Building collective know-how: Part 1: A case for more procedural knowledge in landscape architecture


  • Katherine Melcher University of Georgia


phronesis, reflective practice, design research, landscape architecture, practical knowledge, practice research


This article makes the case that building landscape architecture’s procedural knowledge – defined as a collectively-shared and critically-examined understanding of the diverse ways landscape architects design – is of critical importance to the profession and discipline, especially if the profession desires to become more relevant and valuable to society as a whole.  Knowing-how to design is the core knowledge-base of the field. Landscape architects’ abilities to view complex situations holistically, engage in ethical deliberations, envision new possibilities, and weigh alternatives from multiple perspectives is the key to their design expertise. This design expertise is needed in order to create designs that respond to the complex problems of today’s society. More procedural knowledge is needed: (1) so that landscape architects can learn from each other, (2) so that beginning landscape designers have clear models upon which to build expert knowledge, and (3) so educators do not have to rely only on their personal experiences when teaching design. Because good designing responds holistically within particular circumstances, it is challenging to develop transferable knowledge about designing, but there are models from practice research that suggest how it could be done.


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How to Cite

Melcher, K. (2023). Building collective know-how: Part 1: A case for more procedural knowledge in landscape architecture. Landscape Review, 19(2). Retrieved from