We are living in intellectually troubled times for landscape architecture. Part of the reason for the awkwardness in the present debate is not only due to imminent environmental degradation, but also to the rapid degeneration of our own symbolic understanding of nature. We are the receptacles of models of thinking inherited from our forefathers, and when it comes to nature, these models seriously hamper our actual perception of things. What we find out there has little to do with much of the idealized landscape preconceptions we carry. Older landscape models work effectively, only as ideals, with a deeply warped reception and conception of nature, which in turn, has measurable repercussions on the way we act upon the world. It is my belief that we should start to investigate possible options for a renewed relationship with nature that could also foster a new kind of landscape architecture, defending stronger cultural values of beauty and harmony.
When landscapes are designed to look as if they are naturally created it entitles them to be inevitable, beyond our control. This is when landscpes function like an ideology-they naturalize cultural acts. For some geographers and historians landscapes do not simply signify or symbolize power relations, they are powerful agents in the practice of power.
Edward Burtynsky, Los Angeles (2003)