Landscape is personal

Raxworthy, Julian R. (2006) Landscape is personal. Architectural Review Australia, 095, pp. 42-43.

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Landscape architecture is still a very young profession in Australia: next year the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects has its 40th anniversary. From the very start in Australia, architecture has played a key role in its sibling profession in a range of ways some of its first members were architects who had specialised in landscape architecture and who started the educational courses in landscape architecture; many prominent architects worked cooperatively (often more cooperatively than they do now) with those first landscape architects (such as John Stevens and Osborn McCutcheon) the RAIA and the AILA have shared facilities and staff professional landscape architects borrow the term architect from the RAIA and have therefore modelled their registration process on the architects and the model of what a design practice is and how it can be practised both come from architecture. To this we could add that architects have developed an increasing interest in the landscape. With this interest, however, is a subtle shift. An interest in the landscape is not necessarily an interest in either landscape architecture or landscape architects. That architecture is taking on the landscape and leaving its siblings behind makes the reminder that there is an historic design practice in landscape architecture and a vibrant contemporary one, even more important. Landscape architecture needs to reassert itself, and its particular appreciation of landscape, in an innovative and productive way. Landscape architecture has seemed very much on the back foot in relation to what more it can offer than architecture, in terms of an approach to ‘landscape’. While architecture in the sixties was interested in the relationship between the arts and the sciences as a potential generator of form, in the 1970s landscape architecture discovered in the science of ecology a seemingly objective basis to make design decisions by embracing science, on science’s terms. In the process of doing this, it lost what design abilities it had developed through the 1950s and 1960s in the innovative design work of the modernist landscape architects Kiley, Eckbo and Rose. While these designers also talked about science in the garden, they did so in the inherently speculative manner of modernism. McHargian environmentalism locked landscape architecture out of design, and this lasted for 15 to 20 years, as the profession sought innovation by censuring subjective design decisions, with the aspiration to create a seemingly objective design process.

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ID Code: 20397
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Landscape architecture
ISSN: 1323-367X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Landscape Architecture (120107)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Niche Media Pty Ltd
Deposited On: 08 May 2009 00:55
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 13:38

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