When we work as landscape architects, despite many explanatory models, design remains an obscure process of trial and error — who will clear up the error? — of ‘attitude’ and ‘intrinsic nature’ of morphology and performance models. C.Th. Sorensen talked about inventions. The results. at least, are on view.

Supposing we understand avant-garde landscape architecture the same way we do architecture and the other arts as the realisation of abstract ideas. in this case of nature, ecology and society. Then designing should consequently be understood as the ‘invention’ of information systems or layers that overlap with existing elements. This must precede any thoughts on appearance or expression. Working the other way round can be seen as trite, as patronage, and as predetermining interpretations and even feelings.

Peter Latz, The Idea of Making Time Visible (2000)


Carl Theodor Sørensen, Geometrical Gardens (1945)



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Yves was a man of few words. He expressed his ideas in the form of drawings and collages tossed off wordlessly. They always contained an element of violence, aggression and unbelievable impatience. The most significant thing for me was the fact that his knowledge of nature helped me to confirm the hunch I had about the change of route under way, about the fact that landscape was in the process of becoming the only medium capable of establishing connections in the city. These hypotheses about tension between city and country came to the fore at La Villette competition, not only in relation to our project, but the projects of Cedric Price, Jean Nouvel and Bernard Tschumi as well. Since then they have been confirmed, specially in Asian cities, not only for these positive reasons, but for other less admissible reasons too, because landscape is less expensive and politically correct. So the 20th century is drawing to a close with the death of town planning and with his highly cynical apotheosis of landscape. Yves was a molecule in this field with his bipolar tension between city and country. He foreshadowed this shift.

Rem Koolhaas about Yves Brunier, Interview (1996)



Landscapes can be deceptive.
Sometimes a landscape seems to be less a setting for the life of its inhabitants than a courtain behind which their struggles, achievements and accidents take place. For those who, with the inhabitants, are behind the courtains, landmarks are no longer geographic but also biographical and personal.

John Berger, A Fortunate Man