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David Hopman, PLA, ASLA

Associate Professor
Landscape Architecture
School of Architecture

UT Arlington Faculty

Since accepting the position as a professor at the Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture at The University of Texas at Arlington in 2004, David Hopman, ASLA has energetically pursued a faculty role bridging practice and research. The courses he teaches reflect his research interests in plant materials and ecology, ecologically performative landscapes, landscape aesthetics and critical regionalism, and computer visualization.

Professor Hopman designed and implemented the first extensive green roof in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in 2008 above the Life Sciences Building at UT-Arlington. He was in charge of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) certification for The Green at College Park on the UT-Arlington Campus; one of the first three projects worldwide to receive certification in February of 2012. This important certification system is being developed by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The National Arboretum, and The American Society of Landscape Architects as a landscape corollary, with or without buildings, to the USGBC LEED certification system. 

Landscape architecture practice experience as a registered landscape architect includes Kings Creek Landscaping, Huitt-Zollars, Inc., RTKL, Mesa Design Group, Inc., and a current independent practice. Recent projects include; Master plan and prairie management and restoration plan for Blackland Prairie Park in Arlington, Texas (with DFL Group), green roof design for Forest Park Medical Center (with David C. Baldwin, Inc.), The Plano Environmental Education Center landscape (with David Rietzsch and Associates), and consultation on the planting design for the Bush Presidential Library in Dallas (with Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates).

Service Learning Class

LARC 5331: Planting Design

The professional landscape architect uses both hardscape (paving, fences, walls, arbors and other structures) and softscape (trees, shrubs, ground covers, vines and other plants) to form and manipulate the landscape for human use and enjoyment and for ecological processes. Planting design enables the student to learn how to use plants to accomplish the ends desired in landscape design.

This planting design class begins with a study of the basic vocabulary of planting design utilizing The Planting design Handbook by Nick Robinson. The class continues with a series of exercises to develop a personal vocabulary of landscape forms and plant combinations suitable for professional practice. These studies culminate in one or two major service projects that the student develops from a concept design to a formal schematic design presentation for faculty, guest critics, and members of the community.

Academic Outcomes

At the conclusion of the class, students will:

  1. Produce schematic planting designs for a wide variety of vignette design problems that illustrate the student’s understanding of planting design principles,
  2. Demonstrate through written tests an understanding of the basic principles of planting design enumerated in the required texts and lectures, and
  3. Produce a schematic design and planting plan for a major service project to the standards of a professional office.

Service Learning Project

Master plan and planting design for proposed city of Denton, Texas Administrative Complex Botanic Garden

The project began with student analysis of the site including:

  1. Physical Survey: Topography, Hydrology and Drainage, Climate and microclimate
  2. Biological Survey: Soils and Geology, Vegetation, Potential for Fauna
  3. Human Survey: Existing uses, Existing Structures and Services, Existing management of flora and fauna, Access and circulation, Historic uses, Public perception
  4. Visual Survey: Views into, out of, and within the site, Landmarks and focal points within and without the site, Visual quality and character assessment of the site and surroundings

The students were then divided into two teams. Each team produced a complete design package including:

  1. A Graphic design for the team board layouts, 
  2. bubble diagrams, site specific concept diagrams, and visitor experience diagrams,
  3. image boards showing examples of specific plants, plant groupings and design precedents,
  4. A master plan and enlarged detail plans of specific areas,
  5. an overall birds eye perspective and vignette perspectives,
  6. a planting plan in CAD drawn like a construction document, and
  7. an opinion of probable costs

Partners: Denton County Horticultural Agent and ten Texas Master Gardeners