Depiction of cityscape, created by Benjamin Smithers and Neil Denari

Graduate Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

The field of landscape architecture operates at the intersection of multiple disciplines including art, ecology, geology, design, technology, and history. The MLA program at Pratt Institute embraces this radical hybridity and offers a core curriculum that allows students to creatively and effectively integrate multiple knowledge fields in the design of climate and community responsive landscapes.

The climate crisis mandates that we reframe our relationship to the environment, to myriad other species, and to our resource use and allocation. To live lighter, to live more equitably, translates into living in dense, yet generous, habitats that embrace the cultivation of biodiversity at the human, ecosystem, and biosphere scales. In the 21st century, this means that divisions between Landscape Architecture, Architecture, and Urban Design overlap with heightened frequency as the built environment in cities, exurban and rural areas transform and densify.

The Master of Landscape Architecture program in the GAUD situates itself squarely in this intersection, challenging students to creatively integrate multiple knowledge fields in the design of climate and community responsive landscapes. Research and design frameworks extend from the transformation of coastal ecologies and neighborhoods to the prototyping and construction of living architectural components, from the hyper-local to the regional, addressing the interconnectivity inherent in landscape systems.

Drawing upon the intensive resources of Pratt’s multifaceted School of Architecture which includes degrees in Planning, Urban Place Making and Sustainable Environmental Systems, the MLA program also triangulates the unique assets of the GAUD where the Master of Architecture and Urban Design programs are housed. The program will have access to state-of-the-art imaging and technology resources rivalling the resources of the top schools. These combined assets immerse MLA students in a lush ecology of thinking through making, coursework, theory and design-driven activism that are certain to bend, reshape and transform the ways in which humans understand and inhabit their landscapes.

 In addition to traditional representation practices, students will be exposed to a more critical and multilayered process to reflect the shifting, temporal, experiential, and contested aspects of landscapes. 

While drawing upon Pratt’s strong community ties to its Brooklyn home, the program foregrounds landscape ecology considered through design agendas like resilient public space, urban ecology, food sovereignty, spatial imagination, and global human narratives. The acute environmental and climate crisis is our context.  The students will also benefit from an expansive list of electives, tapping into the many relevant courses currently offered within the School of Architecture, in particular, offerings of the Urban Design, Placemaking, and Sustainable Environmental Systems programs.

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