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Transition from Intangible to Tangible in Landscape Architecture Basic Design Course

Tugba Düzenli, Elif Merve Alpak, Doruk Görkem Özkan


Basic design is a unique, essential and obligatory course for all disciplines that tackle with design. In this course, students learn basic concepts on their fields while they learn design elements and principles with applied work. When design is considered as a type of problem-solving act, Basic Design course teaches abstract thinking, which is the most basic tool of this act. We construct the content of the Basic Design course to analyze the facts and a given problem, solve it, to transform the concrete to the abstract. Design educators need to produce information utilizing original methods and share them with all design educators. The present study aims to share a design method that entails the translation of intangible to tangible. The process of approaching the tangible spatial construct from abstract concepts was examined in the freshmen basic design course in landscape architecture education and the contribution of this process to landscape architecture education was addressed. Thus, in the first phase of the study, the work produced by the students during the semester and finals during the basic design course at Karadeniz Technical University Landscape Architecture Department were sampled and examined. In the second stage, a survey study was conducted to investigate the students’ level on abstract concepts, how they were able to translate intangible to tangible, their level of associating the design concepts with spatial construct and the effects of the design process on learning. Thus, the process within the basic design course was examined and the instruction level was attempted to be determined. As a result, it was determined that students learned abstract concepts well during the basic design process, but they experienced difficulties when relating these concepts to the spatial construct, in other words translating the intangible to tangible, due to their low level of experience in design. Therefore, it was determined that the students found the course instructive but the process challenging.


design education; basic design; intangible-tangible relationship; landscape architecture.

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