Teaching landscape / language: poetry and landscape in the design studio


  • Patricia McGirr
  • Joni Palmer




In the past, landscape design was an art closely allied with poetry. More recently, however, the 'poetic approach' to landscape design has been replaced by the demands of professional standards. This paper argues for re-establishing a place for poetry in landscape design and landscape education, beginning with the introductory-level studio. In one such studio the authors were able to show how the expressive language of poetry could be used to understand the emotive or poetic qualities of a landscape. Through a series of projects, introductory-level design students discovered a number of languages related to reading, writing, representation, poetry and landscape design. The studio culminated with students designing spaces based on their explorations of poetry.The authors discuss the lessons learned from this studio and propose future directions which might be pursued in order to better teach the languages of design and poetry. Establishing the connection between landscape and poetry can deepen and enrich our ability to study, experience and design landscapes.


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How to Cite

McGirr, P., & Palmer, J. (1997). Teaching landscape / language: poetry and landscape in the design studio. Landscape Review, 4(2), 41–50. https://doi.org/10.34900/lr.v4i2.58