Landscape architecture is a young discipline relative to other design-based fields, such as engineering or architecture. The unique knowledge, processes, and capacities of landscape architects—central requirements of a recognizable profession—are currently broad and largely undefined. The profession needs to have clearly defined knowledge domains recognized by other disciplines and the public. This study used four sources of evidence to identify core landscape architecture knowledge domains: (1) a census of land design and development professionals from the 1970s; (2) a sample of U.S. landscape architects in the early 2000s; (3) two systematic reviews of articles published in Landscape Journal over a 25-year period; and, (4) courses offered in accredited first-professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) programs across North America. Ten knowledge domains were identified, none of which were unique to landscape architecture. Two domains, design and natural, were identified by all data sources to be core to landscape architecture. However, the connections between knowledge domains, rather than the domains themselves, and a focus on conceptualizing appropriate change to the landscape, might more appropriately define the core domains of landscape architecture.


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pp. 9-21
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