20 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. 7 John Wilson in the 1940's described the difference between the ground of the Nile and the deserts to the east and west as a "line of demarcation between life and nonlife [that] is startlingly clear: one may stand at the edge of the cultivation with one foot on the irrigated black soil and one foot on the desert sands."28

      Relate- Boundaries of civilizations around the Nile have been determined by the land more than specific points. The lush ephemeral ecology around the Nile creates a juxtaposition to the Sahara next to it. Civilizations and activity have adapted and stuck to the vegetated areas around the Nile. In designing landscapes can we use the change in ecology as a barrier? Instead of using fences or hedges maybe using a very drastic change in style or ecology could be an indicator as a barrier of property change. Also, will people gravitate more to water than a dry landscape?

    2. , which Herodotus describes as "exceedingly waterless and wholly desert." Here sands blown by the south wind once consumed fifty thousand of Cambyses's men "as they were taking their mid-day meal, so that they disappeared forever."" It was the same sands that Alexander crossed and found that "whenever the south wind blows .. . it makes a great heap of sand on the route and obscures its marks, and one cannot get one's bearings in a sort of ocean of sand, since there are no marks along the route, no mountain anywhere, no tree, no solid hillocks standing up by which wayfarers might judge their proper course."26 To the east of the Nile's settled ground was the soil of "Arabia and Syria," which "has a larger proportion of stone and clay" across a surface that was in part mountainous, in part desert.

      Contextualize- Cambyses's 50,000 soldiers lost to a sandstorm is still one of the greatest mysteries of all time. The Persian king Cambyses II sent his men across the Sahara to conquer what is today's Egypt. The story is that all 50,000 men where lost to a great sandstorm. Many believe this is a myth. Historians think this story could have actually been manifested to cover the defeat of the Persian army by a rebel army.

      Singh, Kuldeep. “Where Is the Lost Army of Cambyses? How the Sahara 'Swallowed' 50,000 Soldiers.” Revyuh, 24 Dec. 2019, www.revyuh.com/top-news/featured/lost-army-cambyses-sahara-swallowed-50000-soldiers/.

  2. Oct 2020
    1. In 'the phrase of the South African scholar William Barnhart, scientific conservation was an ideology of " doom and resurrections", predicting that agriculture and the industrial expansion would destroy the environment unless replaced forthwith, by more rational and far seeing forms of resource use. Here the conservationists singled out the pioneer farmer, for special attention or special condemnation. Thus, one colonial soil scientist remarked in 1908 on the tendencies of European settlers in African colonies ' to scoop out the richest most beautiful valleys, leaving them dry and barren.' Or as Scottish forester working in the same continent put it

      Relate- Over a hundred years later and we are still making the same mistakes. We are still demolishing beautiful lands and leaving them bare. We still have a mentality of trying to colonize nature. We exploit it or try to tame it. From what we have read in the course we have learned about societies that had more of a symbiotic relationship with nature, but i think it will be a long time before western culture as a whole respects nature.

    2. " is it not the case that the history of civilized man in his colonization of new country's has been in every age substantially this - he has found the country a wilderness , he has cut down trees, and has left it a desert."

      Contextualize- The long leaf pine ecosystem once covered 90 million acres. This has dwindled down to 3 percent of what it once was. This ecosystem was used for logging and left bare. No matter what humans are going to manipulate nature for some sort of self interest. I think the evolution of today agriculture I feel like is moving toward more sustainable systems for the long run and the health of the environment as a whole. For example Longleaf pine logging can be done without ruining the whole ecosystem. Methods like the Sherwood method only cut out the older trees in the grove , keeping the longleaf pine ecosystem in tact. It should be the goal of agriculture to not only provide resources , but improve the environment as whole.

    1. Lawn- care vendor's focused on the new suburban yard, specialized sports fields, golf courses, and municipal landscaping as bounteous new surfaces on which to wield their wares. Monsanto , Dupont, and other companies marketed the dream of the perfect carpet lawn through "time-saving" lawn care systems that included nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, (N-P-K) fertilizers, Engineered seeds , pesticides and equipment. A lush, homogeneous lawn soon became the underlay of the American dream. The greener, more neatly shorn or the more homogenous of the surface the better. Chemically fertilized turf grass now pervades the American landscape, from golf courses to Central Park's Sheep Meadow, covering an estimated 28 million acres.


