AMP > Publications > Landscape and imagination. Paysage (...)
Année : 2013
Auteur :
Nussaume, Yann

Landscape and imagination. Paysage et invention

NEWMAN Conor, NUSSAUME Yann, PEDROLI Bas, (eds.), Landscape and Imagination. Towards a new baseline for education in a changing world, actes de la conférence Landscape and imagination, 2-4 May, Paris, UNISCAPE, Florence / Bandecchi & Vivaldi, Pontedera.


This publication constitutes the proceedings of an international con- ference, Landscape and Imagination : Towards a New Baseline for education in a changing World (Paysage et Invention : évolution des enseignements dans un monde en transition){{}} held in Paris, 2nd to 4th of May 2013. Speakers from more than 30 countries worldwide gathered at three different venues : la Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette, and La Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine.

The success of the event is down to the collaboration of the research teamAMP LAVUE, the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Pa- risLaVillette(ENSAPLV) andUNISCAPE,whichisanetworkofuni- versities especially dedicated to the implementation of the European Landscape Convention. Through its participation in this event, and the active support of its office management at an organisational level, UNISCAPE continues its efforts to support and strengthen interdis- ciplinary cooperation between universities, not only in Europe but also outside Europe, in the common pursuit of landscape research and education.
This Conference Landscape & Imagination can be seen as the logical follow-up of the Conference Living Landscapes UNISCAPE organised October 2010 in Florence, Italy, at the occasion of the 10th Anni- versary of the European Landscape Convention. That conference focussed on the ways research can support the implementation of the European Landscape Convention. One of the conclusions was that awareness of the societal value of landscape is crucial for an adequate implementation of landscape protection, management and planning approaches, which signifies a huge challenge for education. Landscape & Imagination has addressed this challenge. Imagination is explicitly mentioned in the conference’s title because education in the multifaceted nature of landscape requires going beyond the boundaries of disciplines, and across the dichotomy of empirical data versus perceived values.

This conference was topical because framing every aspect of our daily lives in an increasingly globalised and virtual world, landscape remains a core element in how we connect with society’s rapidly changing social and physical conditions. The request for long term decisions about environmental enhancement and sustainable deve- lopment has generated considerable spin-off in relation to landscape planning and transformation processes, in terms of governance and the participation of citizens. The outcomes depend on scale and context, regardless of whether the landscapes are rural, urban or peri-urban. If the approaches adopted vary from place to place it is because different understandings of the environment arise from dif- ferent “milieus” (relationships between society and its environment) and places depending on geography and cultural backgrounds, as well as differing stages of economic development. Regardless, many regions share common concerns, such as climate change, dwindling water resources, use of proven technologies and technical know- how, etc.This all calls for synergy between the disciplines involved in landscape planning and design.

The broad question posed to all of the conference delegates was : how should education evolve in terms of content and modus of de- livery in order to respond appropriately to the environmental and landscape changes that are shaking our planet ? The great diversity of
contributions is accounted for by the fact that the question speaks also to creativity and imagination.With the help of members of the Scientific Committee, the organisers made a selection of rich and varied papers aimed at encouraging diverse and lively discussion and debate.All papers have been reviewed anonymously and subse- quently revised by the authors. Of course, responsibility for the views expressed in the papers rests with the authors.
The papers are preceded by the Abstracts of the keynote lectures. We are very happy to have found Pavlina Mišíková, Augustin Berque, Toshio Kuwako, Bernard Lassus and Yu KongJian ready to set the scene and fundamentally discuss their visions on Landscape and Ima- gination with us.

The papers in this volume are arranged under six themes correspon- ding to the main topics in landscape pedagogy, namely epistemology, history, arts, process, science and governance.The wide diversity of responses to these themes represented among the papers is a re- flection of the variety of different experiences, values and understan- dings of landscape occurring across the globe. Between them, they illustrate well the complex challenge that is landscape education.


Under the theme of epistemology, terms and concepts common to landscape discourses are analysed and critiqued. The concepts behind the terms ‘landscape’,‘milieu’,‘place’,‘environment’,‘territory’, ‘heritage’ and so on, are complex and potentially problematic on ac- count not just of cultural and linguistic specificities but also different philosophical, religious and intellectual traditions. Meanings can be both lost and gained in translation from one language to another. Only by exploring and embracing these semantic differences can we begin the journey of understanding and learning from one another. A concern, for instance, is whether the definition of landscape in the European Landscape Convention is a product of Western ontology and therefore not universally applicable ; this against the backdrop of the International Federation of Landscape Architect’s proposal for an International Landscape Convention. Moreover, as the oeuvre of landscape research evolves and grows, the terms themselves are further redacted, acquiring more composite and enriched meanings. While such may produce interesting opportunities for discussion in the classroom, it can, however, result in difficulties in the arenas of public debate and governance where the challenge is to balance the poïetic aspects of milieu ; the poesis of place and attachment ; with other imperatives such as energy supply and spatial planning.The sub-text to this aspect of the call for papers is that both considerations should be regarded as being of equal importance to the well-being of our species. Contributors to this theme were asked to consider, inter alia, how creativity and the human imagination could be best sustained in the context of green-infrastructure, eco-districts, eco-constructions, and so on.


