A Workshop Jointly Organised by SPA, New Delhi and ISOLA
Landscape architecture encompasses the analysis, planning, design, management, and stewardship of the natural and environments. Four decades of landscape architecture practice in India has seen much change in terms of scale and variety of projects. Landscape architecture education therefore also has to keep pace with changing times.
A workshop was organized by the school of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and the Indian Society of Landscape architects on 22-23 October at New Delhi on Landscape architecture Education with the objective of reviewing the strengths and weakness of current academic programmers in the face of changing realities of the profession. It was aimed to be a participatory exercise between faculty members of Landscape architecture across the country, students and other professionals and teachers, to review and look for further directions in academia. What follows is a summary of the proceeding, of the workshop, distilled from abstracts, paper presented, and discussions that followed.
Four decades of Landscape Architecture Education: A Review
A formal programme in landscape architecture at School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi was first recommended by Prof. T.K. Manickam at a seminar on Landscape Architecture held at the School in February 1958. After fourteen years, in 1972, the department was set up in consultation with Ford Foundation with Prof. Ravindra Bhan as the first Head of Department. The next programme opened in 1993 in the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad followed by another post graduate degree in the subject in Anna University, Chennai in 2002. In the coming decade, there is a need to increase programmes in landscape architecture by 5-6 new courses.
Who will study?
Aptitude, Eligibility and Motivation
Landscape design education should be able to develop students who transcend basic design skill to further engage with values and propositions. The success is judged by the values that the institute imparts and how these influence even average students. Aptitude and motivation are the byproducts of an atmosphere of learning that covers both education and practice.
At present in India, programmes in landscape architecture are being taught at the post graduate level only and are open to students only with architectural backgrounds. As the profession moves increasingly towards more ecologically responsible and sensitive design and with new and varied types of projects, it is desirable to have students from diverse backgrounds in post graduate programmes as used to happen earlier when the first programme was started as SPA. A landscape architecture programmed needs to bring new idea, different expertise and viewpoints in the classroom. Another recommendation may be to convince the education authorities to incorporate landscape architecture as a part of vocational subject in the high school curricula itself.
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