      When talking about turf in the landscape I think there are a lot of levels to the idea of using it in the landscape. It is a complicated subject because it has become so ingrained into our culture. If it is using over 70 million tons of pesticides to manage it then how do, we reduce that and change the culture of these huge lawns. I don’t think that all lawns should be disposed of, but we could reduce the amount that is in the landscape. When I was working for a landscaping company there would be these huge hillsides of perfectly manicured turf that provided no recreation or real purpose to the design. I think if we reduces the amount of these areas , but also stopped trying to put turf in the wrong environments then they may not have as many problems with pests, or we could just reduce the amount of turf used. I also think the idea of not using turf in all areas should be advertised as something unique and prideful the same way turf was advertised.

    2. A lush, homogeneous lawn soon became the underlay of the American dream. The greener, more neatly shorn or the more homogenous of the surface the better. Chemically fertilized turf grass now pervades the American landscape, from golf courses to Central Park's Sheep Meadow, covering an estimated 28 million acres. The impacts are enormous : one third of all potable water and 70 million tons of pesticides are usually drained annually into lawn care. One of the more banal materials in the landscape designer's palette, turf grass, is for many their bread and butter as lawn care amounts to a $30 billion industry.

      Contextualize: The culture of turf has become a huge part of the American landscape culture. The idea of the perfect lawn is a symbol of status and control over nature. What is crazy though is how much money and water is invested into a crop that is only for visual effect. The Atlantic wrote an article on this culture and the lengths people go to maintain a lawn. More importantly though that talk about how hard it would be to change the minds of Americans and see what the consequences are from the way we maintain and implement lawns. "The problem is, though, that culture changes as gradually as grass grows quickly. Iconography is much harder to uproot than roots themselves. To give up our lawns would be, in some sense, to concede a kind of defeat—to nature, to the march of time, to the ecosystemic realities of the new century. It would require us to do something Americans have not traditionally been very good at: acknowledging our own limitations" (Garber, 2015).

      Garber, Megan. “The American Lawn: A Eulogy.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, September 5, 2018. https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/08/the-american-lawn-a-eulogy/402745/.

  3. Sep 2020
    1. ugly, or “bad” landscape, disgust also aids in the creation of a hierarchy, or scale of values, whereby different kinds of landscapes may be judged according to their proximity to, or distance from, either extreme. But once we begin to speak of landscapes as being ideal, or “good,” or as flawed, or “bad,” we have entered into the realm of moral judgement.

      Respond: I feel like Landscape Architects have a very different outlook on good and flawed landscapes compared to everyone else. The most clean cut lawns with a few crape myrtles seems perfect for most people in the south , but I think if you would suggest that to a landscape architect they would role their eyes. Landscape Architects find the beauty in things not everyone else would too. So can we really measure what a good landscape is if it is so relative?

    1. There is no question that today the challenges are different than they were in the past. The crumbling of the Enlightenment belief in progress has led to a completely different understanding of our place in the world. The kinds of fears elicited by our environment, as Ulrich Beck has persuasively argued, are structurally different than they were in the past: they are now invisible, pervasive, and created by our own technology.25 It is now culture, rather than nature, which is the source of our fears. Yet the constellation of associations embedded in the concept of wasteland continues to inflect and guide many of our attitudes and actions. Only by becoming aware of these associations can we achieve the critical perspective necessary to forge a new approach.

      Relate: This reminds me of ASLA's part in the Green New Deal. We are calling to action all Landscape Architects to implement this into our designs. It holding us accountable to try and create designs that are sustainable culturally and environmentally. It is a time of educating ourselves and people outside of the field on the effects of climate change. It is also encouraging new ideas and ways to push our past ideas to create sustainable landscapes. Similar to this passage it is saying that what we do in the field matters. The actions we make change history ,so we should be trying to change it for the better.

    2. Unlike the concept of wilderness, wasteland offers the possibility of a more responsible understanding of our place in the environment. Rather than restricting "nature" to areas devoid of human presence, wasteland includes humans as part of nature, it assumes that our actions are just one set of activities, of reactions and responses, along with those of the rocks, plants, animals, and atmosphere that surround and interact with us. Wasteland leaves no place "over there" that is un-touched by human presence, but posits all places, all categories as interconnected: the domesticated and the wild, the urban and the rural, the local and the global. It is in wasteland's precarious, yet fertile conjunction of disgust and utopia that its greatest potential lies.

