LARCH 7032 - Advanced Ecology (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

This course considers themes in ecological design and new technologies as they relate to contemporary landscape architecture. The course explores topics such as ecology, habitat restoration, hydrology, civil techniques, horticulture, planting design, installation and maintenance and other techniques pertinent to the production of ecologically vibrant landscapes.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LARCH 7032
    Course Advanced Ecology (M)
    Coordinating Unit School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description This course considers themes in ecological design and new technologies as they relate to contemporary landscape architecture. The course explores topics such as ecology, habitat restoration, hydrology, civil techniques, horticulture, planting design, installation and maintenance and other techniques pertinent to the production of ecologically vibrant landscapes.
    Course Staff
    Room Lecture Napier G03 Lecture Theatre
    Tutorial Barr Smith 540 a/b Final Yr Studio
    Standard Tutorials are as follows: 
    Time Lecture Friday 09:00am – 10:00am – To be advised
    Tutorial Friday 10:00 am – 12:00 pm – Amanda Balmer/Isy James/Kat Baumann

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from the Course Planner at

    Name Ms. Amanda Balmer
    Company WAX Design
    Telephone 82150144

    Name Miss Isabella James
    Company WAX Design
    Telephone 82150144

    Name Miss Katarina Baumann
    Company WAX Design
    Telephone 82150144

    Name Tanya Court
    Location r469
    Telephone 8303 5694

    Please note that guest lecturers and tutors coordinator will not be available outside of studio contact hours. It is expected students fully engage with lecture content and limited studio time to reach the necessary advancement and resolution of design outcomes. For any course related enquiry, please post an entry on the discussion board or email Amanda Balmer on the above email.

    Individual e-mail communication with students on course issues should be kept to a minimum and be for important matters only. Queries should mainly be raised in class. Emails of a trivial nature will not be responded to.

    Course Support Staff
    For issues concerning enrollment or queries about the School’s programs contact Clement Low, Student Advisor, 8313 5877,

    For issues related to discrimination or harassment contact the Course Coordinator or Velice Wennan, School Manager, 8313 5475,

    For issues relating to health, safety and wellbeing contact Ian Florance, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Officer, 8313 5978,

    For issues relating to first aid contact Alison Bosnakis, First Aid Officer, 8313 5836,


    ”Like an artist who paints, practices and sketches, a landscape architect needs to spend years learning which plants do well in different soils and microclimates We must remember all these qualities: the form and colour of the plant, especially the hue of green; the requirements of light, water and soil; and the feeling one is trying to crate.“
                                                                                Cochran, Andrea*

    This course considers themes in ecological design and new technologies as they relate to contemporary landscape architecture. The course explores topics such as ecology, habitat restoration, hydrology, horticulture, planting design, installation and maintenance and other techniques pertinent to the production of ecologically vibrant landscapes. Students will build on previous course knowledge regarding plants and the use of plants as a material and an expression of a design intent, whilst further exploring the vast spectrum of possibilities to use plants in design projects.

    Plants have over centuries been regarded as the inherent element in landscape architectural work. However, with the development of the profession moving away from garden design to creating urban settings that fulfil our contemporary, consumer-oriented demands, less attention is devoted to the complexity of planting design. In fact, plants are one of the most challenging materials in design because as living things they change over seasons, they grow and die. The dimension of time, therefore, plays a significant role in design concepts and objectives.

    The course considers the emergence of ‘green infrastructure’ which can be defined as networks of greens spaces and water systems that deliver multiple environmental, social and economical values and services to urban communities. The value of ‘green infrastructure’ in urban landscapes is becoming increasingly recognised around the world as the rapid expansion of towns and cities create the risk of unliveable and unhealthy environments. Plants can create more than just the ‘green solution’ or the ‘fluff around the edges’ and provide multiple benefits including enhanced public use opportunities, urban ecosystems, social and community well-being including physical and mental health. Debates on the way we think about cities emphasise the importance of greenery in our built environment and a specific focus in this course lies in the exploration of possibilities for planting design in contemporary architectural and urban contexts including roof garden and green walls.

    This course approaches the use of plants and design solutions considering plant species and selection in regards to Green Infrastructure and other outcomes beyond the aesthetic to also consider food security, biodiversity, climate change, human health, increased urban density, water and energy issues.

    This course celebrates the aesthetic role of plants. This design perspective includes spatial composition with plants and their forms, structures and textures, the specifics of plant selection. Through the analysis of precedents, we will investigate the aesthetics of planting design and develop an understanding of historic and contemporary principals. Equally important are issues of installation and maintenance.

    Finally, students will combine their analysis skills with their theoretical knowledge of horticultural, functional, and ecological aspects. In individual design projects, students will develop design solutions for site-specific conditions and learn to apply appropriate representation techniques for designing with plants.

