Collaborators: Alejandro Ramos, Alex Anderson, Amanda Fonte, Andres Orjuela, Christian Ossenfort, Rachel Hamrick, Yubo (Robin) Liu, and Zhu (Judy) Yi
Auburn Research: Student Symposium 2019 | University Wide Winners in Social Science, Creative Scholarship, Arts, and Humanities | Graduate Student Awards Third Place Poster Presentation
2018 Bienal Panamericana de Arquitecture de Quito 
Does architecture have its own sovereign rules?
Due to its own and transmissible knowledge is architecture autonomous?
If so, which are these architecture principles?
Can architecture be consistent with reality while remaining consistent with itself?
In the recent past, the approach of landscape architectural discourse has emphasized only limited aspects of the practice, including the social role of architects, the environmental and economical concerns, the technological innovations in design and construction, formal and typological experimentations, and the city and public space. These foci have reduced the space for dialogue towards landscape architecture itself. Our research aims to uncloud landscape architecture’s own sovereign rules, to decipher whether landscape architecture is autonomous due to its own transmissible knowledge, to make explicit these principles, and to determine if landscape architecture can be consistent with reality while remaining consistent with itself. We explored these questions through 1) theoretical inquiry into the existing discourse of landscape architecture itself and 2) the direct and indirect explorative study of three sites of landscape architecture through first hand field study, photography, GIS mapping, written record, secondhand source analysis, and three dimensional physical and digital spatial modeling. The three sites were Perry Lakes Park, Rural Studio, Perry County, Alabama (2002); Patio Fresnos, Jorge Ambrosi and Gabriela Etchegaray, Nacozari de Garcia, Mexico (2014); and Orquideorama, Plan B Architects + JPRCR Architects, Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia (2008).  Our team first defined landscape architecture and its self-determined rules based on theory and experience, then our research took a critical eye toward the three selected sites to determine if they contribute to architectural tradition and are coherent within the rules of landscape architecture. We have defined landscape architecture as a cultural, ecological, and geological construct that allows or creates dynamic relationships between biotic and abiotic systems. We found that landscape architecture sites must address all these aspects in order to be coherent with the logic of the discipline; none of the sites of study fully encapsulated our definition of landscape architecture, but they were found to be worthy of further research in the lens of architecture. We also found that the differentiation between the rules of architecture and the rules of landscape architecture is fruitless and we believe in a collaborative, discursive relationship fostered between the sister disciplines.
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