Landscape design combines the essential elements of art and science to create a functional, aesthetically pleasing extension of indoor living to the outdoors. It is a part of landscape architecture and allows space and design to reflect creativity. Completely a man made exercise, the purpose of landscape design is to blend technology with nature. To become a landscape designer one must have a working knowledge of art elements and design principles.
Though an architectural field, landscape design has a special aesthetic value. Elements of art include but are not limited to color, line, form, texture and scale. These elements are never independent of each other, but their individual natures should be dealt with care before considering the interactions.
Landscape design is a multi-disciplinary field, including within its fold mathematics, science, engineering, art, technology, social sciences, politics, history, philosophy. Color, line, form, texture and scale are tools which are used in combinations to adjust design the landscape. Design principles include unity, balance, transition, focalization, proportion, rhythm, repetition and simplicity. All these principles interact to yield the intended landscape design.
The landscape designer essentially works on:
o The form, scale and citing of new developments
o Public parks, greenways, golf courses, theme parks and sports facilities
o Housing areas, industrial parks and commercial developments
o Urban design, town and city squares, and pedestrian schemes
o Large or small urban regeneration schemes
o Forest, tourist or historic landscapes, and historic garden appraisal and conservation studies
o Environmental assessment and landscape assessment, planning advice and land management proposals.
o Coastal and offshore developments
The key steps in landscape design are:
o Develop a plot plan.
o Conduct a site analysis.
o Assess family needs and desires.
o Locate activity areas.
o Design activity areas.
o Plant selection and placement.
Important in landscape design:
o Unity is obtained by the effective use of components in a design to express a main idea through consistent style. It is emphasized by consistency of character between units in the landscape. Use of elements to express a specific theme within units creates harmony in landscape design.
o Balance is also needed. It refers to the equilibrium or equality of visual attraction. Symmetrical balance is achieved when one side of the design is a mirror image of the other side. There is a distinct dividing line between the two sides. Equal lines, forms, textures or colors are on each side of a symmetrical landscape design.
o Colors are combined into color schemes for practical applications. Three basic color schemes are monochromatic, analogous and complementary. A monochromatic color scheme consists of different tints and shades of one color and is seldom achieved in its pure form in the landscape design.
o A line is maintained in landscape design with the height of the plants that have been planted. In the overall landscape, line is inferred by bed arrangement and the way these beds fit or flow together.
o The size of the area is to be kept in mind for a definite landscape design.
Landscape designers and Landscape technicians or engineers are employed with landscape construction and service companies. Landscape designers, like garden designers, design all types of planting and green spaces. With rapid modern urbanization, landscape design is fast gaining momentum.