University of Oregon

Landscape Architecture in Kyoto

Program Overview

The Kyoto five-week summer program employs a unique experiential learning process that involves learning in the landscape of Kyoto and its surrounding areas. You will visit numerous places that enrich and enlighten the classroom, empowering you to pursue your intellectual interests on a daily basis. Treks through rice terraces and guided walks of old Kyoto add to the active pedagogical format of this summer program.

Academic Details

You will enroll in the design studio and landscape media courses. The design studio engages urban landscape design projects such as the restoration and transformation of historic districts, open space systems of canal waterways and promenades, downtown plazas, etc. Kyoto is an ancient city with numerous challenges as it integrates a twenty-first century culture with an exquisite eighth century landscape context.

You are also encouraged to take the optional research and independent study course, which addresses an area of your individual interest. Topics for the optional course often emanate from the Zen Garden surroundings as you will reside within the existential essence of a fourteenth century Zen Monastery.

Faculty and Staff

Ron Lovinger has been on the faculty of the University of Oregon Department of Landscape Architecture for forty-five years.  He is a practicing landscape architect with award winning projects in Kyoto, Japan; Jerusalem, Israel; Kelowna, British Columbia; Tecate, Mexico and many parts of the U.S. His most recent project, the restoration of the Horikawa Canal, completed with students of the University of Oregon, was recently honored at a dedication ceremony in Kyoto. Professor Lovinger was the recipient of an EDRA award for his work on the Paleo Project in Fossil, Oregon and his drawings have been exhibited at the Biennale in Venice, Italy.

Professor Lovinger's design studios engage issues which elicit compelling responses to critical landscape issues and has been intimately involved in the preservation, restoration and enhancement of open space opportunities in the University of Oregon's Willamette Riverfront.  He is dedicated to demonstrating to his students and colleagues how the living landscape is a reflection of our deepest values and perceptions. His passion and commitment to the creation of elegant gardens, courtyards and parks is revealed throughout his academic and professional work.

Housing Description

Live in Daishin-in temple, built in the fourteenth century, a sub-temple in the Myoshin-ji temple complex. You will spend the entire five-week program living and learning in this magnificent setting. During the first two days in Kyoto, you will partake in a traditional and delicious vegetarian Japanese breakfast at Daishin-in to ease into the Japanese-style of living. 

Bedrooms are traditional tatami-mat rooms with shared accommodations. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, you will be embraced and enveloped by the many gardens and buildings of Daishin-in, which provide a most unusual and fantastic living laboratory. A certain level of respect and calmness is expected while living in this Buddhist temple amongst our kind hosts, Osho-san and his family.

Note: Housing is not included in the program fee. Students will be expected to pay their housing costs out of pocket upon arrival. Please make sure that you bring sufficient Japanese yen to cover these costs.

Additional Requirements

  • Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture, Architecture, or Fine Arts majors
  • or with special permission from the University of Oregon faculty director Ron Lovinger

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineFinal DeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Summer 201612/15/201501/15/20166/20/20167/22/2016

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.