NUS BA (Architecture) Year 1 / Semester 2  
AR1724 Introduction to Landscape Architecture  
NUS BA (Architecture) Year 3 / Semester 1  
AR3101a Design 5 (Landscape Architecture Emphasis)  
LA3201 History and Theory of Landscape Architecture  
NUS BA (Architecture) Year 3 / Semester 2  
AR3102a Design 6 (Landscape Architecture Emphasis)  
LA4212 Tropical Plant Identification  
MLA Year 1 / Semester 1 Modular Credits
LA4701 MLA Studio: Quarter 8
LA5301 Geo Design 4
LA Elective* 4
LA4203 History and Theory of Landscape Architecture 4
MLA Year 1 / Semester 2  
LA4702 MLA Studio: City 8
LA4202 Planting Design 4
LA5302 Detail Design 4
LA4212 Topics in Tropical Ecology 4
MLA Year 2 / Semester 1  
LA5701 MLA Studio: Country 8
LA5201 Policy of Landscape 4
LA5222 Urban Ecology and Design 4
AR5954a Topics in Landscape Architecture 4
MLA Year 2 / Semester 2  
LA5702 MLA Studio: Region 8
LA5303 Urban Greening: Technologies and Techniques 4
LA5742 Dissertation 8


BA (Architecture) Year 1 / Semester 2

AR1724 Introduction to Landscape Architecture. This module introduces basic concepts in landscape architecture and design through a series of lectures and site visits. Urban landscape architecture and tropical climatic considerations are emphasised.


BA (Architecture) Year 3 / Semester 1

AR3101a Design 5 (Landscape Architecture Emphasis). This studio-based module develops basic skills in landscape design and marks the 'first-time experience' of architecture students in the field of landscape architectural studio work. It leads the students into urban and suburban contexts, where landscape 'meets' city and city 'eats' landscape.

LA3201 History and Theory of Landscape Architecture. Human inhabitation and intervention on the landscape is traced from prehistoric times to the present. In particular, the relationship between humans and landscape as presented in particular traditions and cultures is highlighted. The coverage is broad, including both Eastern and Western traditions and ancient and modern practices. Emphasis is on comparative studies between different cultures and traditions rather than on detail and depth of any particular practice of landscape intervention.


BA (Architecture) Year 3 / Semester 2

AR3102a Design 6 (Landscape Architecture Emphasis). This studio-based module develops basic skills in landscape design and marks the 'second-time experience' of architecture students in the field of landscape architectural studio work. It leads the students into central urban contexts, where architecture 'meets' landscape architecture and built city 'defines' public open space.

LA4212 Tropical Plant Identification. The course will leverage on the experience gained through establishing Singapore as a "Garden City". The creation of a forest within a city, an "urban forest", is one of its aims. The course will start with an appreciation of the immense biodiversity of plants in our region. The irreplaceable values that natural primary forests have will be emphasised. The case of the need to extend these forests by recreating them in the urban context will be discussed. The appropriate use of non-indigenous plants will also be covered. The need to be ecological-minded when selecting plants will be emphasised with particular attention being placed on conservation; the beautification of place should not be done at the expense of making another landscape look less attractive. Lectures will be augmented with field trips which serve illustrate the application of the principles discussed to the ground. The business implications to matching the right plant to site, using quality plants and then being able to care for them professionally will be covered.


MLA Year 1 / Semester 1

LA4701 MLA Studio: Quarter. This studio-based module develops higher level skills in landscape design and marks the first of four subsequent master-level core studios in landscape design. Projects of city quarter scale are undertaken to explore issues of context, programme and socio-economic considerations. Projects will cover sites with different functions, e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, educational, health and recreation. Civic spaces like roadsides, highways, plazas, parks and city squares will also be tackled. There is an emphasis on sustainability and tropical design.

LA5301 Geo Design. Geodesign is a design and planning method which tightly couples the creation of design proposals with impact simulations informed by geographic contexts. This module focuses specifically on developing the knowledge and techniques of site analysis and planning that are essential for sustainable landscape architecture. Topics include site inventory, site and landscape assessment, landscape and vegetation modelling, scenario techniques, and interactive 3D visualization. Geographic information system (GIS) software is used as the platform for the development of advanced techniques in analyzing, evaluating, managing, and modelling.

LA4203 History and Theory of Landscape Architecture. This course explores the histories and theories of landscape and landscape architecture in their various cultural forms, exploring their role in different societies and locations across time. It is organized around a series of definitions and classifications that continue to exert profound influence on the shape of the landscape thinking and design. The course examines the history of the discipline of landscape architecture and its precursors as intimately bound up with changing notions of landscape, nature and environment, their forms, functions and meanings, as well as the ways in which conceptions of ‘landscape’ (and cognate concepts) respond to and shape cultural values. The course will consider approaches from Asian landscape traditions in parallel to Western and other histories of landscape thinking.


