PhD defence

GIS-based landscape design research. Stourhead landscape garden as a case study

The central objective of this study is to identify the role of GIS for landscape design research as a tool for modeling, analysis and visual representation of landscape architectonic compositions.

Organisation TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, [A+BE] Graduate School

Mon 23 November 2015 10:00 to 12:00

Venue Aula TU Delft

Promoters: C.M. Steenbergen
Prof.dr. E.A. de Jong
Co-promotor: R. van Lammeren

Research Summary: Landscape design research is important for cultivating spatial intelligence in landscape architecture. This research explores GIS as a tool for landscape design research – investigating landscape designs to understand them as architectonic compositions. By investigating landscape architectonic compositions we can acquire design knowledge that can be used in the creation/refinement of a new design. The research aims to develop, implement and evaluate relevant GIS-based methods and techniques, so as to produce insight in the possibilities and limitations. Main topics are GIS-based modeling, analysis and representation in landscape design research. The research contributes to the development and distribution of knowledge of possible GIS-applications in landscape architecture via case study research. An exploration of Stourhead landscape garden (Wiltshire, UK), an example of a designed landscape which covers the scope and remit of landscape design, forms the heart of the work and reveals the potential of GIS in two ways: (1) by ‘following’ the discipline and developing aspects from it, and (2) by setting in train fundamental developments in the field providing alternative readings of landscape.

Research Methodology: The study is primary based on case study research. The exploration of a critical, information-oriented case can be understood as a plausibility probe, or exploratory exercise. Here the case study is considered a form of ‘quasi-experiment’, testing the hypothesis and generating a learning process which constitutes a prerequisite for advanced understanding, adapting the framework for landscape design analysis of Steenbergen and Reh (2003).

Key Publications: Nijhuis, S. (2011) Visual research in landscape architecture. Research in urbanism series, vol. 2; 103-145.
Nijhuis, S. (2013) ‘New Tools. Digital media in landscape architecture’, in: Vlug, J. et al. (eds.) The need for design. Velp, Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences, 86-97.