Eating in the open air is a ritual engrained in Iranian culture, a tradition that dates back 3,000 years to the Zoroastrian practice of sizdah bedar, from the lavish picnics prepared for kings to ordinary folk’s love of eating in nature. The picnic itself is related to the Persian Garden, which is often the backdrop of these feasts, a place of symbolic importance in the Iranian imagination, embodying their love and enjoyment of the natural world.
This simple and joyous practice still lives on strongly and affects our urban lives in present society. Around the picnic “sofreh,” class lines blur, political restrictions are loosened and gender divides disappear. The art of the Iranian picnic has its own accessories and creates spatial organizations that are unique to Iranian culture. The picnic is a key aspect of Iranian life so far understudied.
The power to read, tell, and design landscape is one of the greatest human talents; it enabled humans to spread from warm savannas to cool, shady forests and even to cold, open tundra. Landscape as a form of language is a tool of survival and a medium of art. The language of landscape permits us to learn from distant ancestors and to speak to generations as yet unborn. Landscape elements combine to shape meaning. Landscape authors employ rhetoric and metaphor to communicate effectively and artfully. Humans have always known the language of landscape, but now use it piecemeal, with much forgotten. Absent, false, or partial readings lead to inarticulate expression: landscape gibberish, dysfunctional, fragmented dialogues, and broken storylines. It is time to relearn and renew the language of landscape, to speak new wisdom into life in city and countryside.
The conversation aims to provide an opportunity for designers to review the image and the representation in the contemporary landscape. Laurie Olin explained how personal experience and photography can influence the image of landscape and cities from his personal experience. He also provided feedback on methodology and representation. Zheming Cai, the interviewer, raised a few questions related to the same topic within the context of the digital technology focusing on the flexible design and the vernacular landscape. Olin put forward his view of the contemporary vernacular on these questions.
Catherine Grout is one of the world’s most recognized scholars in perceptual studies. She was also Alexandre An’s tutor during his study of landscape planning and design at École National Supérieure D’Architecture et de Paysage de Lille in France. In this interview, Alexandre An raises questions concerning teaching methods, scales of body perception, and differences between landscape architects and users. As an educator and scholar, Catherine Grout offers opinions grounded in her experiences with teaching and practice, and quotes dancers’, sculptors’ and other artists’ cases. In addition, she makes some suggestions for Chinese landscape architects.
This article focuses mainly on ubiquitous “absence” rather than “presence,” which is usually the core of history of fine arts. On imagination of spaces, absence is common in various scales, including painting, sculpture, architecture, landscape and urban design. Based on a lecture, this article discusses absence from concepts of departure, death, memory, life, soul and travel through time. The narratives of absence in different works, without concrete description, resonate with each other, some drawing universal understanding of people and some belonging to local cultures. The lecturer, together with other speakers, makes an in-depth analysis of absence, culture, ruins and the Peach Garden from perspectives of literature and design respectively.
As one of the last reserved areas available in the center of Paris, the Clichy Batignolles area has been designed to be a new 43-hectare quarter. The project, at the beginning, was elaborated for the purpose of the Paris candidature for the 2012 Olympic Games. It integrated an Olympic village for 17,000 athletes, training spaces and re-conversion conditions for these infrastructures. The project focuses on the insertion into the existing urban fabric of a new quarter made of 3,500 housing units, offices, commercial facilities and public services set out around a park. This 10-hectare park is a pilot realized in terms of sustainable development.
Background and strategies of this redevelopment project located in the U-Center plaza had been introduced in this paper. Based on such a redevelopment project of small urban open space, it illustrated the understanding of design concept, space flexibility, and participation within landscape design from the view of Z+T STUDIO. In addition, it discussed the content of intuition and rationality, landscape vocabulary, as well as sustainability.
The Clearing at Utøya Island in Norway tells the story about nature as a healing landscape. The essence of nature is that it can, through transformation, slowly erase all traces of the tragic events that happened here. With the changing of the seasons, as the waves wash away the shore, new growth can begin. To support and strengthen the natural cycle in landscape cultivating, nature in itself can help us to get a better understanding of life and death. The Clearing is a project that has been selected by the parents and politicians themselves and has also been built together with them. In that sense, one can read here the way Norwegian society has decided to deal with such a tragic event.
Con-cave is a spatial intervention that shapes the steep terrain of the site playing with the infiltration of the light: gathering, concentrating and dissipating it through the earthy sinuosity of interconnected underground and semi-underground caves and tunnels. The varying chiaroscuro embraces the spaces, highlighting the materiality of the terrain, the solidity, and the different levels of humidity of the concrete walls. The building opens towards the outside with rooms and terraces only in specific locations, offering an intentional selection of belvedere and sublime points of view. The light, blooming locally, becomes a sublime wave investing the visitor and inundating the gaze with the history and the culture of the Afghan landscape.
As China continues to grow, all types of urban events and supporting facilities continue to occur. The landscape for short-term urban events are usually built as permanent interventions, and are often not well integrated with the rest of the urban environment after completion of the event. This type of landscape construction usually results in low performance and land waste.
Using the Beijing Garden Expo Park as an example, this paper reflects and criticizes the permanent construction and considers the full life-cycle reuse of the event landscape. We draw on a low-cost, low-maintenance, and multi-participatory model to encourage citizens’ participation in construction of the post-event landscape. Our design and research proposes a new operating model for other post-event landscapes.
Until recent times, when geology eased the way to salt deposits, salt has been a valuable good with a relevant influence in history, including international commerce and even wars. Industrial revolution and technological advances turned salt into a cheap and widely available product, which consequently led to a deep crisis in traditional salt making.
Nevertheless, for many centuries, man has struggled to find new ways to produce salt, developing imaginative methods that had to adapt to the manner in which the raw material was available, as well as to climate and topography. Factors such as cultural diversity, latitude and concentration of brine contributed to the way the natural landscape was anthropized, having an effect on the size and shape of the sites. Coastal or inland, flat pans or terraced, produced by natural or artificial evaporation, salt-works are among the most extraordinary landscapes created by man.
Today many of the traditional production sites still survive, representing a rich and valuable living heritage. For five years, Mikel Landa and Luke Duggleby have travelled around the world, documenting traditions and processes, and using photography to transmit the visual power of those landscapes and cultures, keeping to the idea that a sustainable future for them is possible.
The Landscape is not the Environment. The Environment is three-dimensional space where life happens, the Landscape is the two-dimensional plane that represents it. Environment lists wholesomeness, health, biodiversity, and their opposite. Landscape documents a palimpsest. The Environment is diachronic. The Landscape is synchronic. The Landscape is not built by reproducing models. The Landscape keeps together, simultaneously, detaching the surfaces that compose it. The Landscape not hierarchically structured parties that make it up, it holds them dialectically in balance.