*LA Elective - to select ISD5104 Energy & Ecology or BL5102 Environmental Science or GE5223 Introduction to Applied GIS or AR5951L Human Ecology - Space & Health or AR5953A Topics in Urban Studies - Community Engagement and Participatory Community Design (see course description below)

Elective (Select 1)
ISD5104 Energy & Ecology (Elective). Energy produced from the burning of fossil fuels, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), is recognised as one of the primary causes of global warming. Energy, viewed as tonnes of GHG emissions, fundamentally alters the way in which we conceptualise buildings and cities. It demands a shift from quest for systemic energy efficiency to questions of how energy is produced, transmitted, utilised and reutilised. It extends beyond management of operational energy on-site to include energy consumed off-site; for instance, the sourcing of products, the assembly and disassembly of materials and building systems. This module paints the broad picture of energy in its various forms and guises, as it pertains to global warming, in the context of drawing-board decisions on buildings and neighbourhoods.

BL5102 Environmental Science (Elective). This module discusses earth's environmental dimensions of air, water and land, and the interaction between living and non-living components. Earth is considered as a system through which materials are continuously cycled. Impacts caused by natural or human influences affect the state of balance, leading to environmental problems, with human impacts causing more serious consequences to the environment and human society. The module covers the properties of air, water and land, ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem integrity and environmental capacity, pollution pathways and impacts, conservation science, integrated management approaches. The scientific basis of environmental management is stressed.

GE5223 Introduction to Applied GIS (Elective). Students with prior GIS training should consult with the lecturer in charge to decide if the module is suitable. This module aims to introduce students the fundamental concepts and components of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Fundamental concepts covered include spatial data models, data quality, cartographic principles, and spatial analysis. Hands-on training provided includes spatial data development, attribute management, geovisualization, and spatial analysis operations. Some selected cases of GIS applications in social sciences, humanities, environmental studies, and management will be introduced. The role of GIS as an integrated platform for decision making will be highlighted. The module is for students who have no prior GIS background but wish to apply geospatial techniques in their respective fields of interest.


AR5952A Topics in Urban Studies 1 - Community Design and Participatory Planning (Elective). The module will provide a comprehensive examination of the theories, methods and praxis of community design and participatory planning. Important topics that will be covered include: 1) Evolution of the concept of community and its importance as the base of social sustainability; 2) Social dimension of sustainability in an urban context; 3) Approaches, principles, methods of community design and participatory planning and their application in real-world situations; 4) Comparative analysis of different contexts and drivers for community design and participatory planning in global and Asian cities. This module will enable a critical understanding of community design and participatory planning and on how such approach can contribute to different aspects of a cohesive community, such as enhancing social capital, attachment to a place, and sense of ownership. This is increasingly acknowledged as an important knowledge and skill-set for designers and planners working in the context of accelerating societal transformation with rising advocation for stronger civic participation and stakeholdership in the development of built environment.


AR5951L Human Ecology - Space & Health. The main aim of this module is to widen the capacity for understanding the relationship of men and built environment. Topics like THE - Total Healing Environment, accessibility and inclusive spaces, semantics of space, senses, wayfinding, etc. will be discussed from social, psychological, technical, cultural and environmental perspective. Upon completion, students will be able to understand how space influences users and improve this relation through creative and integrative universal design. Students will engage in creative exercises asking for critical enquiry and innovativeness. Particular attention will be paid to design for ageing population and Universal Design principles and practices.


AR5953A Topics in Urban Studies - Community Engagement and Participatory Community Design (Elective). Please refer to IVLE. and practices.


MLA Year 1 / Semester 2

LA4702 MLA Studio: City. This studio-based module develops an appreciation for design skills in tropical landscape design as applied on a large city scale and marks the second of four subsequent master-level core studios in landscape design. Interdisciplinary requirements from planning guidelines, architecture design, engineering limitations; as well as understanding existing natural land and urban systems will be introduced into the design process. Project sites will be larger in scale with more complex urban design issues, with projects ranging from peripheral nature conservation sites to mix-use urban centres. There will be an emphasis on deriving innovative design solutions using ecological and sustainability principles.

LA4202 Planting Design. The urban environment presents very different conditions from which plants have evolved in their natural environment. For plants to thrive in the often challenging growth conditions in urban areas, two specific general conditions need to be fulfilled: creating favourable growing conditions and use of appropriate landscape design for groups of plants to thrive. This module focuses on (1) understanding unique growing urban conditions, covering aspects such as urban temperatures, water, nutrients, light and soil, (2) design of planting areas to satisfy growth needs, and (3) understanding the large diversity of plants suitable for different urban conditions, and (4) planting design to ensure diverse groups of plants can thrive in urban areas. The module takes students through the whole spectrum of design with plants at large and small scales, focussing on tropical plants, though the design theory can be applied to any climatic region. Field trips to view live examples are included.

LA5302 Detail Design. This module covers landscape construction techniques and detailing. The emphasis is in the integration of details in terms of performance and coherence of the overall design. Consistency in the use of materials and adaptation of detailing to develop thematic strategies to carry design conceptual ideals are explored. The interrelationship and interdependence of parts and whole, between near and far, and between small and large scales are engaged. Current examples of local and international designs are presented and discussed.

