Approaching the 'As Found'

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The twentieth century was obsessed with novelty. It was obsessed with the idea of newness, with all that which had never been seen before—regarding novelty as a direct reflection of humanity's continuous development. This attention toward novelty goes hand in hand with the idea of progress, which has led the self-understanding and development of the Western world for centuries. However, the ideas of novelty and progress have started to change. We are increasingly aware of the limited resources on Earth, not only in terms of materials but also in terms of space. The challenge is to find sufficient ways in which humans and non-humans can coexist within this exisiting and limited spatial framework that constitutes our common lifeworld. Changing from urbanising greenfields to reconfiguring already urbanised areas puts the landscape architecture profession front stage. Their ability to ‘read' and ‘edit' the ‘as found' has to a certain degree always been the point of departure for landscape architecture. Yet these more fundamental shifts in premises that goes with the limited resources are so materially and culturally profound that they deeply affect the theories and methods of landscape architecture, and of course, also the outcome. Understanding design as a transformation of what already exits rather than a bringing into the world of something entirely new, created ex nihilo, marks an epistemological change. First and foremost, it requires a reconfiguration of our understanding and the theories and tools needed for capturing and articulating site-bound aspects. Only then can these elements be used as points of departure for new designs—in the sense of reconfiguring and reworking the ‘as found.’
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPamplet Delta Dialogues
EditorsLara Mehling
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationZürich
Publishergta Verlag
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)978-3-85676-368-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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