History and Theory of Landscapes II

Karin Raith
Architecture, Building Construction
2022S, Vorlesungen (VO), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03203


Water for survival, water for the senses

For thousands of years, people have been opening up the most diverse regions as living spaces, both by adapting their way of life to the geographical conditions and by redesigning the local environment according to their needs. Water management plays a central role in this. On the one hand, the transformation of the landscape through water infrastructure serves the cultivation of the territory, on the other hand, the aesthetic quality of water has always been highlighted to express its symbolic meaning, to delight the senses, to give pleasure to people. Its fascination lies in the change of its aggregate states, in the variety of its manifestations, in the horror of lack or overabundance, in other words in its multiformity and ambivalence. Water is both the basic substance of life and an artistic medium.

The topic of the winter semester was a cultural history of landscape transformation through water management and the use of water as an artistic medium in landscape design up to the 20th century. In the summer semester, we deal with more recent developments (since modernism) and current positions. The course consists of lectures, presentations by students, guest lectures and short excursions.


Examination Modalities

Analysis and presentation of an agreed topic in class including delivery of a short written summary of this presentation. Active participation in the course. Exam interview in the form of a group discussion at the end of the semester.


The course will be held in English.

Attending both courses – History and Theory of Landscapes I in the winter semester and History and Theory of Landscapes II in the summer semester – is recommended, as there are cross-connections in terms of content.

Key Words

landscape transformation, landscape art, cultural history, water management, water in art, architecture

Course Enrolment

Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Architecture (Master): Expertise: Theory: Supplementary Subjects

Fine Arts (2. Section): Scientific and Research Practice: Media Theory,Art&Knowledge Transfer,Th. of Architecture,Th. and Hist. of Design

Fine Arts (2. Section): Scientific and Research Practice: Free Electives out of Scientific and Research Practice

Individual courses: possible