Coming: Fall 2025

Over the past few decades, there has been a groundswell of work by environmental historians and the emergence of the loosely defined “environmental humanities,” which has broadened, deepened, and challenged the story of environmentalism that is often told as part of the origin story of landscape architecture in the US—from early conservationists involved in the development of national parks to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Ian McHarg’s Design with Nature. What could be more foundational to landscape architecture than this idea of “environment?” But what is the environment, or an environment? First and foremost, it is a word that is so pervasive—and its meaning taken for granted—that it is easy to forget how recently the term has proliferated.

The word environment—as surrounding or milieu, including the elements that support life on earth—has long been in use, dating to the 16th century and, more widely, to the late 19th century; however, its usage as a qualifier for myriad disciplines, institutions, and activities—environmental history, environmental studies, environmental science, environmental justice, environmental art, environmental planning, environmental protection, environmentalism—is much more recent. Scholars have only just taken the word “environment” itself as a point of departure in order to increase our understanding of the usefulness of this concept as it emerged in different contexts.

This issue of LA+ invites contributors to reflect on the history, origin, and relevance of this often taken-for-granted yet ineffable idea we call environment .

Email abstract and short bio to laplus@design.upenn.edu by 10 January 2024. For information on submissions, see www.laplusjournal.com/Submissions.

  Copyright © 2018 Department of Landscape Architecture

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