Title page for ETD etd-04172008-085418

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ashby, Linda
Author's Email Address Lashby@vt.edu
URN etd-04172008-085418
Title The Biocentric Landscape Architect: Designing the Public Landscape, Benefiting the Natural World
Degree Master of Landscape Architecture
Department Landscape Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Clements, Terry L. Committee Chair
Loon, Leehu Committee Member
Trauger, David L. Committee Member
Yglesias, Caren L. Committee Member
  • Design ethic
  • Ecological design
  • Eco-revelatory design
  • Sustainable design
  • Human-nature relationship
  • Environmental ethics and landscape design
Date of Defense 2005-05-11
Availability unrestricted
Owing to the author’s interest in and concern for earth’s processes, healthy ecosystems, and environmental decline and devastation, this thesis examines the human – nature relationship, as it relates to landscape architecture, through spiritual, mathematical, geometrical, historical, economical, ecological, philosophical and ethical perspectives. Sustainable design and eco-revelatory design methods are also explored in order to aid in the development of a personal design ethic that defines and produces ecologically responsible works of landscape architecture. The goal is to establish a personal framework for design that results in built landscapes that are ecologically more benign, holistically more functional, and culturally more significant than standard practices.

Research methodologies include literature review, case study analysis, project site analysis, and personal interviews. Findings suggest that despite a longstanding and growing call for a more harmonious relationship between nature and anthropogenic changes on the land, the green movement remains a loosely defined alternative undercurrent. The field of landscape architecture is uniquely poised to be a leader in the sustainable revolution; this is especially true when its practitioners, researchers and theorists are dedicated to ideals and activities that bring about true ecological value. For the individual designer, the experience of developing and committing to a personal design ethic can be empowering, and can produce work that has more mettle, veracity and purpose than the designer has previously known.

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