The second theme refers to history, and deals directly with the challenge of teaching about landscape when, refracted through the milieus of language, belief, social praxis and culture, there exists a myriad of different ways of being, seeing and acting in the world. At a time of unprecedented mobility of teachers, students and prac- titioners, and of knowledge-transfer, the job of creating syllabi that are sufficiently universal and yet offer the prospect of appropriately diversified and tailored solutions to common issues, such as climate change, social detachment, decreasing landscape diversity, etc., is one- rous : all the more so, in fact, when the European Landscape Convention mandates all stakeholders to recognise, celebrate and protect the mosaic of different local and sub-regional landscapes.The call for papers invited contributors to this section to also consider how tea- chers and instructors might negotiate these concerns in the context of international competitions and commissions.


While generations of students may have first learned about the phenomenological consideration of landscape through comparative analysis of landscape paintings, the connection between landscape and art runs much deeper than that of mere analogue, allegory or metaphor. Arguably, the polysemic nature of art matches that of landscape itself. In recognition of this, the third theme of the confer- ence proceedings focuses on the arts, and in particular the potential role of landscape representation as a vector of landscape instruction and learning. It poses the question : how can artistic experiments and works of art enrich landscape legibility and contribute to landscape analyses and actions ? Consideration of the capacity of installation or public art to transform settings, in terms of both perception and perspective, encourages us to recognise the processual dimension of works of art.


The fourth theme of these proceedings is process, and is concer- ned with training for the practicalities of a landscape project that, taking into account all of the considerations outlined already, adopts a hermeneutic approach, is mindful of temporality, and yet also allows for creativity.The demands of sustainable development highlight the convergent roles of disciplines such as urban planning and landscape architecture, and suggest that the blending of disciplines and partne- red delivery of modules are key to the development of syllabi and curricula.Among the papers is a wide variety of case studies of field- training exercises as well as actual landscape projects. Some touch on the issue of stakeholder participation.A fundamental principle of the European Landscape Convention, in many countries stakeholder participation remains one of the more contested aspects of planning and governance.


Science, the fifth theme of the conference proceedings, considers the use of empirical evidence and personal observation in education for a sustainable landscape. As we have touched on already, a very wide selection of specialisms is required to provide a complete or roun- ded education in landscape, ranging from environmental sciences (e.g. vegetation science ; hydrology ; geology ; ecology, etc.), humanities (e.g. social science ; history ; archaeology ; anthropology ; economics, etc.) and arts (e.g. landscape design ; architecture, etc.), not to mention the considerable volume of literature on landscape theory and newly emerging areas of research such as spectral landscapes. Multi-com- petency is an ambitious academic goal, but how realistic or necessary is it when ideally landscape management should be the product of multiple-stakeholder dialogue ? Landscape management is about ima- gining and moderating change in landscapes that are already histori- cized and populated. Landscape training has somehow got to teach students how to draw imaginative and creative inspiration from the existing character and structure of the landscape without becoming imprisoned by the potential inertia of historical narratives or com- promising on the exacting measures of sustainability as defined by the environmental sciences.


As we have already mentioned, public participation is central to the vision of landscape management outlined in the European Landscape Convention. Though countries will each have their own traditions and modalities of public participation in decision-making, education needs to prepare students for the mediatory and leadership roles that landscape practitioners can expect to play between community groups and public authorities. The sixth theme of the proceedings, therefore, concerns governance, and in particular issues surrounding basic training and continuous professional development (CPD), lea- dership facilitation, and outreach to community groups involved in landscape governance.The questions of how best to structure such training and at what levels, need to be debated. Is mediation and leadership training, for instance, more suited to undergraduate or postgraduate teaching, or is the best vehicle CPD training offered by the professional institutes/bodies, particularly in light of the need to up-skill existing decision-makers ? Clearly the universities and tea- ching institutions have a role to play here and this is just one of the many challenges facing us into the future.

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