Wu Hong, assistant professor of landscape architecture at Penn State, addresses participants during the E+D Symposium. IMAGE: Stephanie Swindle Thomas

New publication stresses importance of collaboration in landscape design

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Landscape architecture is rooted in science and ecological education, both as an area of study and in practice. Due to these strong scientific ties, it is not uncommon to see a landscape architect take a project on and run with it, without consulting allied scientists to inform them of site conditions or to identify potential ecological impacts of their designs. If their budget allows, they might bring in ecologists as consultants to run a final check of their design to, say, make sure their hard work isn’t going to be washed away in a flood or negatively impact the environmental health of the land.

A new publication based on the proceedings of the E+D: Ecology Plus Design Symposium, which was held in the fall of 2017 at the Penn State, flips that notion on its head. According to the inaugural E+D publication, a true partnership between designers and ecologists from the start of a project through the design process and to completion is essential to dealing with the complex issues that are involved in the education and practice of landscape architecture.