      This idea of wastelands should be viewed as potential rather than a wasteland reminds me of the book Planting in a Post Wild World. I feel like the way he talks about Fens as a wasteland is similar of how our culture views meadows and the plants that inhabit disturbed sites. Our idea that a landscape must fit in a certain box ,and be repeated over and over we are missing out on the opportunity to create sustainable landscapes. I think testing the limits of a landscape rather than being restricted is how we can use the land in a symbiotic relationship rather than a us only receiving from nature to fit our needs.

      Rainer, Thomas, and Claudia West. 2016. Planting in a Post-Wild World : Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes. Portland, Oregon Timber Press.

    1. Terracing allowed farmers to work land that would not normally be cultivated (either because of its steep incline or the impossibility of installing irrigation), and generally expanded the overall percentage of arable land.

      Respond: This reminds me of Chinese agriculture where they use terracing to help improve their practices. It would be interesting to see how much more they were able to cultivate compared to the other available land? I think it would also be interesting to see how these terraces were assembled, because from some of the pictures its hard to understand how all of it was done by hand?

    1. Tetzcotzingo insists that the land it-self is the art: works are tied in extri-cably to their sites and materialize organically from it; boundaries between the works and their settings are not clearly marked; dividing lines be-tween the sculpted, the built, and the planted environments (that is, the lines between nature and art, nature and culture)

      Contextualize: Thinking of the land itself as art but also as a thing to sculpt, I think really shows a part of the Aztec culture's want to conquest land. They utilized as much of the land using terraces , water ways, and earthworks to create a culture that majorly influenced by the landscapes around it. everything the land has to offer. On a smaller scale a place that did this was Renaissance park. The designers for that sight decided to not just get rid of the contaminated soil but corralled it into these large mounds that would become a source of recreation, art, and ecological importance.

    2. Aztec spectator may well have asked: where does the mountain end and the artwork begin?

      Relate: This question of what is art and what is Landscape goes back to HTPII . The criteria we tried to set up on what is art and the common critiques in class of individuals view the boundaries of landscape and art differently. Can all earthworks be considered art or do they have to have a meaning behind them? One of the criteria's our class decided embodied art was its ability to mean something. But the way Tetzcotzingo thinks of the" land itself is art "proves the point that the topic for one depends on the viewer ,but also shows that landscapes can be art without having to be an art piece. The topic could even dive in further into does a landscape have to have meaning ? For example in Jan Gilletes Can Gardens Mean? she challenges the idea of objects in the garden as being a symbol of mountains. She explains though that we often mistake symbols for meaning . So can we really call these mountain artwork or should we only classify it as a landscape.

      Gillette, Jane. “Can Gardens Mean?” Landscape Journal, 1 Jan. 2005, lj.uwpress.org/content/24/1/85.abstract.

    1. Six Dynasties scholars, both rich and poor, paradise was site in the garden right here in this world.

      I understand that these gardens became more public. They were also able to have more because of the size, but was it open to the entire public? Or was the style of gardening more accessible to the public because most classes could embody it? Were they community gardens?

    1. In other words, that what is there can be of benefit always depends on its achievement of functionality through what is not there.”

      “In other words, that what is there can be of benefit always depends on its achievement of functionality through what is not there.” I think this comment is still important in contemporary design. The idea that there can be a balance between design and blank space. When done well what is in the area creates the nonbeing, that can frame what is there into a balanced scene. In landscape architecture I feel like we talk a lot about the spatial qualities of spaces like the opening and closing. Each space has a different balance of the nonbeing and the and what creates it. One creates the other, but the nonbeing is what frames what is around it. Depending on how you want that space to feel depends on how much nothingness is created.

    2. The main point of this chapter is that when people make a cart wheel, a vessel, or a room, what is useful is not the wood, the clay, or the wall from which they are made, but the nothing—that is, the empty space within each of them.75 Wang Bi’s commentary: “That wood, clay, and wall can form these three things [wheel, vessel, room]depends in each case on achieving functionality [yong] through the nothing [wu] [embodied there in].

