Cultural Landscapes Seminar

Do you need an elective for the Spring of 2016? Be sure to check out LAR5230: Cultural Landscapes Seminar, from 11:00am-1:30pm on Tuesdays and taught by Rob McGinnis. 

Course Description & Method:

Cultural landscapes, landscapes created by human culture and technology, have distinct spatial patterns and settlement practices that are shaped by social routines as well as geographical conditions. Cultural landscape is also a way of seeing, thinking and interpreting urban, suburban, rural and industrial places. It applies rich and productive cross- disciplinary approaches that entangle history, cultural practices, and biophysical systems in the pursuit of uncovering the form, meaning, and processes that differentiate one place from another. Over the past quarter century, cultural landscape has become an increasingly important lens through which geographers, architectural historians, landscape architects, planners, preservationists, and anthropologists interpret and manage the built and shaped environment.

This seminar will introduce the concept and practice of cultural landscape, in the US and abroad, through a series of focused readings and student-led discussions, case-study projects, and a roundtable discussion and conversations with nationally recognized designers, historians, and planners who are renown for their contributions to cultural landscape theory and practice in the United States.

An award-winning landscape architect, Rob McGinnis has thirty years of planning, design, and landscape preservation experience throughout the U.S. and abroad. His landscape expertise includes the planning and design of historic sites, museums, memorials, civic spaces, campuses, parks, and transportation systems. Rob has completed over 150 projects including 24 National Historic Landmarks and 6 World Heritage sites. He has contributed to the preservation and enhancement of the grounds of the Washington Monument; Jamestown Island; the University of Virginia; Valley Forge; Pearl Harbor; Mount Vernon; Grand Canyon Village; Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; the National Gallery of Art; The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley; and Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. His international experience includes projects in Libya, Guyana, China, Tibet, and Belize.

Rob received his MLA from the University of Virginia and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts. He currently serves as a principal in the Washington, DC studio of OCULUS and was appointed a Distinguished Fellow in the Center for Cultural Landscapes at the University of Virginia for the 2015/2016 academic year.