Aug 2020, Volume 8 Issue 4

  • Select all
    Kongjian YU

    In this article, the author concluded the patterns and challenges of practice research by Peking University-Turenscape into the answers to three questions: 1) By conducting practice research, people can gain the knowledge and methodologies to address authentic practice issues with constant attempts; 2) College faculties and students, researchers, and planners / designers are the agencies of practice research, but they are in dilemma because of the over pursuit for paper publication and citation in academic performance assessment, and the insufficient time and budget for research leading a fact that generic planning schemes and stereotypes are popularly employed; And 3) the healthy development and long-term promotion of practice research relies on the growth of the market-oriented industry. As one type of the practice research, “prototype study” offers a paradigm for the innovation of knowledge and methodology. Oriented to future challenges and uncertainties, it would help extend the horizon of Landscape Architecture, providing designers and scholars with prospective design insights and flexible working methods.

    Zihao ZHANG, Xun LIU

    This paper maps out a new paradigm of prototyping that acts as an alternative to the model-making paradigm. By juxtaposing the cybernetics movement with landscape design, the authors have mapped out a development in landscape discourse that mirrors the movement of cybernetics in the 20th century and early 21st century. The early deterministic and linear understanding of systems dynamics is replaced by an emergent and openended view. Taking on a framework of emergence, the authors highlight a special type of model that does not fit within the conventional modelpredict-control framework. Rather than models that represent another living system, these models are living systems in themselves with autonomy and lives. This special type of model can be understood as prototypes. Prototyping replaces model-making and exhibits three distinctive qualities: 1) A prototype has a life of its own, which serves as the basis for design and creativity; 2) The real usefulness of a prototype lies in its undefined identity rather than its defined and direct application; And 3) the identified quality provides a wide range of possibilities, thus changing our relationship with the future from chance and prediction to anticipation and hope.

    Fang WEI, Zijian HUANG

    Contemporary landscape is an important medium that resists the environmental homogeneity and diversifies the cultural imagery. The neglect of physical experience would intensify the perception contradiction and separation between people and the site. This paper proposes to use the prototype of the interactions between the body, time, and space to build an abstract discourse to study the design dimensions of site, sight, and insight based on different elements—the three dimensions are represented as perception, conception, and live. It then focuses on how to employ design methods (including the arrangement of spatial sequence and direction, the design of thresholds in the space, the creation of texts and syntaxes, and the stimulation of events and social imagery) to form the push-pull movement in the material space, the abschattung and gestalt of ideographic texts in the meaning space, and the apperception of the social field, so as to enhance people’s perception of the landscape. This paper studies physical experience and spacetime imagery to extract and deduce the thinking of landscape design within varied dimensions, and argues that a profound and intimate relationship between man and the site can be established by organizing different elements under the ternary system of site, sight, and insight.

    Noha Ahmed Abd El AZIZ

    Decoding the relationship between crime and place has been the focus of researchers in both design and social fields for a few decades. Space syntax theory offers the possibility of examining the configuration characteristics of the environment and their potential influences on people’s activities and crime patterns; however, its implementation in landscape architecture has been limited. This study responds to such a gap by exploring the effectiveness of applying space syntax theory to predict safety levels in a park in Cairo, Egypt. depthmapX was used to analyze the spatial configuration of the park. Crime records from 2019 were collected through site observation and staff interviews, and analyzed using ArcGIS 10.3 software. Results indicated a strong correlation between space depth / integration / connectivity and crime pattern distribution. The park visibility graphs indicated the different impacts of vegetation (evergreen tree / deciduous trees) in summer and winter on visual connectivity and crime types. The research concluded that applying space syntax theory to landscape architecture is challenging; nevertheless, it represents a promising approach to predict committing crimes in urban parks, and the findings can be adopted to enhance park conceptual designs to achieve higher safety level.