      In an article by carol McDowell she says "Walls around a Chinese garden were designed to block out the surrounding patterns of human activity so that on the inside at least man would turn back to nature. If you stepped through a circular doorway to enter the garden it was symbolic of the universe and, you were intellectually at least, entering one of the gates of heaven via the pathway that led you there." Relating back to the passage the walls are just there to provide a function. The open space between is part of the experience of non being . This concept can be seen today in landscapes through our description of spatial quality. The landscape can be born from the things that create the rooms , but the negative space is where the experience happens. The structures create the substance within.

      McDowall, Carolyn, and Carolyn McDowallCarolyn McDowall FRSA has gained considerable experience and business acumen in her professional career. An independent cultural and social historian. “A Chinese Garden – The Rhythm of Nature Refreshing the Heart.” The Culture Concept Circle, 2 Sept. 2012, www.thecultureconcept.com/a-chinese-garden-the-rhythm-of-nature-refreshing-the-heart.

    1. It contains the “beasts of the field,” “fowls of the air,” cattle, snakes, and fruit trees, including thefig, as well as humans “to dress and keep it.” The image of the garden inwhich animals, plants, man, and woman live together in peacefulabundance in a well-watered garden is a powerful image;

      I think this is why we have been so drawn to the idea of the garden of Eden as a muse for garden design. the idea that something can provide so much without the touch of humans but their can also be a good relationship between the environment and humans . The garden of Eden portrays something as almost perfect in every way. So much so that it is also something that can't really ever exist in perfect harmony , I think that is why we are interested in it is because it is something we can't quite achieve.

    1. "Throughout most of Western history, the biblical mandates of stewardship and dominion have sometimes been explicitly separated and at other times implicitly merged. For example, medieval enclosed gardens were often protected, carefully stewarded spaces, while eighteenth-century garden estates were vast displays of dominion and power. Early American farms ranged from small patches in the forest tended mainly for family provisions to large plantations and capitalist ranches that dominated the landscape. While the former exemplify potential partnerships between humanity and the land, the latter represent the potential for human mastery over the earth.(23-24)".


      Western culture is constantly in the battle of trying to control natural ecosystems to create the perfect space that provides what we want. I think sometimes our attempt to create the perfect landscape often is controlled by our desires rather than what is needed or can be provided by the site. I think mainstream Western culture is trying to move the image of the perfect landscape to the idea of restoring what was already there not trying to fit it into a gated community.

    2. "When Adam and Eve tasted the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, humans acquired their potential omniscience of nature. Wanting to become more like God, humanity has craved knowledge of everything. Since the seventeenth century, mainstream Western culture has pursued the pathway to Eden’s Recovery by using Christianity, science, technology, and capitalism in concert. That human dominion over nature,


      Western ideas on the perfect landscape have been highly impacted by the Garden of Eden. It was a place that was described as perfect and peaceful. The land provided for Adam and Eve with everything thing they needed. The fall from the garden of Eden created the relationship between man and nature and the content work of trying to control it. The image 1.26 from The Course of Landscape Architecture by Girot shows the image of a walled off garden that is a sanctuary. He refers to it as the garden of Eden because it was a paradise providing shade, fruit, and privacy.

  4. Aug 2020
    1. Relate

      So why are humans drawn to trees as symbols? Is it their growth patterns that interest us or their ability to provide resources for us like shade , food, and building products? Or is the complexity and grandness ?

    2. Human beings by no meaning have exploited forests only materially: they have also plundered its trees in order to forge their fundamental etymologies, symbols, analogies, structures of thoughts, emblems of identity, concepts of continuity, and notions of systems. From the family tree to the tree of knowledge, from the tree of life to the tree of memory, forests have provided an indispensable resource of symbolization in the cultural evolution of human kind. So much so that the modern scientific thinking remains quite unthinkable apart from the prehistory of metaphorical borrowings. Even the concept of the circle comes from the internal centric rings laid bare by the felling of trees (Bechman 258-263).

      This passage brings up how humans use trees ,forests, and landscapes in more than just a physical place or resource . The image of trees have been symbolized throughout cultures. In The Course of Landscape Architecture it is believed the some of the forest clearings and pathways were supposed to be reflective of the tree of life. The symbols of a tree is even very important in the Auburn culture. Some design themes are relevant of the auburn live oaks in design around campus for example the rec, t-shirts, and traditions.