An old language for a new landscape

Perry, Stephen G., Reeves, Robert W., & Sim, Jean C. (2009) An old language for a new landscape. In Shifting Perspective and Practice, 7-9 May 2009, Melbourne. (Unpublished)

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Because aesthetics can have a profound effect upon the human relationship to the non-human environment the importance of aesthetics to ecologically sustainable designed landscapes has been acknowledged. However, in recognition that the physical forms of designed landscapes are an expression of the social values of the time, some design professionals have called for a new aesthetic ― one that reflects these current ecological concerns. To address this, some authors have suggested various theoretical design frameworks upon which such an aesthetic could be based. Within these frameworks there is an underlying theme that the patterns and processes of natural systems have the potential to form a new aesthetic for landscape design —an aesthetic based on fractal rather than Euclidean geometry.

Perry, Reeves and Sim (2008) have shown that it is possible to differentiate between different landscape forms by fractal analysis. However, this research also shows that individual scenes from within very different landscape forms can possess the same fractal properties.

Early data, revealed by transforming landscape images from the spatial to the frequency domain, using the fast Fourier transform, suggest that fractal patterning can have a significant effect within the landscape. In fact, it may be argued that any landscape design that includes living processes will include some design element whose ultimate form can only be expressed through the mathematics of fractal geometry.

This paper will present ongoing research into the potential role of fractal geometry as a basis for a new form language – a language that may articulate an aesthetic for landscape design that echoes our ecological awakening.

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ID Code: 31442
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: landscape design, sustainable design, ecological design
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > OTHER BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (129900)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 22 Mar 2010 22:52
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:25

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