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At the end of the spring semester of 2016/2017, nineteen graduates from the Chair of Landscape Architecture presented their graduation project during the Landscape Graduation Exhibition 2017, including six work-in-progress projects that will be finalized in November 2017. The exhibition in the BK Expo at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment in Delft was fully organized, designed, and constructed by the students during the final exam period. The exhibition displayed a unique look into the Flowscapes graduation studio[1], with a broad global view (students originate from China, Cyprus, Greece, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, and Slovenia) and a diverse display of not just final products, but also work-in-progress and raw working materials. The Flowscapes graduation studio deals with the theme of ‘Infrastructure as Landscape and Landscape as Infrastructure’ and served as a guiding theme to the students in order to explore spatial, societal, and environmental issues through research-by-design, in various context and through all scales. The display of these materials invited visitors to experience this research process for themselves, through seeing, touching, studying and engaging with the materials. Translucent curtains hid a wealthy world of models, sketches and drawings, materials from the design locations, and revealed an exquisite display of film material. The students created the films during the research processes, to help the research on movements and transformation processes and to present the final projects.

The exhibition was officially opened on July 5th, 2017, by Berno Strootman, independent governmental advisor on the physical environment of the Netherlands. With a short lecture on the wordy portfolio of the advisory work, he introduced the visitors to the current major landscape architectonic challenges for spatial design in the Netherlands: energy transition, social care, cities and highways, climate adaptation, declining biodiversity, sponge cities, space for flexibility, soil subsidence, and new forms of agriculture.

According to Berno Strootman, these topics should be addressed with vision and through all scales, combining our knowledge and skills of garden design and the engineered landscape to create new futures.

Together with the audience, Berno Strootman took the time to reflect upon the presented graduation work. The presented work clearly applied the typical Dutch layer approach, with a large diversity of themes. Some projects were more conceptual, even theoretical, other projects showed social engagement. Most projects used strategic concepts involving ecologic, cultural, and societal issues, which were tested on specific sites. All projects adopted the idea of the studio that landscapes are systems. The projects show integrated approaches of green, grey, blue, and urban systems through all scales. Especially the urban focus in the projects is typical for Delft graduates, Berno mentioned. Wishing all graduates good luck for their future, the independent governmental advisor concluded with some essential tips to the young professionals, fully endorsed by staff of the Landscape Architecture Master Track:

  • Organize your tools: know all design software, including GIS
  • Train your design skills (take part in competitions!)
  • Fill your library: read, travel, measure, keep thinking and exploring
  • Work through all scales
  • Work with other designers and other disciplines
  • Go beyond your comfort zone, experiment in maximizing your creativity
  • Train your senses for aesthetic by looking at beautiful things
  • Ensure a good balance between your right (creative) and left (logic) half of the brain
  • Keep looking for inspiring tutors
  • Enjoy what you do; it’s a great field of work!
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Flowscapes graduate students & team 2016 – 2017

Words      dr. ir. Inge Bobbink & Lotte Dijkstra
Images     ir. Ruojing Wu

[1] Please check Flowscapes Graduation Work 2016-2017

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Following up former contributions of the chair of Landscape Architecture/TUDelft to the Oerol Festival we are this year developing our fifth project in the framework of Sense of Place – IOPM.

The 2017 project has just been named; PIN(K) A PLACE – Disclosing Landscape.

This year expedition project focus on Place and Perception and is located in a forest nearby Duinmeertje Hee.

Background and methods used during the design process.

Walking a straight line – immersive method

The first step of the recognition and mapping phase made on site was the introduction of an exercise when the students were asked to walk into the forest for the first time, not in groups but alone and remote from each other by about 30 meters, not using any of the existing paths but starting from the edges of the forest and walking into the forest in a straight line minding and making notes of the deviations – moments when, where and why they were inclined to stop or leave the referential straight line to research the particularities of the forest, coming back to the line after the recognition of a certain particularity continuing their journey along the line till the next moment of deviation happened.

