Not Neutral

It has been said that we can realize only what we can imagine; but to realize what we imagine, we must convey those ideas to others as well as present them to ourselves. We use images, models, and words—alone or in combination—to conceive, study, test, construct, and evaluate new landscapes or modify old ones. Given the transient nature of most landscapes—always growing, always changing— landscape representation presents a special challenge. It is by no means neutral in a political sense or even in terms of design evaluation.

Marc Treib, Introduction to Representing Landscape Architecture (2008)

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MAP Office, Hong Kong is a Land (2014)

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Not Neutral

Representation

It has been said that we can realize only what we can imagine; but to realize what we imagine, we must convey those ideas to others as well as present them to ourselves. We use images, models, and words—alone or in combination—to conceive, study, test, construct, and evaluate new landscapes or modify old ones. Given the transient nature of most landscapes—always growing, always changing— landscape representation presents a special challenge. It is by no means neutral in a political sense or even in terms of design evaluation. Marc Treib, Representing Landscape Architecture (2008)

Where does a landscape begin—and where does it end? Which is to say: Where is its edge? We are tempted to think that landscapes just go on and on indefinitely—one vista giving way to another, one stretch of land blending into the next. And if this is the case, is not any attempt to deter- mine, even to imagine, an edge, an act of human hubris? More pointedly: Does a landscape have any edge other than an arbitrary one?

Edward Casey, The Edge(s) of Landscape: A Study in Liminology (2011)

…the function of mapping is less to mirror reality than to engender the re-shaping of the worlds in which people live.

James Corner, Eidetic Operations and New Landscapes (1999)

199VISO-XIX-533_1.2.Julia Romano, The Landscape Representation Essay IV (2014)

Achenbach_Andreas_-_Landscape_with_a_Stream_1-bajaJulia Romano, The Landscape Representation Essay VI (2014)

83955305_o-otroJulia Romano, Combination X (2014)

Representation

Coffin

disingwhitnature Some years later, however, another nail in the coffin of the designed landscape was drilled: the publication of Ian McHarg’s Design with Nature, which cited the natural world as the only viable model for landscape architecture. This text provided landscape architects with both an analytical method and sufficient moral grounds to avoid almost completely decisions of form and design -that is, if design is taken as the concious shaping of landscape rather than its stewardship alone. McHarg emphasized the evolving study of natural ecology and remained within the bounds of natural processes and planning. A strong moral imperative underpinned the discourse; it mixed science with evangelism -a sort of ecofundamentalism. In his writtings and lectures, McHarg took no prisoners and allowed no quarter.

Marc Treib, Nature Recalled (1999)

I believe that works of landscape architecture are more than designed ecosystems, more than strategies for open-ended processes. They are cultural products with distinct forms and experiences that evoke attitudes and feelings through space, sequence and form. Like literature and art, images and narratives, landscape architecture can play a role in building sustained public support for the environment. Geographer Denis Cosgrove underscores this in his book, Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape, when he argues that cultural products such as works of landscape architecture can change human consciousness as well as modes of production like the neo-liberal capitalism that characterizes late 20th- and early 21st- century American society and that is so at odds with human, regional and global health. So while I do not believe that design can change society, I do believe it can alter an individual’s consciousness and perhaps assist in restructuring her priorities and values.

Elizabeth K. Meyer,  Sustaining Beauty (2008)

Coffin