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A Case Study Method for Landscape Architecture

“The primary body of knowledge in landscape architecture is contained in the written and visual documentation—that is, stories—of projects, be it well-known ones such as New York’s Central Park, or more modest projects such as a small neighborhood park. Together, these cases provide the primary form of education, innovation, and testing for the profession. They also serve as the collective record of the advancement and development of new knowledge in landscape architecture.”

LAF commissioned the development of A Case Study Method for Landscape Architecture to promote an in-depth, multi-dimensional approach to case studies and provide for uniformity in format and method. By promoting this approach, LAF hopes to provide professionals and their clients with timely information on emerging issues and innovative projects, and to integrate the case study method into design education, thereby training current and future designers and policymakers with a systematic documentation and research method.

Since it was published in 1999, the Case Study Method has been adopted widely in the profession and is frequently cited in articles and publications. A number of schools have incorporated the Case Study Method into their curriculum, and it has been adopted by several as the required format for student theses in landscape architecture. The Case Study Method formed the foundation for LAF’s Land and Community Design Case Study Series books.

The author, Mark Francis, welcomes your questions or comments at mofrancis [at]

LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.