    Guowei WANG, GENOVESE Paolo Vincenzo

    Spatial elements between courtyards are an important component of the landscape of historical villages. With an increasingly homogenous rural landscape in China, most existing studies focus on traditional symbols and architectural details, while little research is conducted to explore the core elements that shape the spaces between village courtyards. Taking Guanlu Village in Huangshan City, Anhui Province as an example, the research team identified 28 sorts of spatial elements, developed the corresponding diagrams, and quantified their morphological characteristics in area, circularity, rectangularity, compactness, and width-length ratio. This research not only contributes to the theoretical development on the morphology of ancient villages, but also helps promote the exploration and application of local elements. This village landscape design model constituted with element categorization, diagram drawing, and morphological quantitative analysis would provide scientific evidences that help inform the practices to revitalize village localities, showing its practical significance of enriching the design vocabulary of village landscapes and avoiding the prevailing, generic usage of modular designs with urban landscape elements.

    Yuting YIN, Yuhan SHAO, Zhenying XUE, Kevin THWAITES, Kexin ZHANG

    The street is a type of important urban public space with multiple social values, one of which is the restorative potential. Based on the “beingaway,” “extent,” “fascination,” and “compatibility” constructs of restorative environments proposed by the Attention Recovery Theory, this study elaborated the significance of restorativeness provided by street environments to people living in high-density cities. It used the traditional restorativeness scale with mobile eye trackers to explore the restorative experience provided by an urban street, and identified the specific streetscape elements related to restorativeness and the degree of their influences. The results show that “greenery,” “people,” and “cars” perform significant influences, and different streetscape elements have different degrees of influences on the 4 constructs of the restorative environment. For example, for the“being-away,” “extent,” and “fascination” constructs, the influence of “greenery” is the most important, while “people” plays the core role in “compatibility.” The findings can help professionals develop targeted design strategies to improve diverse street environments for a better restorativeness.

    Jingyun LI, Huaguan DONG, Jiayi JIANG

    The concept of “prototype” originated from "essentialism"—the theory holds that everything is found in its own pure realm that can be typically abstracted, described, and represented. In the development of Architecture, essentialism fails to describe the differences between formal variations, and then Typology was born which manifests the new spatial forms that are embedded within the historical, cultural, and environmental contexts through the changes and combinations of architecture. Prototype, stemming from Typology, highlights the qualities of the time dimension and has been broadly used in the field of landscape architecture to address the objects that are often complex and chaotic. Prototyping is to profile and test the spatial order and characterized by a process of “extraction–deduction–test–outcome”: through the scenario analysis upon understanding and perception of the site, the design extracts the elements, deduces the forms, tests the simulations, iterates the strategies, and finally realizes the outcome physically. In the discourse of Landscape Urbanism, designers must understand the specific material language of the site, the design language of the site’s history (past and future), and the design language of the human activities proposed, while considering the changes over time. This article primarily reviews the evolution of the concept of prototype, and discusses its role in benefiting the design of built landscapes, ranging from the design investigation to the conceiving and testing of design strategies.

    Jinguang ZHANG, Zhaowu YU, Bing ZHAO

    Urban green spaces can not only offer a wide range of ecosystem services, but also promote public health. Most of existing studies have effectually explored the correlation between urban green spaces and public health, but failed to dig the complex impact mechanism behind. This article firstly goes into the positive and negative impacts of urban green spaces on public health, and proposes a theoretical framework of the impact mechanism from perspectives of physical activity encouragement, stress management, social cohesion enhancement, and regulating / supporting services provision by ecosystems. On this basis, 6 health-oriented urban green space system planning strategies are proposed, including promoting the availability, improving the accessibility, enhancing the visibility, optimizing the spatial composition, constructing a network pattern of urban green spaces, and reducing the negative impacts of urban green spaces on public health. The research results can provide theoretical grounding and reference for public health promotion and sustainable urban development to exert more health benefits with limited urban green spaces.

    Yuting XIE, Christian NOLF, Nannan DONG, Daixin DAI, Dou ZHANG

    Since 2018, the integrated regional development of the Yangtze River Delta has been subjected as a national strategy to intensify the interconnection between its cities. However, the questions of open space conservation and planning have so far remained essentially quantitative and strongly informed by regulatory and top-down principles. Focusing on the vast green heart between Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou, this design-driven research project hypothesizes that Taipu Canal can be upgraded from its current technical role into a civic spine that frames new developments and articulates the rich diversity of open spaces, ecosystems, historic water towns and villages. The research adopts a crossscale method of “contextual prototypes” that combines sampling, typological classification, and prototypical design explorations in pilot projects. A reflective phase zooms out to critically assess how these prototypical strategies can be systemized as structuring principles at the regional scale. The conclusion of the article discusses how this prototypical approach offers an opportunity to inductively complement the top-down Chinese territorial planning system, which needs to cope with increasingly complex conditions and vaster scales.

