This thesis attempts to address the behavioural science /design `applicability gap'
problem currently concerning professional academics and researchers in landscape
architecture and related disciplines. Building on research carried out by others, it
attempts to gain further insight into the nature of the problem, how the gap
specifically relates to landscape design, how it manifests itself in the design process,
and how the problem might realistically be addressed.
It is argued that in order to address the gap problem in landscape architecture, it is
also necessary to address the wider problem of the lack of communication and
understanding between research and design spheres. Therefore, the study is
conducted from a combined research/design perspective.
A critical review of the literature combined with project driven reflection -in- action
analysis establishes a lack of compatibility of environment- behaviour theory, and its
research methods, with the landscape designer's spatial approach. It is argued that
there is a need for theory- building to facilitate the practical application of integrated
spatial -behaviour analysis. As a result, a framework of spatial/behavioural
compatible theories and concepts, and a set of practical tools and techniques, are
conceptualised, and their application explored, for site survey analysis. The utility of
the approach is demonstrated for embodying user needs evaluation within the design
process and for providing a method for contextualising research. Finally, a shift in
thinking is envisaged in which research and design approaches are reconciled.