Which Software Are You Teaching?

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  • Title: Which Software Are You Teaching?: A Survey of Design Software Usage in Landscape Architecture Curricula
  • Author(s): Peter Summerlin, Benjamin George, Charles Fulford
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Design Principles & Practices
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design
  • Keywords: Landscape Architecture, Software, Curriculum
  • Volume: 11
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 2325-1662 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1670 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2325-1662/CGP/v11i04/1-11
  • Citation: Summerlin, Peter, Benjamin George, and Charles Fulford. 2017. "Which Software Are You Teaching?: A Survey of Design Software Usage in Landscape Architecture Curricula." The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design 11 (4): 1-11. doi:10.18848/2325-1662/CGP/v11i04/1-11.
  • Extent: 11 pages

Abstract

Computer software is a fundamental tool in the contemporary practice of landscape architecture. With this in mind, design software is embedded in academic curricula, shifting from a single “computers” course in years past to permeating nearly all courses and design projects. With a multitude of software options, landscape architecture programs must make choices about what software will be taught in their curricula, and to what degree these digital tools should be discussed and practiced. This article presents the results of a survey that identifies the software being taught in accredited BLA and MLA programs across the United States. Beyond simply noting if a program is taught, the survey captures the depth to which each software package is covered in courses. This was executed through a Likert-scale associated with each software package to provide an accurate representation of software use in accredited programs. Results also showcase niche software packages that have gained the most traction nationally and allows for speculation on future trends both regionally and nationally. The results are presented for five software categories: Drafting, 2D Rendering, 3D Modeling, 3D Modeling Plugins, and Desktop Publishing. Altogether, the findings provide a snapshot of the state of design software in landscape architecture curricula across the United States.