Book Review: Landscape Design

Book Review: Landscape Design

Résumé en français

Landscape Design: A Fresh Approach to interrogating landscapes,Changing Landscape by Design

Nnezi Uduma-Olugu Ph.D.

Published by: Independent 9 June 2021

Price: Available online at:,  2021 for €13,24  

Book Cover

To ensure that our landscapes are healthy, vital and resilient,they must be planned, designed, and managed by a team of professionals - it isa creative process that requires a series of set principles. These principles must always be examined and applied as needed for a holistic design. The book elaborates on these principles by outlining the basic steps necessary for healthy landscapes to emerge through good design.

At its core, A Fresh Approach in Interrogating Landscape Design-Changing the Landscape by Design presents a simple message; that to conceive a meaningful landscape scheme, the designer, throughout the creative process, must consider the elemental principles of landscape design intentionally to achieve the desired result. The author presents a set of principles that she believes are essential to achieving a predicted landscape outcome for any project scale.

Once mastered, the author points out that when these principles are applied, a meaningful and aesthetically appealing landscape can emerge when considered against the classic design aesthetic of lines, form, texture, and color.  The result is a healthy, environmentally sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing landscape through these design principles.

Sofoluwe Historic Galley, use of repetition and rhythm to achieve unity and asymmetrical balance (left) Simple Palette - Iconic ambience achieved with muted colours (right)

Utilizing several watercolor illustrations and images of 3D models,Uduma-Olugu begins with a short description of landscape design[GY1] [WU2] and the importance of having a predetermined approach to designing an outdoor space. Chapter 2 expands on what she considers the four main components in a landscape design and ultimately form the landscape fabric (i.e., water, lightstructures, topography and vegetation). Subsequent chapters describe each of the four landscape design principles, and examples of how they can be applied,are discussed and illustrated.

Serenity and grace achieved by means of meandering lines of water and topography

Although the author makes a bold claim to 'interrogate landscape design,' it may have missed the mark and in my opinion, it does not delve deeply enough into this sentiment.  A Fresh Approach in Interrogating Landscape Design-Changing the Landscape by Design is a simple beginner's guide to landscape design. It is helpful asan introduction for students and amateur landscape designers and would make a valuable addition to the library of designers starting in the profession.

In Nigeria, where the landscape architecture profession is in its infancy with fewer than 200 registered landscape architects (in a population of over 200 million people), the need for public engagement and understanding of landscape design is crucial to the profession's growth.  This book is an attempt at simplifying the landscape design profession for the layman.

This book is a significant first step to demystifying the design process for newcomers and synthesising the core concepts of landscape design to an easily understood approach required to create meaningful and aesthetically pleasing landscapes.