By introducing this linear movement a qualitative recognition of the site was established; obstacles were encountered during the walk; the perception and ‘view’ of the students were drawn by events, objects, atmospheres along the way introducing serendipity into this mapping phase. The experiential dynamic of walking and the sensorial relationship with the site made the students much more aware of the particularities they encounter and the deviations they were inclined to make.

By noting this particularities and encounters a first map of capacities of the site were made. This exercise that was not meant, in principle, to collect hints for the project but be a recognition of what was there, has generated an unexpected affluence of material, perceptions, experiences and is still informing the project in its end phase. Not only the experiences and deviations on site are been inspiring but also the very exercise of walking as a research method, what confirms the importance of been conscious about the ‘steps’ taken during all phases of the design process.

The second step directly related to the walking a straight line exercise was to compare and discuss the experiences in the group trying to find out the way to match them. This phase revealed on one hand the tendency to describe tactile aspects of the site and on the other hand talk about feelings, remembrances, stories related to certain spots along the way, ending in a map overlapping different ephemeral encounters.

The most important conclusion of this brainstorm section, along with that of mapping the individual opinions or making lists of emotions, is the realization that each of us has a personal perception of the landscape. In this sense you could make as many maps and lists as visitors are of the same forest.

What remote back to understandings about place and perception the students had studied in the introductory phase like the Richard Muir’s book Approaches to Landscape where he also refers to another important researcher on subjects related to Place and Perception, Yi Fu Tuan; “In experiencing places, we simultaneously encounter two closely related but different landscapes. The real landscape, the objective one made by soil, vegetation and water. The other is the perceived landscape, consisting of senses and remembrances, a selective impression of what the real landscape is like… When the one departs, the landscape enduring in the memory to be recalled and recounted will be the one founded on perceptions, not the real landscape”(Muir, 1999).

Curation or the many authors approach / participatory research

Following up the above mention conclusion the design process stepped into two main directions; one searching for ways to give the visitor pre-defined experiences by introducing a narrative, or tools to enlarge existing features of the site. This projects refer to installations with a certain degree of interaction aiming to focus the perception of the visitor into specific aspects of the forest playing with the senses or giving to the visitors a different role than the one they are used to. A few examples of this approach are; marking the relief and high differences of the old dunes, or by amplifying sounds and views present in the forest, or using natural material available, or reporting the visitors to former ages of the same landscape.

The other direction searches for a more interactive approach where the user/visitor of the forest is a co-author and an integrative part of a research like project. This approach relates to more recently ‘bottom-up’ investigative strategies emerging as an attempt to offer a different form of analyses than the factual or theoretical one. In this sense the project has not one author but is a result of an overlapping of uncountable authors. In a curatorial way of doing research, the intention is to build a database of perceptions together with the visitors of the project stepping aside of the role as dominant creators and establishing a framework wherein the interaction can happen.

The above mentioned is a result of a process which took about three weeks of intensive search for a concept. In this design phase the students were shift several time under the different ideas. In principle the ideas remained, what changed were the students working on them, depending on their own interest. In such way some ideas were developed further, others were revaluated creating a groups cohesion where everyone can now identified with the end result. This way of work helps to reach high level concepts generating a massive amount of ideas, all of them somehow being part of the final project.

Final Project

PIN(K) A PLACE – Disclosing Landscape

Pin(k) a place is the final project, still in development, which will be built during the Oerol Festival, from 09 till 19 June.

Pin(k) a Place is a project that operates on the surface of the forest, overlapping the existing landscape without deleting or modifying it substantially. It is a project which has as premise to be reversible, impermanent but at the same time tries to provoke reactions, tries to choreograph a relationship in between the visitor and the landscape they are in. Its intention is the creation of a meaningful place by introducing icons to the landscape and engaging the user physically and emotionally. Its intention is also to be an interactive research of people’s perception of this landscape, to understand and document what is in there people feel the most attach to. Therefore the project opens a conversation with the visitor, stimulate their participation, mapping it and build a collectively authored archive of perceptions.

