Dryness : the aesthetic condition of landscape design in Australia

Raxworthy, Julian R. (2010) Dryness : the aesthetic condition of landscape design in Australia. In Parodi , Oliver (Ed.) Towards Resilient Water Landscapes : Design Research Approaches from Europe and Australia. KIT Scientific Publishing, Karlsruhe, pp. 37-48.


Despite having a band of greenness around the edge, Australia is fundamentally a dry country. Australian vegetation has developed a high range of mechanisms to cope with the dryness, but after 200 years of white settlement, Australians still have not really come to terms with the real dryness of their country, and still exploit European paradigms that attempted to transplant European aesthetic conditions, greenness, to the brown land of Australia. Australia is going through serious water shortages that are still and will continue with the Greenhouse effect, to become a major factor in the location and extent of urbanisation, and also Australia's carrying capacity. While such aesthetic concerns might seem ornamental, until the population changes its attitude to the real condition of the country, it will keep using water and operating unsustainably. The design of the public landscape, however, offers the opportunity to contribute to changing people's aesthetic perception of the country, which might in turn help to redirect their water use practices. This essay develops a language for discussion dryness based around the experiences of water. After having developed this sensibility it then discusses a range of different approaches that landscape design in Australia has used to try to develop geographically appropriate design languages, including the Bush Garden and the Mediterranean Garden. It then discusses four design projects, one from the 1970's, the other three from the last five years that demonstrate what such an aesthetic might look like.

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ID Code: 40740
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: proceedings of the International Symposium on Water Landscapes at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, October 2009
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Dryness, Water Use, Urban Design, Landscape Design, Geographically Appropriate
ISBN: 9783866444980
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
Deposited On: 29 May 2011 22:38
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:31

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