The main objectives of our activity can be described as:

– the contribution for the construction of a better World, in which the different survival logics, often antagonised, could be harmonised;

– the contribution for the collective construction of a common patrimony made of actions and its marks and signs, susceptible of provoking pleasure and astonishment;

– the contribution for keeping primary productivity and site diversity where these actions are taking place, where these signs are being printed;

– the contribution for the eradication of social injustice and the arrogance of power;

– conclusively, the contribuition for the conservation of the colective heritage, made of antropic and natural values and of a mutual understanding between people and sites.

The general methodology can be described in the following sequence:

1 – reading and de-coding signs in the landscape. Identifying relevant processes and actors. Vertical /time reading as far as documents and people’s memory allows. Analysis and de-codification are a two phase process — the immediate, intuitive, emotive and the documental, confirmative;

2 – critical reading of the proposed or envisaged, required transformation program, through the necessary evaluation of the compatibility with the site, namely its charge capacity;

3 – critical evaluation of the compatibility / susceptibility between different actors and system components;

4 – proposing a set of alternative substitution systems and forms of integrating the existing and previewed actors;

5 – evaluation of results (and eventually going back to 3.)








Joao Ferreira Nunes, Valdebebas Urban Park (2009)


Radicant Design

Radicant design can make do with these sites. Instead of creating an oeuvre, radicant design evolves along with continuous inquiries, interventions and evaluations into a dialogue. This evolution and the related design processes are as much part of the work as the various elements, persons. materials, events, memories and atmospheres. The work cannot be described as a classical form; it is a progressing form. its authorship is blurred: the classical framework of designers. clients and public no longer fits — all are co—creators. Not that these evolutive and cooperative work modes would be unfamiliar to landscape architects — on the contrary, but they didn’t propel 20th century landscape discourses. Let’s do so now with Bourriaud. who calls the ethical mode of altermodernity ‘translation’ and its aesthetical expression the ‘journey-form’. Performative aspects are easily part of a journey-form, as the Seljord Lake Sites project shows – a forgotten place where both the legends of old and the international students’ building activities form the landscape architectural work, to say nothing of the experience of being on the (wondrous) ways that link these minimalistic interventions. The work takes place rather than form.

Lisa Diedrich, Why we shape space (2012)


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Atelier le Balto, Avantgarden (2012)

Radicant Design

Genius of Place

To build, to plant, whatever you intend, / To rear the column, or the arch to bend, / To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot; / In all, let Nature never be forgot. / But treat the goddess like a modest fair, / Nor overdress, nor leave her wholly bare; / Let not each beauty ev’rywhere be spied, / Where half the skill is decently to hide. / He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds, / Surprises, varies, and conceals the bounds.

Consult the genius of the place in all; / That tells the waters or to rise, or fall; / Or helps th’ ambitious hill the heav’ns to scale, / Or scoops in circling theatres the vale; / Calls in the country, catches opening glades, / Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades, / Now breaks, or now directs, th’ intending lines; / Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.

Alexander Pope, Epistle IV to Richard Boyle (1731)


The death of Alexander Pope from Museus, a threnody by William Mason

Diana holds the dying Pope, and John Milton, Edmund Spenser and Geoffrey Chaucer prepare to welcome him to heaven.

Genius of Place


The problem of landscape arises precisely because landscape, whether it appears in literary or painterly form, whether thought of in terms of the presented or that which presents, is indeed a function, and a representing, of our relationship with place. Is the term “landscape” inadequate to describe the complexity of that relationship? If we treat landscape purely in terms of the narrowly spectatorial and the detached (or as associated with a single historical formation or artistic genre), then perhaps it is. Yet the argument I have advanced here is that this conception of landscape is itself inadequate to describe the complexity of landscape as such. The problem of landscape is thus that landscape represents to us, not only our relationship with place, but also the problematic nature of that relationship—a relationship that contains within it involvement and separation, agency and spectacle, self and other. It is in and through landscape, in its many forms, that our relationship with place is articulated and represented, and the problematic character of that relationship made evident.