LA4212 Topics in Tropical Ecology. The practice of landscape architecture requires a working knowledge of ecology. The distribution of plants and animals is dependent on environmental conditions of a site, land use history, local and regional habitat and species distribution, and a number of other factors. As building and design can transform landscapes and the habitats and wildlife that live on them, holistic practice involves understanding ecological characteristics of a site prior to development. In addition, the ability to make realistic assessments of potential outcomes on site ecology after development and designing toward desired ecological outcomes are indispensible skills for the successful landscape architect. The ecological understanding of practitioners is particularly challenging in the tropics, which feature some of the world’s most diverse and complex ecosystems. This module aims to equip students with the foundational knowledge (ecological principles; vegetation types; habitats) and basic skills (plant identification, literature reviews) to recognise habitat types, interpret ecological properties of a site, and to be able to design and critique landscapes from an ecological perspective.


MLA Year 2 / Semester 1

LA5701 MLA Studio: Country. This studio-based module investigates the sustainable issues surrounding land development of large scales and marks the third of four subsequent master-level core studios in landscape design. Methods to balance economic and human development with ecological aspects are highlighted and discussed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The module aims on tropical design issues in the urban context of Singapore and other tropical countries. Thinking globally, acting locally – forms the topical framework of design content.

LA5201 Policy of Landscape. This module integrates design capabilities as well as ecological baseline knowledge to be applied in a landscape policy and decision-making context. It presents a review of current topics in landscape architecture and planning considering environmental and nature conservation issues through lectures, readings, and discussion. A broad sweep of strategic, comprehensive regional design and landscape planning as well as impact assessment issues is provided and students are challenged to critique current practice and to reflect on the relevance of landscape policies to the society. Guest lecturers will provide a substantial portion of the lectures and present their perspectives based on their individual practices and careers.

LA5222 Urban Ecology and Design. Urban ecology is the study of ecosystems that include humans living in cities and urbanizing landscapes. It is an emerging, interdisciplinary field that aims to understand how human and ecological processes can coexist in human-dominated systems and help societies with their efforts to become more sustainable. It has deep roots in many disciplines including sociology, geography, urban planning, landscape architecture, engineering, economics, anthropology, climatology, public health, and ecology which will be described in this class. The course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental principles of urban ecology so they can better integrate ecological principles in their future designs.

AR5954a Topics in Landscape Architecture. This module covers contemporary approaches and discourses in landscape, such as landscape urbanism, water urbanism, ecological urbanism, landscape ecology, etc. Specific topics covered will take advantage of visiting and adjunct faculty members who are experts in the different fields.  To-date, modules on landscape urbanism, and landscape ecology have been offered. An upcoming module on water urbanism will also be offered.


MLA Year 2 / Semester 2

LA5702 MLA Studio: Region. This studio based module marks the last of four subsequent master-level core studios in landscape design. The final MLA studio is regarded as opportunity for the graduating students to deliver their personal 'master piece'. We intend to work in one of the countries of South East Asia, tackling landscape design issues in the fast growing urban agglomerations of this region. The studio integrates ecological, social and economic thinking in the course of generation of designs that shall be realistic and workable.

LA 5303 Urban Greening: Technologies and Techniques. Driven by global urbanization trends, landscape architects are increasingly called upon to sensitively and creatively introduce landscapes in highly urbanized settings. To achieve this, fundamental knowledge of the challenges that the urban environment poses, solutions to these challenges, as well as the use of R&D to develop innovations are important in the skills set of landscape architects. This module introduces students to contemporary and emerging technologies and techniques that have become essential components of urban greening design and practices. It traces the origins of such technologies and techniques as responses to challenges and opportunities in creating a green and ecologically-balanced urban environment, explains their scientific underpinnings, and illustrates with examples of real-life applications. It emphasizes the role of R&D in a continual process to improve the performance of greening in areas of sustainability, ecological health, and liveability of the built environment. Topics covered include metrics used to measure greenery, technologies used to integrate greenery with the grey and blue elements of the built environment, and plants as the basic building blocks of functional landscapes. The module is conducted through lectures, class discussions and site visits demonstrating real-life applications as well as R&D in progress.

LA5742 Dissertation. The dissertation project engages the student in a research project aligned to the academic interests of the student and is conducted under the guidance of a supervisor. It presents an opportunity for the student to investigate in depth, a subject area of intellectual curiosity or of practical relevance to the professional practice of landscape architecture. The emphasis of the module is on adopting a scientific process of developing a central question or proposition, collection of evidence, and producing a structured presentation of arguments in relation to the questions being investigated. This process of self-directed inquiry and learning culminates in a substantial piece of written work that demonstrates a critical analysis of the pertinent issues, and the use of scholarly methods in the presentation of arguments and perspectives. Such dissertation projects complement the research-oriented focus of the school towards the teaching of tropical landscape architecture.