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Literature in the Landscape
A Kansas State Master's in Landscape Architecture Thesis

Literature in the Landscape

Katelyn Rose worked under the mentorship of associate professor of landscape architecture Anne Beamish, Ph.D. in order to fulfill the requirements for her masteraEUR(TM)s degree.

Literature in the Landscape

Within her thesis, Rose designs a highly detailed park that makes many connections to the Curious George books by Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey.

Receiving her master's degree in landscape architecture last year from Kansas State University, Katelyn Rose published her thesis on the design of outdoor environments that promote the importance of reading.

Titled, "Literature in the landscape: designing public parks to encourage outdoor exploration, activity and reading for elementary school-aged children," Rose's 115-paged research document sought to answer the question of how children's literature could be used to inspire a landscape design that simultaneously promotes healthy living and reading.

"Children's literature can easily be layered into the design of play spaces to give a common theme, or provide opportunities for children to make connections to stories they know which can lead to imaginative play and recreation of those stories," Rose tells

In addition to designing a 70.6 acre recreational area in the city of Andover, Kan., Rose analyzed 38 children's books, interviewed teachers and librarians and surveyed 60 kindergarten through second grade children.

On the topic of her findings, Rose states, "There are new issues and challenges to be addressed that children are facing today that were not prevalent in the past," she cites the lack of interaction with nature, the rising obesity rate among children and the absence of explorative play areas.
"In completing this research and design, I have found that children's literature can be used to inspire a play landscape in many ways," Rose states. "Although my data was collected in Andover, it could be used by others who are designing for a similar population and age group."

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February 26, 2020, 7:08 am PDT

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