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Landscape Architecture

The major Landscape Architecture offers an international (English spoken) program in the winter semester of the third study year. During this semester the student focuses on two main projects and a 'toolbox'-module. The main modules are both landscape design modules and focus on different scale-levels; the first module focusses on the local city scale. The second on the regional landscape scale. In this way the minor offers two different angles in which the profession of landscape architecture is practiced in the Netherlands. The toolbox module gives students extra tool and exercises, adding to the minor specific knowledge and capabilities, that are valuable for the landscape designer.

Besides fieldtrips connected to the assignments, we organize two extra field trips for foreign students to explore the Dutch landscape (2 EC). After one semester in the Exchange student really knows something of our country. To be better prepared for the second project, students from abroad will get some extra basic information about the Dutch landscape and nature development in the Netherlands.

Added value:

The added value for External students exists in the fact that they will expand their ‘scope’, knowledge and expertise on the field of Landscape architecture in the Dutch context, in combination with the experience of working in an international setting.

Dutch landscape architecture and the Dutch approach towards landscape design are renown all over the world. The way the Dutch shaped the landscape is unique. The minor offers the possibility to get acquainted with and understand the way in which the different landscapes in the Netherlands came to be. After one semester in Velp students will see that different rural and city landscapes deal with different problems that require different design approaches and solutions. This experience can work as a mirror for evaluating the usual approach towards and interaction with the landscape in their home country.


The three constituent parts of the minor are described here:


The first project 'Design and Inspiration' (Sept.-Nov., 7 EC) focuses on discovering the core of the Landscape Architecture profession. In a combined studio, Dutch and Erasmus students will work on a design project for a specific site. This studio is organized around seven key topics that are essential for the designer; 'sensing', 'digging', 'imagining', 'exploring', 'shaping', 'materializing' and 'communicating'. The module focusses on discovering your personal style, enhancing creative and divergent thinking, understanding the design process and developing a self-conscious attitude as a landscape designer. Students will make a design proposal for a project site of an intermediate scale in an urban or suburban (urban fringe) context. Each student makes his/her own design proposal, but some parts are in small groups. Working 'on-site' one day each week, is a specific characteristic of this module.

Learning goals:

  • discovering your own identity as a designer;
  • enhancing your ability for creative thinking and working;
  • developing of an ‘designerly approach’ towards design projects;
  • structuring your design process;
  • conscious and informed application of materials and techniques;
  • attractive and effective communication of the design.


Parallel to this module (Sept.-Nov., 7 EC) students will take part in three different Toolbox-classes, in which different tools for designing in the (sub-)urban context will be offered; 'Graphic representation techniques' (focusing on the use of 3D-software; SketchUp and Autocad), 'Modelling & Design' (M@d), and 'Sustainable Water Solutions for cities'. Besides this program it’s possible to learn more about computer programs as AutoCad, Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator (on individual basis).

Learning goals:

  • enhancing knowledge and skills on the respective topics.


The second project, 'Design and Society' (Nov.-Jan., 14 EC) focusses on making a master plan (group) and design elaboration (individual) for a larger rural area (regional and local scale), as well as conducting an accompanying research (group). The assignment is strongly connected to a range of the following global topics; the effects of climate change, biodiversity, transition of agricultural landscapes, feeding the planet, energy transition, closing of cycles of water, nutrients and materials, etc.. Students work in 'offices' to explore the future development of an area. When possible, a real client and stakeholders are involved in the project. Strategic and integral planning, design of processes and visualizing future developments are important aspects of the assignment. The 'offices' will also conduct a research related to the assignment, that will be graded separately.

Learning goals:

  • developing a critical attitude towards problems like climate change, energy, food production, social issues and being able to deal with these issues in a design assignment;
  • develop a vision and design proposals on different scale levels and being able to see the connection between these levels (national, regional, local) and with the factor time (past, present, future);
  • being able to visualize possible future developments over a time period of ten, twenty and fifty years;
  • being able to design with processes;
  • doing research that supports the design process;
  • working in an interdisciplinary environment (with water specialists, ecologists, urban planners, etc.);
  • being able to incorporate knowledge from other professional fields in the design proposal;
  • being able to work in an international group setting.


Extra subjects for broadening the knowledge (Sept.- Jan., 2 EC): excursions and evening lectures from professionals of from practice. 

Aanvullende informatie

The minor will be in English. Lectures will be in English as much as possible. Individual tutoring and guidance will be done in English for foreign students, but will also be done in Dutch when only Dutch are present (f.i. in small groups).


Intake interview with the minor coordinator.

Documents to be handed in: Portfolio, grade list, overview of completed modules


Design & Inspiration:
1) Work book (individual; in between products, process, essay).
2) Development Plan (design) and presentation (individual, oral presentation, in combination with poster, optional: models, video...).

1) Assessment Tool 1, Graphic techniques: work book;
2) Assessment Tool 2, Modelling and Design (M@d): model and oral explanation (presentation);
3) Assessment Tool 3,  Sustainable urban water systems: report.

Design & Society:
1) Research report;
2) Design report, posters, maps, presentation.

Assessment scale: Grade 1-10 (in 1/10 of a point). To pass the minor all separate assessments should be passed with a minimum of 5,5.


Recommended literature:

Oles, T.; Go with me, 50 steps to landscape thinking. Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, 2014;

Vlug, J.A. et al, (2013). The need for Design. Velp: Hogeschool van Hall-Larenstein. ISBN: 978-90-817426-7-2. (available at institute, T&L, VHL).


Dependent on the module. Activities and work forms are: Assignments, design studio's, lectures, theory, workshops and excursions. Guidance is relatively intensive in the first period (2-2,5 day/week) and less intensive in the second period (1-1,5 day/week). Course load is 40 hours per week.