Landskabets transformation: Begivenheder i landskabssyn, landskabskonception og landskabsrum

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‘Landscape Transformations’ presents a critical investigation of the relationship between landscape planning/landscape architecture, current paradigms for planning, politics and society, and generative practice.
More specifically, the dissertation, on this background, unfolds a new landscape planning and design paradigm, which focusses on spatiality and the role of bodily and sensory awareness in both physical and abstract/conceptual space. Through this arises a dynamic view of what landscape is and how to work
dynamically with planning and design, rather than focussing on functionality alone. This view is dependent on what is called ‘spatial event,’ which again is dependent upon the mutuality between how physical space is perceived and documented, and then conceived and worked with conceptually through production of data, text, charts, diagrams, drawings and models. This work process can be designated as a ‘conception operation’.
Most current methods used in landscape and city planning in Denmark are based on a Modernist view, resulting in a rational approach to planning and design that ignores the totality of our embeddedness in the landscape. The
dissertation therefore discusses the Modernist focus on function, visual physicality and landscape as object, which has given rise to planning methods that usually depend upon defining zones of function or value that do
not recognize, allow for or constructively utilize any ambiguity or overlap. The dissertation also points out that the dichotomies between subject/object, city/landscape, and culture/nature, among others, are no longer valid.

Conception operations open the door for rethinking landscape planning as an open-ended, dynamic set of related processes because, in each step, the operation mediates one specific process to the next in a unique way.
Such varied processes, such as sensing and experiencing the physical landscape through bodily motion, documenting what is sensed and experienced, and bringing forth what is conceived, through the use of diagrams
and models, and re-applying this to the landscape, involve transformations of information and media in order to gain insight in both specific and general principles for how to develop the physical landscape.
The dissertation seeks also to strengthen the architect’s role in physical planning and in society by ‘opening up’ how the architect/planner works, both in relation to the architectural profession itself and in relation to other actors, she/he co-operates with. Through increased insight into the architect’s/planner’s conception operations, it will be possible not only to de-mystify the generative aspects of architecture, but also to underline its own identity as a reflexive and generative meeting with the world.

To create a language about generative processes, theories from the fields of philosophy and art are introduced and their terminologies adapted and expanded. Philippe Boudon’s work with the space of conception and
conception operations, Robert Smithsin's Non-site Theory, Charles Peirce’s and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s diagram transformations and diagrammatic thinking, and Gernot Böhme’s work on bodily presence all have made it possible to create an unambiguous vocabulary.
By elucidating the characteristics of generative processes through an in-depth investigation of workflow, it becomes apparent that the architect/planner cannot be seen as separate from any step leading to the production
of a new conception, design or strategy for new landscapes. A central focus is then the personal role as participant in the transformation of physical landscapes; we are part of the construction of the world, we are in,
which makes us a part of what must be observed and investigated. In this perspective, working as an architect and planner means that it is meaningful to observe and reflect on how you work. Neither can the researcher be
seen as separate from her/his work. The dissertation is, therefore, both interested in and characterised by an awareness of different scales and reflective processes, which relationally affect the dissertation’s course of action,
structure and form. The form of the dissertation mirrors the form and activities of the research project. Both the written and graphic style of the dissertation and research project seek to strengthen conception and promote a dynamic view and conduct. The relationship between fieldwork and theory and between research project and dissertation are during the research period investigated through diagrams as tools of thought and reflection and through an open, essayistical written style. Existing graphic material is analysed and new graphic material is
generated, analysed and reworked in the research project.

The dissertation as a whole makes explicit a set of problems and potentials in relation to the construction of landscapes. A dynamic view of how a landscape is constituted and planned arises from a new understanding of the relationship between an enhanced awareness of the spatial and bodily effects of landscapes and an enhanced awareness of how this experience is worked with in both a physical space and an abstract conception space. The experience of sensing in a physical landscape is translated and transformed by bringing this sensory awareness over into abstract space by unfolding bodily presence in abstract space. It becomes evident, by working reflexively in abstract space, that an architect/planner uses a spectrum of methods, including physicality,
executive and creative processes and self-observation, as a general way of establishing knowledge in working with space for other people’s bodily presence. In that sense, this dissertation contributes with a deeper
understanding of the generative how in architecture by qualifying the generative momentum of conception, and thereby strengthening its role and position in planning processes and practise.

The dissertation also develops a new sliding scale of spatial parameters that can be put to use in any relevant framework, be it on a governmental, regional, municipal or adviser level. This system puts into perspective how
landscape planning legislation can and must be inclusive of spatial and bodily parameters. The concept of architectural quality can likewise be reconsidered in such a way that the emphasis naturally is moved away from
issues of taste. It is of utmost importance for both architectural quality and the development of sustainable landscapes that we feel that we belong there, are rooted by our bodily presence, and responsible. By bringing this
new paradigm into play, the future design and planning of landscapes will truly create landscapes for living.
Original languageDanish
Place of PublicationDet Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi, Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole
PublisherKunstakademiets Arkitektskole
Volume1
Edition1
Number of pages253
ISBN (Print)978-87-7830-224-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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