English Articles

Modes of Design Research

by Sep 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Abstract: This paper introduces the development of design research and its backgrounds across the Europe in recent years, interprets its modes evolution, categories and features, as well as evaluating criteria, and it emphasizes the importance of design activities in design research process. As a different type of research methods and a different theory of knowledge production, design research focuses on connecting design practice with substantiated theoretical reflection. The author calls on openness to new things and the courage to experiment, through establishing research institute and strengthening exchanges between neighboring disciplines to perfect it.

On Design Research

by Sep 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Abstract: Design is currently under discussion in architecture, landscape architecture and cultural studies circles as an alternative academic method. The “design method” is seen as a possible mediator between divided academic areas. The methodological foundation here is “Entwerfenals Forschung” or “research through design”. It is introduced in this article that the concepts and theories that make up this foundation as well as the contemporary challenges for design research.The current relevance of the “design method” as the missing link between (academic) cultures of knowledge and the relationship between systematic and normative design research are discussed. Certain milestones in systematic design theory, which pioneered research through design are introduced. The knowledge within the design disciplines of architecture and landscape architecture as “synthetic knowledge” are described and the opportunities, problems and tasks of the method of research through design are approached.

The Complexity of Simple Geometries or How to Achieve A Ph.D Being a Designer

by Sep 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Abstract: The obstacles to doctorial research due to the identity and perspective as a designer are difficulties that most of the design students have to face. Based on individual experiences, this article explains the author’s research intention and research process and explores the questions on whether a research mode for design discipline exists and what is its relation to classic scientific mode of research. The article argues that there are overlapping areas between research and design and a creative research approach such as RtD distinctive to classic scientific research mode is appropriate to design research.

The designerly thinking of modernist landscape architect Hermann Mattern

by Sep 22, 2014 Leave a comment

With several hundreds of projects designed at different scales between 1926 and around 1970 and as an influential teacher Hermann Mattern ranks amongst the principal representatives of twentieth-century landscape architecture in Germany. The information presented here was collected as part of an ongoing dissertation project about Mattern, which aims at contributing to a better understanding of modernist currents in twentieth-century German landscape architecture. At the occasion of a doctoral seminar about “design knowledge” a new topic was introduced into the author’s research, as Mattern’s notion of design thinking was explored. Despite being considered a progressive, Mattern has mainly been regarded as an intuitively working artist. In the following paragraph, the wide-spread notion of his work as purely artistic and “untheorised” is put into question. Presented here is a collection of thoughts rather than a finalised argument. The classical scientific notion of theory is rejected in favour of a more inclusive one, which considers his artefacts together with his written thoughts as attestation of his knowledge and theory.

DIY Beijing

by Sep 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Since the1950s numerous districts of Beijing were developed as monofunctional residential settlements based on modern urban planning concepts. Since then, some of these residential areas have been changed by the residents. The changes either enlarge the living space or are for commercial purposes such as trade, services or micro-enterprises. They range from simple ground floor alterations and extensions to free-standing, complementary structures on adjoining sites. The described transformations are associated with a series of effects. These include the development of multifunctional public spaces and streets from originally private, open spaces associated with the housing schemes. They are characterized by a complex spatial morphology, an overlapping of different uses and a special vitality.

Interview with Axel Klapka

by Dec 10, 2013 2 Comments

On September 27, 2011, Youthla volunteer visited K1 Landschaftsarchitekten in Berlin and talked with Mr. Axel Klapka. As Chairman of Bund Deutscher Landschaftsarchiteckten (BDLA) in Berlin and Brandenburg, he was so kind to give us a lot of information on the organization of BDLA, the operation and education in the profession of landscape architecture in Germany and the design practice of K1. At the end of the interview, through Youthla, Mr. Klapka sent kind suggestions to young Chinese landscape architects. The year 2013 is the 100th anniversary of BDLA. At this moment, we would like to express our congratulations and tributes to BDLA by publishing this interview.

Migration beyond boundaries

by Aug 23, 2013 Leave a comment

“Migrating Beyond Boundaries” seeks to use the existing ecological rhythm of bird migration through the Great Rift Valley as a catalyst for the construction of a new shared ground within the deeply divided geopolitical landscape of Israel’s Kidron Valley. The creation of ecological infrastructure for migrating birds, protects and improves the lives of all. The intersection of the natural and cultural are amplified to open previously inaccessible parts of the valley, creating place where Israelis and Palestinians can connect with each other through an appreciation of their shared landscape and ecology.


by Jul 24, 2013 4 Comments

In today’s world, a lot of rivers are seriously polluted and channelized. This leads to a series of issues, such as ecological degradation of urban rivers, lack of accessibility, lack of open space around urban riverfront, disordered development of urban riverfront area, and the crisis of historical continuity and heritage protection. In fact, the city and riverfront have a close relationship. Great riverfronts are places where people, plants and animals coexist.