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate the ability to research and select plants for particular design characters and site conditions and to develop an individual plant palette
    2 Demonstrate a competency to respond to a design brief and develop critical thinking skills in analysing projects and scenarios within the context of site and place
    3 Demonstrate skills in exploratory design precedents, design ideation and informed conceptual design propositions
    4 Development of ‘Green Infrastructure’ principles from historic, theoretical and case studies and the relationship of plants within Green Infrastructure principles
    5 Demonstrate a competency to articulate, communicate and critically evaluate design intentions, applications and outcomes using a variety of technologies and techniques

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Not applicable
    Recommended Resources
    Reference books:
    Hopkins, G & Goodwin, C (2011.) Living Architecture:Green Roofs and Walls. CSIRO Publishing:Victoria

    Leszczynski, N. A. (1999). Planting the Landscape: A Professional Approach to Garden Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons ABC Gardening Australia (2004).Flora: The Gardeners Bible. NSW: Global Book Publishing.

    Macgowan, T. (2009). Transforming Uncommon Ground ‘The gardens of Vladimir Sitta’ Melbourne: Blooming Books.

    Barbaux, S. (2010).JardinsEcologiques : Ecology, source of creation, France: ICI Interface.

    Conran, T. & Pearson, D. (1998). The Essential Garden Book: The Comprehensive Source Book of Garden Design. London: Conran Octopus.

    Contemporary Landscape Architecture, 2008, Cologne: Daab.

    Dashorst, G, & Jessop, I. (1990).Plants of the Adelaide Plains and Hills, Kenthurst NSW: Kangaroo Press.

    Dunnett, N. &Clayden, A. (2007). Rain Gardens: Managing Water Sustainably in the Garden and Designed Landscape. Timber Press: Portland.

    Hobhouse, P, (2002).The Story of Gardens, DK, London.

    Lambertini, A. &Leenhardt, J. (2007) Vertical Gardens: Bringing the City to Life. Thames and Hudson: London.

    Margolis, L, Robinson, A.(2007)Living Systems: Innovative Materials and Technologies for Landscape Architecture, Birkhäuser, Switzerland.

    Richardson, T. (2008) Avant Gardeners. Thames and Hudson: London.

    Snodgrass, E.C. & Snodgrass, L.L. (2009). Green Roof Plants: A Resource and Planting Guide. Timber Press: Portland.

    Uffelen, C (ed.) 2008, 1000X Landscape Architecture, Braun, Berlin.

    Weller, Richard et al. (2005) Room 4.1.3: Innovations in Landscape Architecture.Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

    Thomson, P. (2002). Australian Planting Design. Melbourne: Lothian Books.

    Speaker Series:
    The School has a fortnightly lecture series where respected practitioners and academics from the field deliver a public lecture on contemporary architectural practice. In order to expand your knowledge of contemporary directions in design it is recommended that you attend these sessions. The sessions are scheduled for Tuesday 6pm at the Horace Lamb Lecture Theatre, and the exact detail of dates and speakers is available from the School website and the Front Office.

    Academic Support:
    The Professions Learning Centre (PLC) provides postgraduate coursework students of the Faculty of Professions free academic skills advice on critical analysis and structuring assignments, paraphrasing, referencing, oral presentation skills and other skills to assist with success at university. You are encouraged to take advantage of the service to enable you to improve your performance in your studies. To contact a Learning Advisor please send an email to
    Online Learning Download .pdf plant catalogue Catalogue and plant information Catalogue and plant information

    Online Learning:
    Lecture summaries, image pdfs, handouts, links for further reference and additional material will be posted on the MyUni website following the relevant class.
    Discussion board will form the initial point of contact for a course related enquiries. Discussions will be opened up each assignment and will act as an online collaborative learning environment with student engagement and peer assistance vital.

    University Email:
    The school uses the University email system to get in touch with the students. So it is imperative that you check your email regularly and keep up to date with any new announcements.

    Noticeboard / Handbook:
    General information about the activities at the School is available online from the Student Noticeboard which can be accessed at Students can also access a copy of the Student Handbook at the following link:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Submission dates and arrangements for each assignment will be clearly communicated for each course. The current (2011) School policy does NOT allow any extensions*. LATE submissions will not be received by staff, and the assignment receives zero.

    *The exception to this Policy occurs when students have in-place Medical, Compassionate or Extenuating Circumstances approved by the Course Coordinator on official School documentation. Please see below and the School's Handbook 2009 for details.

    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. All physical submissions of individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet
        which must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Lecturers will withhold student’s
        results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet.
    3. All physical submissions of group assignments must be attached to a Group Assignment Cover Sheet
        which must be signed and dated by all group members before submission. All team members are
        expected to contribute approximately equally to a group assignment.
    4. Markers can refuse to accept assignments, which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the
        University’s policy on plagiarism (refer to policy on plagiarism below).
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.