Landscape Architecture Typology in Chalk

by Hector Fernando Burga

A visit to the landscape architecture studio at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design reveals a wall filled with pedagogical graffiti. The anonymous markings, organized along different horizon lines and unified under a common scale, depict a series of garden and climate typologies — a pictorial lesson on the craft of landscape architecture. A tagline on the side adds: Handy Pocket Edition!

Each drawing is based on a sectional study illustrating an intricate play of architectural and natural elements based on four categories: topography, air current, shade and water. The markings were made with classroom chalk on an unfinished concrete surface. Each vignette captures the imagination of the viewer as to what it would be like to repose and reflect inside those spaces. The following is a thematic outline of the drawings with photographed samples. Enjoy!

I. Infrastructures in which topography is the primary feature

I. Earth seats
II. Grottos
III. Subterranean rooms
IV. Cryptoportici
V. Boscos
VI. Pineta

II. Infrastructures in which air current is the primary feature

I. Hot seats
II. Warm walks
III. Sunlit terraces
IV. Warm loggias
V. Courtyards
VI. Giardini segreti
VII. Limonaias

III. Infrastructures in which shade is the primary feature

I. Cool seats
II. Cool walks
III. Shady tunnels
IV. Arbors and pergolas
V. Garden pavilions and summer houses
VI. Interior porches and cool rooms

IV. Infrastructures in which water is the primary feature

I. Water catchment devices
II. Placid water devices
III. Active water devices
IV. Aerated water devices
V. Wet walks
VI. Water jokes

Credits: Photos by Hector Fernando Burga.

+ share


  1. Georgia (local ecologist)Thu Aug 23, 12:48:00 PM EDT

    A Chip Sullivan course?

  2. Hi Georgia

    These do look like they came from Chip Sullivan’s hand. I wonder what course it was. They serve as beautiful lessons that become imprinted in your imagination as you arduously work in studio. I think this is a great way to do studio pedagogy; come up with a visual language that is compelling and whimsical and place it where people can see, discuss and enjoy. Do you know if he has done this before? Why did he choose this mural and how did he come up with the arrangement? The chalk also makes the work ephemeral which is another dimension to the work which I enjoy.

  3. I was there the day the author took the pictures.

    The chalk drawings were done by a graduate student a few years ago and yes, based on Chip's book, Garden and Climate.

    Please credit his work as such. I remember letting the author know but I suppose the name slipped her mind.

  4. I drew this, based directly on Chip's drawings in his book of the same name. I'm glad you found it interesting, it was a pleasure to draw.

    I was at Chip's "Impulse to Draw" event today and he mentioned this blog post. He mentioned that still hasn't been overwritten yet.