Get Real

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  • Title: Get Real: Service-Learning with Real-World Projects in Landscape Architecture Design Education
  • Author(s): Qing Lana Luo, Po Siu Hsu
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Design Principles & Practices
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Design Education
  • Keywords: Landscape Architecture, Design Education, Service-Learning, Community Service, Experiential Learning
  • Volume: 12
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2325-128X (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1298 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Luo, Qing Lana, and Po Siu Hsu. 2018. "Get Real: Service-Learning with Real-World Projects in Landscape Architecture Design Education." The International Journal of Design Education 12 (3): 13-29. doi:10.18848/2325-128X/CGP/v12i03/13-29.
  • Extent: 17 pages


In design classes of landscape architecture education, some professors strive to find real-world projects from the community for students to practice their design skills instead of giving students speculative projects. This paper described how a landscape architecture faculty with Extension appointment can function as a bridge between formal education and community service through service-learning. The lead faculty selected three community service projects for three different design classes to engage in this study and conducted the follow-up survey. Using four service-learning approaches: (1) real project-centered learning, (2) experiential learning experience, (3) client-professional interaction, and (4) community service awareness, this study examined how students were interested and motivated when they faced a real-world project versus a speculative project. It looked at student’ time spent engaged in a real-world project, and it revealed the benefits of being able to interact with clients during the design process of a real-world project. There were lessons learned during the working process of three service projects, and the study results confirmed that real-world projects provided benefits to students’ learning and facilitated better teaching outcomes in design education.