This is the transcript for the video: Bachelor of Design in Landscape Architecture (Honours)

Andrew Toland:

Hello everyone, my name is Andrew Toland. I’m the course director of the undergraduate landscape architecture program at UTS. Welcome to the information session for the bachelor of landscape architecture honors course.

Before we get started, I’d like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation upon whose ancestral lands our UTS campus now stands. I’m also joining you from Gadigal land today, and I’m sure that you might also like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land where you’re joining from.

I’d like to pay my respects to Elders, past, present, and emerging. Acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for this land. This acknowledgement of countries also super fundamental in an area like landscape architecture, which is essentially about how we treat the land, and waters, and the whole environment, and the ways in which it has been shaped over thousands of years.

Just some housekeeping to begin with, this session is being recorded. And by participating in the session, you’re consenting to the use of the recording for the relatively limited set of purposes set out on this slide.

You can at any stage withdraw your consent by emailing This is a Zoom webinar session. So you can’t just unmute yourself to ask questions. If you have any questions, please type them using the Q&A feature at the bottom of your screen. We’ll try to answer these questions in the Q&A chat during the session. We may have some time at the end of the session as well, or we’ll direct you to a person who might be able to be better positioned to answer your questions.

Some quick background about UTS if you’re not from Sydney already. UTS is located very centrally in the center of the city, close to all the major transport links. It’s by far the most centrally located and easiest to get to out of all the Sydney universities. The nucleus of the UTS City Campus is located in Ultimo at the Southern gateway to Sydney central business district within the city’s growing education, digital and creative hub.

We’re located in the state capital of the New South Wales, which is the most popular city in Australia with more than 5 million people. We’re a multicultural city with 39% of our population born overseas and our student body is even more diverse than that. And ranked we’re ranked as the ninth best student city and overall number 11th, most livable city. That was data from 2019, which is the most recent data.

The city spans more than 12,000 square kilometers. And it has one of the world’s largest natural harbors with more than 200 kilometers of Harbor foreshore. So plenty of scope for landscape architecture, just within the city itself. Local landmarks surrounding the UTS Campus include central station, the offices for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences [inaudible 00:04:42] by sciences, which is also known as the Powerhouse Museum, Darling Harbor, Chinatown, and the Central Park retail and residential complex. So lots of activity and lots going on immediately around the university.

One of the most common questions we get in landscape architecture is what is landscape architecture? Unlike say architecture, landscape architecture is not one of those professions that most people know a lot about to begin with. Landscape architecture is about the design of built and natural systems. It’s fundamentally about shaping and protecting our environments and not just human environments, either, especially in the face of climate change.

So the landscape architecture program at UTS has ambitions to train its students to develop real, scalable and innovative landscape responses to Australian regional and global climate issues, to train students in landscape architectural design excellence, to understand how rapidly evolving new technologies can be used in landscape architecture, to build collaborations with government, community and with the profession both locally and internationally, and to meaningfully incorporate indigenous landscape knowledge in other contemporary Australian cultural values into environmental and public domain design, and to understand the importance of indigenous led design collaborations.

We also aim to develop kind of leadership that allows our graduates to come future leaders of landscape architectural practice, which is a rapidly growing profession around the world. Well, how do we [write? 00:06:23] Well, we’re a relatively young program. We’ve only been going since 2016, but this year our program was shortlisted as one of nine landscape architecture programs, internationally named as finalists for the international schools prize at the Barcelona International Landscape Architecture Biennial, which is the most important and prestigious event in landscape architecture. We were the only Australian landscape architecture program to be shortlisted in this way. And we’re shortlisted among programs from other leading international universities like Harvard University, the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, the Politecnico di Milano, and the Delft University of Technology.

But we also aim to push the envelope. We’re getting recognition in the local industry for teaching students cutting edge skills in technology and experimenting with the ways in which they can be applied to landscape architectural problems. So our students learn how to fly drones and how to use them to acquire high resolution landscape data for difficult environmental problems. Our students also learn how three dimensional digital point clouds might be applied to help build a better visualize and design for difficult urban environmental problems, or might be used to design the future of landscape and urban infrastructure.

Our students learn how to use big data and geographic information systems to understand landscape and environmental issues at regional scales. And they learn how to understand, how to use these tools of analysis alongside traditional methods to improve the functioning or restore natural environmental systems.

Students learn how to use robotics and simulation in order to address issues like coastal erosion and increasingly important threat to Australia’s vast coastline or how highly detailed computer rendering and virtual reality might help give us more immersive experiences of environmental conditions that don’t currently exist.

The core of the learning experience in the UTS landscape architecture program is the design studio. Every semester you do a double-wided design studio where you work on a particular landscape problem or theme that increases in complexity as you move through your degree. In addition to the 12 credit point studios each semester, you take an additional two subjects that cover core technical skills like botany, ecology, and construction, or history and theory of landscape architecture and urbanism, or one of four elective subjects which you can use to develop a specialization or to broaden your knowledge by taking a subject from some other area within the university.

The basic degree, the bachelor of landscape architecture honors is a four year program. And once you’ve completed this, you’re eligible for professional registration as a landscape architect by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. But many of our graduates from the bachelor’s program also go on to do an additional year to graduate with a master of landscape architecture to deepen their skills and knowledge, and to give them an additional edge when applying for future employment.

Design studios deal with core landscape issues like water, plant and animal communities, the role of ecology in the urban environment, but design studios also used to push the envelope by speculating about the way humans relate to their environments and the role that other beings, plants and animals might have in finding our way to a more ecological future.

We also imagine dystopian fictions that challenge the way in which we view the natural world as a set of resources. We explore extreme landscapes like Antarctica or overlooked realms, like the domains of moss or fungi, and by using creative and artistic techniques to communicate feelings, atmospheres, and encounters that exist at the edge of our rational consciousness of the natural world. We try to deepen our connection with these crucial environments. We also engage with questions of nature and culture and politics in the face of crises like bush fires, floods, or indeed a global pandemic. All of this involves a lot of making and the UTS Faculty of Design Architecture and Building has extensive fabrication and production facilities to support all of this.

In addition to the studio spaces where most of the teaching and learning goes on, we also have fabrication robots, computer controlled milling machines, 3D printers and laser cutters, photography studios, sound recording booths, high-spec computers, model making workshops, and basically everything you could need.

If you’re at all passionate about climate change, about the environment, about the environmental future of cities, about rethinking and redesigning resource systems, human systems, and landscape systems, I’d encourage you to consider landscape architecture at UTS.

Thank you for listening.