Landscape architecture is the discipline concerned with mankind's conscious shaping of his external environment. It involves planning, design and management of the landscape to create, maintain, protect and enhance places so as to be both functional, beautiful and sustainable (…). The exceptionally wide-ranging nature of the landscape means that the subject area is one of unusual breadth, drawing on and integrating not just material from the two sides of the traditional divide between the creative arts and the natural sciences, but incorporating many aspects of the humanities and technology as well (IFLA Europe).
The focus of the degree is on the disciplines related to Landscape Architecture, as well as on curricular activities regarding research processes and tools that are specifically useful to planning and design. The research thus refer to the landscape-related elements involved in planning, both in terms of regional government and the safeguarding of the assets in question, and in projects for carrying out landscape conservation, re-qualification or transformation interventions. The programme therefore includes a wide variety of typologies of research, according to the dimension of the problems faced and of the kind of instruments involved. The complexity and spatio-temporal transcalarity of the structures and operations of landscapes are the main common features to which prioritary and constant attention has been aimed during the past two decades of research. The academic staff associates the main field of analysis with the natural and agrarian sciences, following a tradition of a relationship developed in Florence which is extended to other courses devoted to the field, and avails itself of a solid educational collaboration with teachers of landscape and urban planning, as well as of architectural planning and design, at the University of Florence and other institutions. A second common denominator focuses on the interpretation of the structural and functional transcalarity of landscapes, identifying the various articulations which correspond to different spatial and temporal thresholds.
The syllabus is aimed at a PhD training programme specialized in research related to the field of landscape architecture. In view of the complex and varied components of this field, all personal research profiles, both theoretical and applied, are oriented as of the first year towards a progressive definition of the investigation analysis, in order to pinpoint reasoned and focused thematic frameworks.
The following is a general outline of the course degree:
The first year is devoted to research aimed to the identification of a specific hypothesis within a determined thematic. The relationships between the hypothesis and the specific features of of architectural landscape design determine the disciplinary terms related to the research.
During the second year the question is approached through cyclical research relationships between theory and application, with work methods that vary according to the particularities of the subject matter, the approach to it, and the specific interests of the researcher.
The third year is devoted to the writing of the PhD dissertation and the preparation and presentations of contributions for international scientific dissemination.
The typologies of curricular educational activities are related to those common to the PhD programme: