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Landscape Architecture Frontiers

Landsc Archit Front    2013, Vol. 1 Issue (6) : 44-63
Article |
Representing Complexity
Frederick STEINER
Dean of the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin
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Abstract

Ian McHarg helped build the foundation for geographical information systems (GIS) through his refinement of map overlay methods. McHarg’s use of map overlays in revealing ecological relationships and landscape patterns is arguably the most important representational tool and strategy for design since Filippo Brunelleschi’s refinement of perspective around 1413. In addition to overlays, McHarg employed other representational tools to analyze landscape complexity and to present how planning and design interventions interacted with biophysical processes and geological features. Spatial analytic strategies and representational techniques that focus on landscape complexity can expand the applicability and saliency of geodesign. This expansion could be similar to the influence of overlays to the creation of GIS. The other representational techniques employed by McHarg and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania and Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd (now Wallace Roberts & Todd, WRT) include: maps, transects, diagrams, bird’s eye perspectives, block diagrams, drawings, and photography. Each of these techniques will be introduced as they were used by McHarg then discussed for potential geodesign applications. A more comprehensive exploration will help expand the potential of geodesign and also acknowledge McHarg’s broader contributions beyond map overlays.

Keywords Landscape Representation      Ian McHarg      Geodesign      Overlay Mapping      Landscape Architecture     
Issue Date: 01 December 2013
 Cite this article:   
Frederick STEINER. Representing Complexity[J]. Landsc Archit Front, 2013, 1(6): 44-63.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/laf/EN/
http://journal.hep.com.cn/laf/EN/Y2013/V1/I6/44
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