Many design critics and theorists, including me, have commented on the shift from spatial to temporal preoccupations in landscape theory and practice since the late 1980’s. More recently, more premiated entries in large parks competitions, from Landshaftpark Duisburg-Nord, to Freshkills, to Downsview Park, have employed design strategies that exploited the temporal qualities of the landscape as a dynamic, performative, open-ended process medium.

Elizabeth K. Meyer, Uncertain Parks: Disturbed Sites, Citizens and Risk Society (2007)

cornerallen_lifescape_03600be3a88e66727c5912651df88ef35estaten island FOcornerallen_lifescape_14

James Corner + Field Operations, Freshkills (2000-)

(See Freshkills Park Timeline)

Attitude and Inventions

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.T. Sørensen talked about inventions. The results. at least, are on view.

Supposing we understand avant-garde landscape architecture the same way we do with architecture and the other arts as the realization 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 (1954-1983)


Better World

201203070100 Like space and its design, ecology, having been hurried on by prognostics and catastrophes, begins as the vision of a better world. It is an abstract idea of interrelations that are often unclear and must be made concrete and visible. As fit as landscape architecture is concerned, this means neither a scholarly treatise, nor specialised or naive graphics, but the development and invention of appropriate elements and the implementation of their organisation patterns in existing structures.

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

22-Railway-Park 9753_l   Landschaftspark-Duisburg-013-LATZPARTNER_transformed-1300x650 Parc-Duisburg-LATZ_ARAIMA20110824_0074_205_0

Peter Latz + Latz + Partner, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord (1991)

FIND It on the map