Planning, Ecology and the Emergence of Landscape
Thursday, January 30, 2014
7 p.m. - 9 p.m. EST
Gainesville, FL, United States
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The talk opens with a rehearsal of the origins of landscape architecture as a profession and claims for the ‘new-art’ in the nineteenth century. The opening continues with a brief historical overview of the relative alienation of the design disciplines in the wake of the cultural politics of the 60’s and early 70’s. The introduction locates the recent renewal of landscape architecture’s status as a design medium within leading design schools in relation to the rapprochement between planning programs and schools of architecture and design. The main body of the argument describes the origins and aspirations for landscape urbanist practice, and surveys the recent re-emergence of landscape design as a medium of urban design, and the impact of that shift on the disciplinary commitments and professional precedents of urban planning. Among these, the talk describes the renewed interest in landscape as a medium of design agency and the role of landscape as a cultural form. Equally, the talk identifies the role of ecology in that renewal of landscape design, and rehearses the various claims that have been made on behalf of landscape ecology as an agent of contemporary urban development. The main body of the talk closes with a survey of several recent projects in North America and East Asia that propose landscape and ecological process as drivers of design process, and employ planning practices that are necessarily informed by ecological subjects, the sites they implicate, and the constituencies they concentrate. The talk concludes with a provisional sketch of potential models for contemporary practice as informed by contemporary understandings of landscape and ecology as media of urban design.