Surface Design Operations in Landscape Architecture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates contemporary landscape architecture through a cross-case evaluation of design projects that focus on surface design operations (SDO). The SDO concept was developed to evaluate how designers apply design tactics and strategies to the ground surface, with a particular focus on how they transform urban sites (such as paved, fallow, and abandoned ground). Toward that end, this article defines surface and medium for the research context and focuses on the constructive purpose and meaning of design operations. Among 24 projects, five categories of SDO are identified and discussed in depth: deconstruction/reconstruction (D/R), geologic matters (GM), modular-hybridity (H-M), constructed-layered ground (C-L), and transitional/antici-patory (T/A). Explanations of each category focus on one project example. The article concludes with a discussion regarding how SDOs are useful for landscape architecture pedagogy and professional practice and suggests pathways for continued research and application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalLandscape Journal
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Case studies
  • Categorization
  • Design strategy
  • Operations
  • Urban surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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