Course Syllabus

LAA 2710 - History of Landscape Architecture

Instructor: Costis Alexakis

Class meeting times: Tuesday 4nd period, Thursday 4nd & 5rd periods

Classroom: ARCH213

Office: ARCH440


Telephone number: Please email

Office hours: Tuesdays 11:45-12:35



This course unravels the history of ideas and practices that make up the (modern) profession of Landscape Architecture. Key episodes will be introduced in chronological order and their relevance to our current preoccupations will be explored. Through the study of specific sites and texts we will examine how certain ideas and concepts have been reiterated throughout history and are being appropriated in our days.



To acquire familiarity with important historical sites, designers and texts


To critically understand built works


To instill in students a desire to innovate (as many have done before us)



We will accomplish those objectives in a variety of ways:

  1. Weekly lectures (Tuesday 4th period)
  2. Student presentations (Thursday 4th period)
  3. Discussions (Thursday 5th period)
  4. Weekly readings, chosen to support lectures and fuel discussions
  5. Written reports
  6. Final Exam

Students should come prepared to lectures having carefully studied each week’s readings.

Each student will be assigned one presentation. An outline of the presentation will be expected a week in advance, a final draft on the day of the presentation.

Students should actively participate in class discussions, which will raise ideas and issues from readings, lectures and presentations.

Written reports will be brief (2-3 pages, double-spaced) and focused on a specific theme.

More details about presentations, reports, class discussions and the final exam will be given in class.

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn to interpret landscape works (old and new) as the confluence of ideas and concepts rooted in a long history of practice. Students will also learn to draw knowledge and inspiration from sites they have visited in the past, and will be visiting in the course of their studies.


Teaching Philosophy

Landscape architecture is a very exciting discipline. Its greatest strength (and perhaps weakness) is its broad scope. It is important for students to grasp the breadth and richness of our profession, and to explore ways of framing their interests and formulating their aspirations. The study of various historical and theoretical perspectives on the practice of landscape architecture makes a good basis for this kind of exploration.


Instructional Methods

This course comprises a mix of lectures, student presentations, exercises and discussions. I ground my teaching on my own professional experience and academic research. When lecturing, I emphasize the ways in which ideas and concepts have been reiterated throughout history and are being appropriated in our days. Presentations and discussions are opportunities for students to associate the material taught to their own experiences, to grasp it on their own terms.


Recommended Resources

No textbook has been assigned for this course. Several texts will be posted on Canvas each week, out of which ten to twenty pages will be assigned for careful study.

In addition to texts uploaded to Canvas, the following titles will be held on reserve at the Architecture and Fine Arts Library for general reference:

Christophe Girot, The Course of Landscape Architecture (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2016)

John Dixon Hunt, A World of Gardens (London: Reaktion Books, 2012)

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001)

Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe, The Landscape of Man, (London: Thames and Hudson, 1975)


Lectures by the Week

00. INTRODUCTION to the course

01.SACRED LANDSCAPES, land-art and national parks.

02. BETWEEN TOWN AND COUNTRY from the Greeks and Romans to our days

03. ART AND NATURE in the Renaissance and later

04. BOTANICAL GARDENS and other theaters of the world

05. SCIENTIFIC IMAGINATION in palatial gardens of the 17th century




09. PUBLIC PARKS, health & citizenship

10. MODERNITY & MODERNISM: an introspection of landscape

11. ECOLOGICAL DESIGN and other processes



Attendance & Grading

Attendance is mandatory. Students who are late for class will be considered absent. Five unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.

Late assignment will be assigned a failing grade.

Grades will be based on the following criteria:

Participation (25%)

Weekly reports (25%)

Presentation (25%)

Final Exam (25%)

Grade allocation for papers and tests will adhere to the general UF policy:

Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work in this course are consistent with university policies that can be found at:


Academic Honesty

The University requires all members of its community to be honest in all endeavors. When students enroll at UF they commit themselves to honesty and integrity. Your instructor fully expects you to adhere to the academic honesty guidelines you signed when you were admitted to UF. In completing the registration form at the University of Florida, every student has signed the following statement:

"I understand the University of Florida expects its students to be honest in all their academic work. I agree to adhere to this commitment to academic honesty and understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University."

Furthermore, on work submitted for credit by all UF students, the following pledge is either required or implied:

"On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment."

It is to be assumed that all work will be completed independently unless the assignment is defined as a group project by the professor. This does not mean that students cannot help one another in learning material, but all work that is turned in must be independent work of that individual.

Misrepresentation or plagiarism, such as claiming another's work to be one's own, refers to graphic and design work as well as written work. Submitting work from one course to fulfill the requirements of another (unless expressly allowed by the instructor) is also misrepresentation.

The University Honor Code and the Department of Landscape Architecture Academic Honesty Policy are to be followed to the letter. Any students found to have cheated, plagiarized, or otherwise violated the Honor Code in any assignment will be punished according to the severity of the act and may be referred to the Honor Court. It is each student's responsibility to report any infraction, and it is expected that each faculty will report all infractions as well.

For more information, see and the Department of Landscape Architecture Academic Honesty Policy.


Course Materials on Canvas
The digital course materials provided on Canvas (e.g., texts, lectures, assignments, et cetera) are provided for personal study and are not intended for distribution by electronic or other means.  Further distribution or posting on other websites is not permitted.


Online Course Evaluations

Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals. Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at


Student Accommodations

Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, by providing appropriate documentation. Once registered, students will receive an accommodation letter which must be presented to the instructor when requesting accommodation. Students with disabilities should follow this procedure as early as possible in the semester


Health and Wellness Resources

  • U Matter, We Care: If you or a friend is in distress, please contact or 352 392- 1575 so that a team member can reach out to the student.
  • Counseling and Wellness Center:, 392-1575; and the University Police Department: 392-1111 or 9-1-1 for emergencies.
  • Sexual Assault Recovery Services (SARS) Student Health Care Center, 392-1161.
  • University Police Department, 392-1111 (or 9-1-1 for emergencies).


Academic Resources

Course Summary:

Date Details Due