"Science" and "Art" in landscape architecture knowledge production

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Within landscape architecture, two main approaches exist in the discipline- one art and one science related approach. Much criticism arose on outdoor space design that relies on either ‘art’ or ‘science’ approaches. This caused avoidance and underuse of many outdoor spaces. At the basis are two problems. Firstly, landscape architecture is not an art and not a science. Because of this misconception, there is a problem of epistemological kind, resulting in a lack of suitable methods to produce design knowledge. To overcome the epistemological problem of divergent knowledge claims in art (constructivist) and science (positivist) I suggest a pragmatic epistemological approach that combines the different ways of knowledge production. Based on this, suitable research methods need to be developed, mainly employing ‘research through design’ methods. These epistemological and methodological topics need to be studied in depth and eventually taught in landscape architecture schools. Application of such integrated design knowledge in practical landscape architecture projects will help to create outdoor environments that do not suffer the shortcomings of ‘landscape architecture as art’ or ‘landscape architecture as science’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication"Landscape and Imagination" conference proceedings
EditorsC. Newman, Y. Nussaume, B. Pedroli
Place of PublicationFlorence
ISBN (Print)9788883415487
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventUniscape conference "Landscape and Imagination" -
Duration: 2 May 20134 May 2013


ConferenceUniscape conference "Landscape and Imagination"

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    Lenzholzer, S. (2013). "Science" and "Art" in landscape architecture knowledge production. In C. Newman, Y. Nussaume, & B. Pedroli (Eds.), "Landscape and Imagination" conference proceedings (pp. 287-292). Uniscape. https://edepot.wur.nl/306322