Transforming Landscape Through Culture: Dance Principals & Archival Sources as Design Inspiration

Start Date
End Date
The Anacostia riverfront in Washington, D.C., suffers from a severe lack of experiential diversity. Part I of this presentation explores how experiential diversity can enhance greenway design using choreographic dance principles. Many dance principles can apply to landscape design. By approaching park design as a choreographer of dance, a designer can focus on the human experiences –how materiality and the environment influence movement, senses, and emotions, creating a diverse and engaging landscape composition.

Part II of the presentation illustrates how to integrate GIS into the design process of documenting, preserving, and interpreting historic landscapes. What began as GIS mapping of the land transfer of George Washington's five farms at Mount Vernon led to a healing garden concept for the historically African-American neighborhood of Gum Springs, founded by former slave, West Ford. This presentation will educate participants on mapping techniques and dataset analysis in ArcGIS in order to integrate ecological research with cultural landscapes, providing inspiration for design decisions and practical guidance in ecological restoration.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Site Planning
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
1. Learn how choreographic dance principles can be translated into landscape design at the site scale

2. Gain a new approach to design and user experience by implementing choreographic dance principles to create contrast and stimulate movement, senses, and emotions.

3. Understand how to formulate the right questions for dataset construction and the design process feedback loop.

4. Utilize various methods for incorporating archival sources and ecological planting frameworks into GIS datasets.
Jennifer Ren, Student ASLA; Rebekah Lawrence, Student ASLA
Course Codes
American Society of Landscape Architects

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