Landscape Anthropology is a new disciplinary branch of Anthropology emerged in European and American academia during the 1990s. The current review develops the topic of “Cultural Anthropology and Landscape Architecture”from three perspectives. Firstly, it provides a brief introduction to the definition of Cultural Anthropology to familiarize interdisciplinary readers. Secondly, it provides necessary conceptual clarification to the term “景观设计 (Landscape Architecture).” Thirdly, it provides a review of the research approaches to the study of landscape in the field of Cultural Anthropology: place and space. The “place” perspective focuses on how local people endow cultural meanings onto their surrounding environment, and how people’s routine activities construct landscape. The “space” perspective considers how academics, entrepreneurs, designers, and other main actors in cultural representation, express local culture, and how such representation influences the social production of space. The current paper emphasizes research on these two points and reviews recent studies. Finally, it looks ahead to the possible cooperation between the study of Cultural Anthropology and Landscape Architecture.
This study aims at providing a formal definition on local identity to clarify the confusion in the field of landscape study. The study first introduces different levels of identities in landscape research. Then the second part reviews relevant definitions to identify their relations and common factors to clear confusions on local identity. The third extracts, formalizes and reorganizes the common factors into a new framework to represent elements that contribute to local identity and form a formal definition of local identity. The paper also concludes their important meanings to both landscape research and practice.
A planning and design operating platform is an operational interface which is used in the process of planning and design to demonstrate the base information of an existing site, and to facilitate planning and design activities. With the improvement of digital technology, an operating platform called Sandbox has been developed, based on Computer Aided Manufacturing and Augmented Reality technology. This paper introduces the technical background of the Sandbox platform, and briefly reviews its development. The author takes the sandbox produced by Digital Landscape Research Center of the Landscape Architecture Planning and Design Institute of Beijing Forestry University as an example, to explain the framework of the Sandbox platform, and to emphatically show the functions and operational principles of its digital information analysis module. The Sandbox is a four-dimensional operation platform that precisely represents the site, directly carries out manual design and operation, and realizes real-time human-computer interaction.
In recent years, anthropologists have started paying attention to landscape, resulting in the emergence of landscape anthropology. Grounded in the author’s investigative experience in Guangdong Province, China, this paper introduces a basic perspective and methodology of landscape anthropology. The author proposes methods to guide landscape design based on the social and cultural conditions of local residents, and provides explorations conducted for landscape architects from the perspective of cultural anthropology.
The interviewee first clarifies distinctions and links between anthropology, sociology, and cultural anthropology through discipline definitions, areas of focus, and scope of study. Next, he demonstrates the significance of anthropological and sociological knowledge or points of view in landscape architectural practice and education. From the perspectives of anthropology and sociology, he discusses issues that include traditional village protection, rural local identity and community identity, and provides landscape architects with new ideas and methods to examine such challenges. He emphasizes social and cultural attributes of space, encouraging designers to always take these attributes into consideration and put forward interdisciplinary development for anthropology and sociology to be combined with landscape architecture.
Throughout the history of human existence, the connection to ecology and — more specifically trees — has been central to human survival and tradition. But over several recent centuries of industrialization, urbanization, sprawl and the rise of technology, this central and symbiotic relationship has been lost. A trend has been established in which much of the developed — and developing — world now places a greater emphasis on the technologies and environment of the built realm and less upon the natural amenities provided to us for free every day.
The single most effective — and urban — remedy for extreme environments, increasingly stressful urban conditions and declining connection between humans and nature is the reemergence of the tree.
We are entering a new “Age of the Tree” where we must reconsider our relationship to the tree, as one of the focal elements in this emerging urban reality. Simply stated, creating a healthy, robust and mature tree canopy must become a critical focal point for all future development — without exception. Our future generations will thank us as they reap tremendous dividends for our collective efforts today.
A study on edible fruit production was conducted as one part of a larger multi-year applied research project exploring approaches to landscape architecture, ecology and design that conserve and celebrate traditions of resource management, economic development, governance, and socio-cultural issues of the Bahamian archipelago of Exuma, while proposing sustainable solutions for the future development of the islands. The project draws on a distinctive fieldwork process, designed for the project, which adapts anthropological and participatory methods to engage with local communities, government, educators, and the environment itself to inform design proposals and decision-making. Participation in the collection of data can mean that citizens educate themselves in the research topic, and get involved in what gets researched and how. This case study demonstrates the importance of careful, inclusive preliminary design and the ability of participatory processes to motivate and entice local communities to actively engage in the topic of examination. The findings should help prepare the ground for more intensive future food-related investigations there and elsewhere.
In the backdrop of the current rural construction campaign in China, people with different backgrounds have endeavored to explore the possibility of rural revival from their own perspectives. Contrary to a simple environmental remediation approach used in traditional rural construction processes, Zhongguan Village in Tongzi County, Guizhou Province adopted a top-level design system that combines spatial planning with community establishment using external funds and other means. We have developed a new model for rural construction and development that comprehensively solves rural problems using multiple approaches that include establishing regulations, transformation of rural industries, improving living conditions for residents, the construction of public space, cultural restoration, etc.
The Hortes de Baix thermal gardens, located in the metropolitan region of Barcelona, had been deteriorated by wastewater contamination. The project recovers the horticultural landscape as a new self-managed open public space empowering the irrigation community and recognizing the key value of traditional water management as intangible heritage towards urban sustainability.
In West Papua, a self-identifying term that refers to the provinces of Papua and West Papua, the remote and highly marginalized provinces of Indonesia, road construction does not merely represent a technological ambition or a means to deliver progress and development. With its rugged and mountainous terrain, West Papua has kept more than 261 Papuan ethnic groups isolated for long periods of time and made it one of the last territories in the world to be charted, mapped, and occupied by foreign forces. The construction of the Trans-Papua Highway should be seen in this way; it is meant as a conduit for progress as well as a political tool to chart, map and occupy the ungovernable. As an anthropologist, I passed through this difficult and fragile highway and drew a connection between the roads that I have taken, traces that the construction left and multiple possibilities of extraction that it allows.
Traces of an Invisible City (2016) presents urban space in Hong Kong as a vivid showcase of the hidden logics of globalization and capitalism, and of the historical changes currently occurring in world cities. It examines a series of urban landscapes in Hong Kong to illustrate the tension among their visual existence, function, and ownership, and how the city’s public space has been constructed, used, owned, and interpreted. Public spaces, which are primary loci where public life happen, are regarded here as nodal points that connect the city’s past, present and future. The film contains three chapters that are parallel to but interwoven with each other: global, local, and divided space. “The exhibition” observes Art Basel, one of the largest art fairs in the world, held at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in an inside-out manner — through the architecture’s space and function, the visitors and the post-usage conditions of the space to reveal its symbolic and literal void. “The Streets” explores the dramatic transformations of Hong Kong’s public space in recent years, blended with flashbacks of history. “The North Side” juxtaposes the Hong Kong-Shenzhen division area in their visual reversal, where Hong Kong’s agricultural landscape became a spectacle from the rapidly urbanized side of the socialist China.