    Helena H. RONG, Juncheng YANG, William Jingwei QIAN

    Advancements in data collection, computing, and visualization methods have given rise to a new form of urban concept over the last decade: the smart sustainable city which tackles various urban challenges with digital technologies. However, earlier approaches omit the importance of citizens’ involvement in decision-making processes, which leads to an imbalanced information asymmetry between individuals and authorities and an increasingly reduced agency for the vulnerable. In this article, a tool and process was proposed which integrates the voices of evolving self-organizing entities to solve collective action challenges: Named as CoDAS (Co-Design Ang Sila), it is a digital platform which facilitates continuous communication between citizens and authorities during different development phases of a given project. By including a large number of stakeholders to participate in the codesign process as co-creators, CoDAS aims to improve communication efficiency while achieving equitable outcomes in design and development, along with post-occupancy common resource management. To test this hypothesis, a site design experiment was conducted on a site near a historical fishing village of Ang Sila, Thailand.

    Halina STEINER, Ryan WINSTON, Avee OABEL, Alec GRIMM

    The design of a curb is straight forward. The curb itself provides a conveyance of stormwater, facilitating the movement of water and pollutants from the street into waterways. Pollutants such as sediment, nutrients from lawn fertilizers, bacteria, viruses, pesticides, metals, and petroleum byproducts accumulate on the road surface and are released during storm events, carried to storm drains, and deposited into waterways, often without treatment. Once pollutants enter the waterways they impact the ecosystem and affect water quality. How can discrete standards—like a curb—be leveraged to have larger systemic impacts?

    The redesign of the curb to perform as a magnet for pollutants can challenge this design standard. During the summer of 2019, the interdisciplinary research team tested alternatives to the standard concrete curb and apron at Ohio State University. The team used an iterative design process to add patterning and crenellations to the face of the curb and apron. Using full scale models to test simulated storm events, the team collected data to evaluate the performance of 21 alternative designs. The results suggest the new combined curb and apron designs can abstract pollutants from roadways before they are detrimental to water bodies and aquatic ecosystems.

    LU Xiaoxuan
    KWOK Siu Man

    Land reclamation and dredging have a damaging effect on marine and coastal ecology. This study rationally analyzes the conflicts in the approved environmental impact assessment (EIA), including the negligence of the direct and indirect effects on coastal and marine habitats, the short circuit of the EIA procedures among stakeholders, and the insufficient marine environmental restoration schemes. This study also promotes awareness among the stakeholders so they will understand the direct and indirect effects of land reclamation on marine and coastal ecosystems, as well as the indications if they follow the EIA procedures, and implement a responsive marine bioremediation before and during the dredging process. By taking the Ocean Flower Island in Hainan, China as an example, this study applied the responsive oyster-seagrass-coral filtration bed system before and during the dredging process to maintain the water turbidity and suspended sediment concentration below the tolerance limits of the coral reefs in the adjacent areas.


    Earth Choreographer is a design methodology that focuses on choreographing, scoring, and de-territorializing the landscape of an obsolete oil field. The project introduced in this article, titled Earth Choreographer, explores the imperatives and opportunities in remediation and repurposing of obsolete industrial sites, aiming to continuously investigate the potential of the land and possible scenarios over decades—even when the intended life cycle of the industrial site is over. It presents a design process that recognizes the ruination of the ground and the landscape. By acknowledging the evolving technologies and ever-increasing preoccupation with natural resources, it answers the following questions: 1) What happens when a productive landscape is sought to be both partially preserved and recreated? 2) How to represent a ground plane that is being constantly reconfigured by machines with ever-changing boundaries of spaces for human and nonhuman occupation? And 3) what does a site that constantly erases and reconstructs itself look like?

    With several scenarios from 2025 to 2080, this project acts as a prototype for inhabiting obsolete landscapes by addressing climate change and depletion of resources. Its dynamic design methodology allows the site to constantly evolve and change over time based on the needs and interests of its occupiers.