Landscape is where the great societal challenges of the 21st century converge. Formulating answers to such problems as food security, climate change, biodiversity loss and migration requires a holistic approach to landscape as a supra-local system. On a regional scale, landscape is increasingly becoming an object of design. Landscape design aligns the wishes of diverse stakeholders and develops strategic and recruiting visions that enable tangible, socially desirable realizations. This Bachelor-after-Bachelor programme trains professionals with the analytical and synthetic abilities to independently and critically read a landscape in order to make creative and motivated design, layout and management proposals.
In the first quarter of the programme, you primarily learn to fully fathom the contemporary landscape by gaining insight into the way it has come about as a system of relationships. Attention is also paid to methodologies for developing landscapes and to the way in which governments and professional design agencies go about doing this. The second quarter examines the creation of landscapes and the way landscape development uses and is situated within spatial planning. In the third quarter, we question the landscape from a philosophical perspective, familiarize ourselves with the basic principles of landscape management, and also specifically focus on landscapes of and in the city.
Knowledge and insights are practically applied in the quarterly landscape design projects. These are design workshops around large-scale spatial cases in which students work in groups. Independently searching for the necessary information, interpreting this and forming a well-founded vision are essential. The approach is multidisciplinary. Within the projects, each student contributes their own input based on his or her leadership and competences, in order to formulate a well-supported response to the proposed challenges. These projects are often generated by specific questions from the field.
Dialogue between group members, external clients and instructors is central. This dialogue is also typical of working on landscape on a supra-local scale. Moments of consultation take place between students and clients during the projects, as well as at the end of the programme. As a result, research and design has already been conducted for municipalities, provincial governments, non-profit organizations and a number of private partners. Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which will be thoroughly mastered over the course of the entire programme, are an important tool here. Finally, in the fourth quarter of the programme, you will take part in an eight-week internship.
The programme is open to students who hold at least a bachelor’s degree. There is no admission test, but depending on the individual background, an intake procedure is required. During an intake interview, teachers evaluate the candidate on the basis of his/her competences in the field of knowledge about flora, green spaces and spatial insight. Applicants include landscape and garden architects, green space managers, architects, urban designers, bachelors in real estate, surveyors, geographers, environmental experts and interior architects. This important heterogeneous intake reflects the multidisciplinary reality of the professional field. The programme is in Dutch. The internships, projects and study trips often have a strong international component.
The bachelor’s degree in landscape development is an important added value in the professional field of urban development, spatial planning, landscape architecture, architecture, green space management and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Graduates of the programme are employed in government (the Flemish government, provinces, cities and municipalities), public institutions (the Flemish Land Agency and Regional Land Agencies, etc.) and research agencies at home and abroad. After completing this programme, you may wish to pursue a master’s programme in spatial planning, urban development or landscape architecture.
Glenn Deliège (coördinator)
Sylvie Van Damme