A Participatory Design Practice - Kid's Reading Garden

by Mar 29, 2013 21 Comments

This is a public-spirited renovation project, a participatory design practice and experiment, and a journey following the heart. Located in Gongxing Town, Mianzhu City, Sichuan Province, Gongxing Hope Primary School is a school rebuilt on another site after an earthquake. After the Great Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, with the joint efforts of aid party, local government and school officials, the school was rebuilt and put into operation in less than one year.

Some notes on research into garden modernism

by and Jan 11, 2013 1 Comment

Mr. Lars Hopstock's work presents us a fresh perspective on research into landscape architecture history. He digs into garden modernism by means of biographical research. Rather than trying to give a general conclusion seeing modernism as a single style, his efforts try to reveal the complexity and heterogeneous character by looking closely at the designers’ biographical and historical context. His designerly knowledge benefits the research, enabling him to take a designer’s position and to better understand and interpret the thoughts of modernist landscape architects. Both the topics and the methodology of his research can bring us inspiring insights.

Think Big, Birds First

by Mar 31, 2012 4 Comments

In China, landscape architecture often involves working within a large-scale framework. During the creation of Tieling New Town's central landscape system and Lotus Lake National Wetland Park ecological thinking was central to the planning and design process.

The interview with Mr. Peter Walker

by Mar 23, 2012 12 Comments

YouthLA: you have taught in colleges and also had a lot of successful projects all over the world, what do you think is the relationship between teaching and professional practice? And do you think it is a better choice to do both at the same time?

The Interview of Prof. Mirka Beneš: Historical Research and Education of Landscape Architecture in the USA

by Mar 04, 2012 26 Comments

Youthla: Could you introduce the development of Landscape Architecture historical researches in the United States briefly? Prof. Mirka Beneš: In the early 20th century, there were already researches in English on French gardens and Italian gardens from the perspective of history of art, but I will say that the real attention to the broad view of landscape architecture started in the 1970s and 1980s...

Thoughts on My Cycling Trip in China

by Dec 12, 2011 1 Comment

I biked 1250 kilometers from Beijing to Shanghai in September, 2011. The objective of the ride was to gain a firsthand understanding of the role of the bicycle in China and to investigate how cycling culture and bike infrastructure can be integrated into efficient and sustainable transportation design.

The interview with Prof. Cordula Loidl-Reisch

by Nov 04, 2011 Leave a comment

Prof. Loidl-Reisch is Head of the Chair of Landscape Construction in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environment Planning, School of Planning Building Environment, Technical University of Berlin. On this July 1st, she accepted the interview of Youth Landscape Architecture. In the interview, Prof. Loidl-Reisch introduced the characteristic educating concepts of her department and shared her latest research achievement concerning sustainable construction with us. Hereby, we present her profound opinions on teaching and researching of landscape architectural construction, in the hope that a variety of viewpoints on landscape architecture could be introduced to the young generation of Chinese landscape architects.

City Regeneration Today

by and Oct 10, 2011 Leave a comment

City regeneration is not about building cities that look old. A new Renaissance to overcome the “dark ages” of modernism is no sufficient answer to today’s urban challenges. Planning must be informed by nature, evolution, history and a critical evaluation of existing patterns.

Bicycling, Beijing - Shanghai, part 4

by Sep 21, 2011 2 Comments

I made it to Shanghai! The cycling portion of this journey is complete. I can now focus my efforts on processing all of my observations and making some conclusions about the role of the bicycle in China over the next couple weeks.

Bicycling, Beijing - Shanghai, part 3

by Sep 16, 2011 2 Comments

I’m just wrapping up my second full week of cycling. At this point, I’m writing from Huian: More than half way to Shanghai! I have settled into the daily routine of getting up and riding all day. The days are going by much faster now that my mind and body know what to expect.

Bicycling, Beijing - Shanghai, part 2

by Sep 07, 2011 2 Comments

I landed in Beijing a week ago to embark on a cycling journey to Shanghai. Many weeks of planning and preparation is starting to come to life this past week. Over the past 5 day, I have made it from Beijing to the capital of Shandong Province-Jinan.

Bicycling, Beijing - Shanghai, part1

by Sep 02, 2011 7 Comments

With research questions and spirit of adventure, Amirah is starting her bicycling journey from Beijing to Shanghai, studying China's cycling culture and bike infrastructure. In the coming month, She will share her seeings and doings with all the YLAers.

Shichahai Lake in Beijing

by Jun 14, 2011 3 Comments

Large landscapes and the city: at each historic stage, Shichahai Lake has been vital to the generation and regeneration of Beijing, as water supply, commercial dock, natural refuge and public park.

Madrid Rio; Landscape architecture as a political means

by Mar 11, 2011 9 Comments

The masterplan for a 120-hectare site of a reclaimed riverbank and a new urban area in the Spanish capital is based on a trilogy of key areas that provide the basic structure: a riverwalk, a large park and a project to rebuild an urban ensemble. The interventions are to restore the urban fabric.

