The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is a 2-year programme of study, accredited by the Landscape Institute, for students with a related degree or background who wish to gain a professional qualification. Students with a BA in the subject, or equivalent, enter directly at Part 2 of the course to complete their professional education.
In Atelier 1A, an exploration of the universal definitions of garden, park and landscape acts as a precursor for individual experimentation and design practice, expressing the role of landscape architecture in the Anthropocene. In Atelier 1B, students focus on the regeneration of an urban quarter, exploring the relationship between humans and their environment in the 21st century, through themes such as heritage, culture and climate change in a specific urban context.
The countryside is now the frontline of transformation … more volatile than the most accelerated city.Rem Koolhaas, In Icon: 23.09.14)
Our rural landscapes are mythologised as timeless places of beauty, tranquillity and health, or commodified for the consumption of urban leisure seekers. Below the veneer of the rural idyll lies a contradictory reality of ecological desertification, high-tech agriculture, concentrated land ownership, resource extraction, energy generation, subsidy-dependent farming, and isolated, disenfranchised communities. The idealisation of the countryside as a kind of living museum co-exists uncomfortably with this increasingly dystopian reality.
MLA2 students’ work this year has explored the tensions and contradictions of the rural landscape in the context of an area sandwiched between Morecambe Bay and the Lake District National Park. These peninsulas, separated by three rivers which drain into the bay, are rich in biodiversity as well as historic and social complexity. Students have defined their own project briefs and tested these on sites within this area, exploring the potentials of a range of landscape scenarios, including: The Drowned World, Dis-enclosures, The Rural Powerhouse, New Nomads, and The Wild Woods.