A new idea of landscape
Landscape can be described in many ways, for example, its ecological diversity, botanical or cultural significance, its history and traditions, through its evolution, spatial structure, economic value as well as the countless narratives describing the way it impacts on us and the aspirations we have for its future. This is the idea of landscape, that is to say the relationship we, as communities, individuals and nations have with the landscape in response to its materiality. It is not just an abstract, academic concept. It is not simply about technical details. It is the whole package. This holistic view is in stark contrast to the habit we have fallen into of compulsively evaluating its constituent parts. To understand materiality in this way changes everything. The relationship we have with a place, inevitably influenced by knowledge, mood and context, locates us, not as cool observers of a world “out there”, but as an indispensable part of that world. We are not just in close relationship with the landscape, but part of it. It is as impossible to separate or detach ourselves from it as the air we breathe.
Landscape is not only concerned with the countryside or matters of heritage, it is not just a physical entity. It is our values and memories, the experience we have of place, our culture and identity. This is altogether a more powerful, evocative idea. Landscape, what we see and experience around us, from the towns and cities to the most remote corners of the world, reflects our principals and ambitions and the expression of these aspirations in form, shape the quality of this experience. This compelling new idea of landscape is what is opening up debate, encouraging different ways to articulate the social, cultural and physical context of our lives.
A more expansive definition and way of talking about the landscape, making it tangible and resilient in the face of development pressures, is crucial in meeting the major global challenges created by industrialization, demographic shifts, climate change, deforestation, the depletion of natural resources and a host of issues relating to the quality of life and other aspects of land use development. These challenges, like financial infrastructures, do not respect territorial boundaries. With a new strategic vision, we can bring together many organisations each with their own interest in the landscape and very different agendas.
Moore, K. A NEW LOOK AT LANDSCAPE, in Landscape Identity, Topos 92, 2015
'Is Landscape Philosophy?’ Moore, K. in ‘Is Landscape...?: Essays on the Identity of Landscape’. Doherty, G. & Waldheim, C. (eds.) Routledge 2015.
Overlooking the Visual; Demistifying the art of design
Now available in Chinese, Kathryn Moore's book challenges the traditional foundations of perception and takes an imaginative, radical approach, setting itself apart from the traditions of analytical philosophy, evolutionary psychology, and phenomenology which underpin much of current design theory and discourse.
Translator: Xiaoming Liu & Xiaolan Zhou 刘晓明 周晓兰
Publisher: China Architecture & Building Press 中国建筑工业出版社
Date and place of publication: Dec. 2017, Beijing