A field guide to form: Lawrence halprin's ecological engagement with the sea ranch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This essay critically examines Lawrence Halprin's ecological design theory using The Sea Ranch as a conceptual lens. To do so, it draws upon Halprin's writings and sketches, archival material, oral histories, and the personal recollections of several members of the original design team. The roughly chronological analysis focuses mainly on the master planning efforts undertaken by Lawrence Halprin and Associates for Oceanic Properties (1963-1966), and Halprin's subsequent documentation of this work in The RSVP Cycles: Creative Processes in the Human Environment (1969). Particular emphasis is paid to the contributions of the cultural geographer Richard Reynolds and his bioclimatic site analysis. Equally important, by unraveling the conceptual threads that Halprin attached to the term "ecology," this essay reveals the manner in which Halprin merged the associational methodologies of Gestalt psychology and systems theory to explore the ecological relationship of an organism to its environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-75
Number of pages23
JournalLandscape Journal
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


  • Ecology
  • Environment
  • Form
  • Process


Dive into the research topics of 'A field guide to form: Lawrence halprin's ecological engagement with the sea ranch'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this