals, and other autobiographical writing: Pre-requisite: one other literature course at any level, or permission of the instructor.

{L}
4 credits
Ann Leone
Offered Spring 2015

LSS 300 Rethinking Landscape

This capstone course in the study of the built environment brings history and theory alive for those students with interests in diverse fields such as art, architecture, American studies, engineering, and the natural sciences. Designed as an advanced-level seminar, it explores key concepts and theoretical debates that have shaped the interdisciplinary field of landscape studies. In particular, students will investigate how the field has changed over time and critically consider where it is likely to go in the future. Classic texts from thinkers such as J.B. Jackson, Yi-Fu Tuan, John Stilgoe, Anne Spirn, and Dolores Hayden will be paired with contemporary critiques and new approaches to the study of space and place. Independent research work and participation in class discussion are strongly emphasized. Prerequisite: one 200 level course in LSS or permission of the instructor. Priority given to LSS minors, and seniors and juniors.

Enrollment limited to 12
{H/S/A}
4 credits
Steven Moga
Offered Spring 2015

LSS/ARS 389 Broad-Scale Design & Planning Studio

This class is intended for students who have taken introductory landscape studios and are interested in exploring more sophisticated projects. It is also for Architecture + Urbanism majors who have a strong interest in landscape architecture or urban design. In a design studio format, the students will analyze and propose interventions for the built environment on a broad scale, considering multiple factors (including ecological, economic, political, sociological, and historical) in their engagement of the site. The majority of the semester will be spent working on one complex project. Students will use digital tools as well as traditional design media and physical model building within a liberal arts based conceptual studio that encourages extensive research and in depth theoretic inquiry. Prerequisites: At least two of the following: ARS283, LSS250, ARS285, LSS255 or equivalent AND at least one of the following: ARH105, LSS100, LSS105, or equivalent AND permission of the instructor. Priority given to LSS minors and ARCH majors.

Note: ARS/LSS 389 will fulfill the ARS 388 advanced studio requirement for Path C (Architecture) of the Art major at Smith College.

Enrollment limited to 12
{A} {Q}
4 credits
Reid Bertone-Johnson & Carolina Aragon
Offered Fall 2014

 

LSS 400 Special Studies

Admission by permission of the instructor and director, normally for senior minors. Advanced study and research in Landscape Studies related fields. May be taken in conjunction with LSS 300 or as an extension of design work begun during or after a landscape studies or architecture studio.

1-4 credits
Ann Leone, Nina Antonetti, and Reid Bertone-Johnson
Offered both semesters each year

Cross-Listed Courses

ARS 283 Introduction to Architecture: Site and Space

The primary goal of this studio is to engage in the architectural design process as a mode of discovery and investigation. Design is a process of discovery based on personal experience, the joy of exploration, and a spirited intuition. Gaining skills in graphic communication and model making, students will produce projects to illustrate their ideas and observations in response to challenging questions about the art and craft of space-making. Overall, this course will ask students to take risks intellectually and creatively, fostering a keener sensitivity to the built environment as something considered, manipulated, and made. Prerequisite: one college level art history, architectural history, landscape studies, or architectural design studio course. Note: LSS 250 can substitute for ARS 283 in the Plan C studio art major. A required fee of $75.00 to cover group supplied materials and/or printing will be charged at the time of registration. Students will be responsible for directly purchasing any additional supplies that may be required.

Enrollment limited to 24
{A}
4 credits
TBD
Offered Fall 2014

ARS 285 Introduction to Architecture: Language and Craft

The primary goal of this studio is to gain insight into the representation of architectural space and form as a crafted place or object. Students will gain skills in graphic communication and model making, working in multiple media including digital modeling. We will look at the architecture of the past and present for guidance and imagine the future through conceptual models and drawings. Overall, this course will ask students to take risks intellectually and creatively, fostering a keener sensitivity to the built environment as something considered, manipulated, and made. Prerequisite: one college level art history, architectural history, landscape studies, or architectural design studio course. Enrollment limited to 24. Note: LSS 255 can substitute for ARS 285 in the Plan C studio art major. A required fee of $75 to cover group supplied materials and/or printing will be charged at the time of registration. Students will be responsible for directly purchasing any additional supplies that may be required.

{A}
4 credits
TBD
Offered Spring 2015

ARS 386 Topics in Architecture

This course will explore a rotating selection of themes in the built environment, with strong emphasis on interdisciplinary work. Topics may include: context, historical factors, urban design and planning, architectural theory and practice, material culture methods, or other themes. Prerequisites: 283, 285, (or equivalent LSS studio) and two art history courses, or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. A required fee of $75 to cover group supplied materials and/or printing will be charged at the time of registration. Students will be responsible for directly purchasing any additional supplies that may be required.

{A}
4 credits
TBD
Offered Fall 2014

ARS 388 Advanced Architecture: Complex Places, Multiple Spaces

This course considers architecture as a socially constructed place. We will examine how to analyze and intervene within the built environment. A final project, involving the manipulation/examination/interpretation of place and space through modeling and graphic communication or a multi-media research project will be required. Prerequisites: ARS283, 285, and two art history courses, or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. A required fee of $75 to cover group supplied materials and/or printing will be charged at the time of registration. Students will be responsible for directly purchasing any additional supplies that may be required.

{A}
4 credits
James Middlebrook
Offered Spring 2015

 

LSS 288/CLT 288 Bitter Homes and Gardens: Domestic Space and Domestic Discord in Three Modern Women Novelists
The work of certain writers--often women and often Wharton, von Arnim, and Colette--is categorized as small in scope, narrowly focused, and therefore marginal in some ways. Here are questions, based in part on readings in landscape and domestic design theory, that we can ask to help us see their work differently: When and how is it appropriate to juxtapose writers' biographies on their fiction? How do they represent domestic discord--loss, rage, depression--in their fiction? In particular, how do local landscapes and other domestic spaces--houses, rooms, gardens--figure in this representation? Texts will include novels, short stories, correspondence, excerpts from journals, and other autobiographical writing: Pre-requisite: one other literature course at any level, or permission of the instructor.

{L}
4 credits
Ann Leone
Offered Spring 2015