Jeff Malpas, The Edge(s) of Landscape: A Study in Liminology (2011)


Caspar David Friedrich, The wanderer above the sea of fog (1818)



The language of landscape is our native landscape. Landscape was the original dwelling; humans evolved among plants and animals, under the sky, upon the earth, near water. Everyone carries that legacy in body and mind. Humans touched, saw, heard, smelled, tasted lived in, and shaped landscapes before the species had words to describe what it did, Landscapes were the firsts human texts, read before the invention of other signs and symbols. Clouds, wind, and sun were clues to weather, ripples and eddies signs of rocks and life under water, caves and ledges promise of shelter, jeaves guides to food; birdcalls warnings of predators. Early writing resembled landscape; other languagess -verbal, mathematical, graphic -derive from the language of landscape.

The language of landscape can be spoken, written, read, and imagined. Speaking and reading landscape are by products of living -of moving, mating, eating- and strategies of survival -creating refuge, providing prospect, growing food.

Anne Whiston Spirn, The Language of Landscape (1998)

To restore the Mill Creek neighbourhood requires an understanding of how it came to be, how the built landscape evolved, through what processes and actions, when, and which of its features have had a sustained impact on their surroundings over time. I use the word landscape in its original sense in English and Nordic languages—the mutual shaping of people and place—to encompass both the population of a place and its physical features: its topography, water flow and plant life; its infrastructure of streets and sewers; its land uses, buildings and open spaces.2 The urban landscape is shaped by rain, plants and animals, human hands and minds. Rain falls, carving valleys and soaking soil. People mould landscape with hands, tools and machines, through law, public policy, the investing and withholding of capital, and other actions undertaken hundreds or thousands of miles away. The processes that shape landscape operate at different scales of space and time: from the local to the national, from the ephemeral to the enduring.

Anne Whiston Spirn, Restoring Mill Creek (2005)




How could one design for a site seen only in photographs taken by someone else? Impossible. Site analysis, at a large scale and recorded through detached rational mappings, has given way to site readings and interpretations drawn from first-hand experience and from a specific site’s social and ecological histories. These site-readings form a strong conceptual beginning for a design response, and are registered in memorable drawings and mappings conveying a site’s physical properties, operations, and sensual impressions.

Elizabeth K. Meyer, Site Citations: The Grounds of Modern Landscape Architecture (2005)



Julie Bargmann + D.I.R.T., Vintondale Reclaimation Park (1995-2004)


Movements and Shifts

ln recent years l have become increasingly interested in movements and shifts of territory, specifically landscape experiences more than the apparent fixity of buildings and objects. l have therefore come to consider my work in provisional terms, as speculative constructions that are produced and trnsformed through continual reshaping processes: weather, seasons, light, growrth, erosion, deposition.

If I spend time and energy investigating the traces that exist on a given site, it`s certainly not for any archeological purpose; I have never been particularly interested in reconstructing an historical lineage. Instead, I regard these remainders as manifestations of dynamics generated by different sources, forces, activities, events, and actors. This process never ends, and one ought to appreciate all the possible future developments that are already inscribed in the land, lying latent or fallow. The dynamic mapping of these routes and traces at different periods allows me to understand the shifts and modifications of sites-on-time.

My main interest, however, moves from the trace at one moment -as memorial-  to the recognition ofcchanges in time and fuiture potential. Consequenty, I believe that both buildings and designed landscapes must not only make the passing of time visible but also make this passage effecting of further potential.

The architecture that is necessary to mark and make possible such shifts must be more than visual. For me, a haptic, kinesthesic approach to design in essential for any deep form of site appropiation.

Georges Descombes, Shifting sites. The Swiss Way, Geneva (1999)


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Georges Descombes, Parc en Sauvy, Lancy (1986)

Movements and Shifts