LA 201/201L Basic Landscape Design

Fall 2017

Expanded Course Description

LA 201L is the companion course to LA 201. This course aims to build the competency with which participants research, analyze, conceptualize and spatially organize landscapes. 

LA 201L is the first course of the lower division, investigation sequence, of the landscape architecture curriculum at Cal Poly Pomona.  This course will challenge participants to combine prior experiences and knowledge while learning and exploring new methods and techniques. 


LA 201L is a studio environment requiring individual, small group and whole studio efforts in design exploration, practice and discussion.


The intent of this course is to facilitate learning through reading, discussion, reaction and action.  This lecture aims to create a collaborative learning environment in which students can engage in the issues critical to the studio, the broader discipline of Landscape Architecture and contemporary culture at large.  Material in this course may be presented in the form of lectures, readings, class discussions, student presentation, external events and guest presentations. 

Department and External Lectures:

  • Students will be required to attend department lectures
  • Students will be required to attend external lectures

Field Trips <> Day Trips

Course participants will be required to embark on day-trips and travel to external lectures; museum shows, exhibitions and events may also be required.  There is an extended field trip planned for LA 201L to San Francisco October 26-29.

Learning Tasks and Deliverables

The learning tasks are designed to maximize learning for the entire class as well as provide a basis for evaluation of performance within this course Below is a general description of the projects associated with this course:

Design Project

All students will complete an individual design project made in four parts:

Context and Program

  • Team Project
  • Background research; structure, site and context
  • Context mapping and Circulation studies
  • Public Program Collages

Circulation and Spatial Definition Studies

  • Topographic studies
  • Plant Massing strategies
  • Compositional strategies
  • Circulation Strategies
  • Midterm Presentation

Individual Competition Submission

  • Argument<> Concept <> Narrative
  • Composition and Program
  • 1- 30” x 42” submission per competition requirements
  • Site model

Individual Portfolio and Final Presentation

  • Final Design Presentation
  • Studio Process Portfolio
  • Final Project Posted to ENV Website

Reading and Writing

  • Studio participants are expected to maintain a sketchbook or journal.
  • Students are expected to bring readings from LA 201 lecture into the studio design process
  • Students are expected to produce individual design journals/portfolios


Group and individual presentations will be in the form of process critiques and final oral/graphic presentations.  Students must be prepared for informal critique in all studio sessions; process and progress is expected daily.  Requirements for formal midterm and final reviews will be provided to students.


All Students will focus on the diagramming, imaging and photography associated with the project.  Specific attention must be given to the professional quality of the diagrams and a visual language that support s the project position.  The unique qualities of the future condition must be expressed-the images must trigger as much discussion as the diagramming. 

MW, 12-2:50 p.m. (2-131B)
MW, 12-2:50 p.m. (2-132A)
MW, 12-2:50 p.m. (1-109)
MW, 12-2:50 p.m. (2-132)

Catalog Description

Fundamental concepts of site-planning and design and their application to basic landscape problems, with particular emphasis on varying conditions of climate, plant communities, land forms and orientation.

Prerequisite(s): LA 103/103L , with a grade of C or better. A grade of C or better is required to advance within the sequence.
Concurrent: Concurrent enrollment in corresponding lecture and laboratory is required.
Component(s): LA 201, LA 202/202L : 1 lecture, 2 three-hour laboratories. LA 203/203L : 2 lectures, 2 three-hour laboratories.