An introduction to the 2011 LABash in Purdue University

by Mar 03, 2011 8 Comments

In March of 2011, Purdue University will spearhead an international symposium with the goal of reaching the global landscape architecture community - LABASH 2001. Over the course of two days, the symposium will present opportunities to learn, explore and discover landscape architecture as stu­dents and future professionals. Lectures and demonstrations from twenty professionals, a design charette, and tours of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Samara House will be included. YOUTHLA will be the official media partner reporting the whole event.

Stoss Landscape Urbanism - TOPOS Landscape Award 2010

by Dec 01, 2010 6 Comments

Stoss Landscape Urbanism, a critical design and planning studio headed by Chris Reed operates at the juncture of landscape architecture, urban design and planning, has won the Topos Landscape Award in 2010. Topos recognized Stoss for their theoretical and practical contributions to advancing the development of landscape architecture in dynamic systems, and to encourage discussion on landscape urbanism.

Brief Interview with Martha Schwartz

by Nov 22, 2010 30 Comments

On behalf of Youth Landscape Architecture, the author interviewed landscape architect Martha Schwartz, who talked about the thriving market of landscape architecture in China and things to do for students and youngsters.

Vertical Greening Systems

by Oct 03, 2010 22 Comments

Vertical Greening Systems is a comparative study of different green wall and green facade systems in Europe, Australia and Singapore. The research focuses on the practical aspects of building a vertical greening structure, and looks at case studies of built green walls around the world. The main systems reviewed in this research are the Verticalis by ZHAW (Zurich University of Applied Sciences), Plantwall by GreenFortune, Grunewand by Indoorlandscaping and Fytowall by Fytogreen.

South Lake Central Park

by Sep 14, 2010 13 Comments

Within only one year a former mined area in Tangshan, southeast of Beijing, was transformed into a valuable 5.9 square kilometer public parkland that has become the catalyst for the development of the South Lake Eco-Town.

Qiaoyuan Park

by Aug 17, 2010 35 Comments

Introduction: In the Chinese city of Tianjin, the strategy of “adaptive palettes” was used to create a series of biologically diverse ecosystems that could repair contaminated soils and treat urban stormwater by relying on nature’s processes. Today, Qiaoyuan Park has reclaimed a brownfield by integrating regenerative ecological functions, using native plants in a landscape that is allowed to adapt and evolve, and educates visitors in a relaxing recreational space designed for the dense community surrounding the park.

Process and Poetry

by and Aug 11, 2010 9 Comments

His presentation “Process and Poetry” contains both graphic work and images illustrating his journey to design and toward landscape architecture. It discusses his approach to design projects and his detail-oriented perspective which informs his design work. He also shares samples of his artwork and poetry, both from his semester in Rome, Italy and outside projects - these are inspired by what he describes as “moments”, and capture the passion he brings to landscape architecture and to life.

An Experiment on new models of capstone studio – Interview with Dr. Ruggeri

by Jul 08, 2010 7 Comments

In the spring semester of 2010, I was the TA of Dr. Ruggeri in his capstone studio. Different with traditional studios, students were no more confined to drawing analyses and doing designs in this capstone studio, but played as leaders, meeting with clients, setting community conferences on their own, and visioning projects’ future collaboratively. The instructor stepped back from the role of “prima donna”, leaving the spot light to the students. After the course I interviewed Dr. Ruggeri and further communicated with him about this capstone studio.

Affectionate Landscape Architecture Journey in China and London

by Jun 26, 2010 11 Comments

Three stories and three inspirations disclose her landscape architecture journey. For her landscape architecture is not only a social profession, but also an individual growth and inspiring career.

MRP Program at Cornell University

by Apr 21, 2010 3 Comments

This is an introduction of the urban planning master program at Cornell University by an MRP candidate of Cornell.

Chinese Environment Issues in the View of a German Ecologist - Interview with Dr. Mader

by Feb 14, 2010 26 Comments

Introduction:Dr. Hans-Joachim Mader is President of the Foundation of Natural Landscapes in Brandenburg and former Head of Department of Regional Planning (Ministry of Environment Brandenburg). After his retirement, he works as Senior Ecologist for SES (Senior Expert Services) in China. Dr. Mader traveled to China for many times working on guiding the ecological restoration programs in the provinces of northwestern and northeastern China. He also offered consultation to local governments as well as established researching foundation with the cooperation of Chinese universities for long-range scientific researches. Dr. Mader accepted our interview agreeably in the hope that this NPO would propagate his considerations to more people. It’s our honor to let more people understand the suggestions of this outstanding ecologist’s through this platform on YouthLA.

by Nov 20, 2009 20 Comments

by Sep 28, 2009 7 Comments

About YouthLA

Youth Landscape Architecture (YouthLA) is a non-profit website dedicated to promoting sustainable design and development, increasing social responsibilities of landscape architects, and providing young landscape architects and students with a platform for leaning and communicating. YouthLA is created by a group of young designers, with attitudes of justice, enthusiasm and seriousness. Learn more...