Literature and studies used to develop the mentioned exercises and phases are, for example: studies and experiments e.g. made by Ellen Braae trying to capture site-specific qualities of a site (Braae et al., 2013), Cosgrove considerations about maps and mapping in Mapping (Cosgrove, 1999), Land Art projects in which the act of walk becomes an artwork in Walkscapes (Careri, 2002), Richard Muir’s definition of a Place in Approaches to Landscape (Muir, 1999), Yi-Fu Tuan seminal books – Place and Space (19077) and Topophilia(1972), Ed Wall essay on an method how to create an interactive cartography (Wall, 2017).

Students Oerol 2017 – Bella Bluemink, Eva Ventura, Eva Willemsen, Federica Sanchez, Ge Hong, Ilya Tasioula, Jan Gerk de Boer, Joey Liang, Lukas Kropp, Maël Vanhelsuwé, Maximilian Einert, Michelle Siemerink, Qingyun Lin, Timothy Radhitya Djagiri, Yao Lu. Coordination and tutoring Oerol 2017 – Denise Piccinini and Rene van der Velde

 More information about our project?

Visit our website (still under construction) https://iopm2017.wordpress.com/

 

 

On the 22nd of november the Landscape Architecture master students went on another of many adventures. This time, the path led to Holwerd, a historical village in Friesland on the coast of the dynamic and beautiful Wadden Sea and to the island on the other side, Ameland.

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Being the biggest tidal area of the world, the Wadden Sea is one of Holland’s prides showing an intriguing interplay of nature’s power and man’s whit. With its rich ecology and its captivating views, the area earned its World Heritage title. And upon experiencing the site, we could all agree.

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Poetry was written all over our two day trip as we drifted away from our student life in Delft and wandered into the lives of ecologists, birdwatchers, the inhabitants of Holwerd and Ameland and the ferry captains. We saw both natures beauty in the astonishing sunset sky, the dancing bird formations and the foggy dunes in the morning light and man’s whit in the terps of Holwerd, the abstract line of the dikes and openness of the polders. When we looked up to the night sky, it was the first time in a while that we could see the stars and when we climbed up to the panorama deck on the ferry, the Wadden Sea showed off its looks presenting the tidal flats.

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It is safe to say that the Wadden Sea area is unique and that hopefully, the next adventure will bring us to another place like this.

Eva Ventura

The new masters students of Landscape Architecture embarked upon the first of, what will soon be, many adventures studying the diverse dutch landscape. The first excursion took the students south from Delft and into the beautiful landscape of Limburg.

Limburg offered an entirely different view of the dutch landscape, rolling hills and vineyards were the main characteristic. Created by the terraced plateaus formed by the river Meuse; this was a Netherlands very different from the flat polders of south holland and one which most of the students had not seen before.

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But this was also an area in which the students could see mans forceful affect on our environment; that being in the old limestone quarries of Limburg. Now, that the quarry sites are closed, nature has taken over and this unique space was a peaceful setting of plants and wildlife. But most interestingly for the students to see were the bounding steep walls of rock which show the geomorphology of the space; layers of strata freezing the landscapes’ formation through time.

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Of course, the only way to really understand the landscape is to delve into and experience it; thus ensued two jam-packed days of exploring from the apex of the plateau to the lows of the quarry, through the small villages, chateaus, vineyards and even a quick wave to Belgium. From tumbling down the steep quarry sides to wet hair flips in the lakes; the only way to learn the landscape is to be in it!

Jade Appleton

Routes are important operative structures in landscape architecture because they play a crucial role in mediating or facilitating the use and reception of (designed) landscapes. Routes are the ‘silent guides of the stroller’ and facilitate the primordial act of walking as an aesthetic and social practice. The shape of a walk refers not only to the formal aspects of routing such as the tracing and gradient of the routes, but also to the landscape space as people perceive it. This perceptual space indicates the visual reality, the sensorial experience that emerges only by bodily movement and is affected by topological, physical, social, and psychological conditions. The psychologist Kurt Lewin proposed in 1934 the term Hodological Space to describe these factual conditions a person is faced with on its way (‘Hodos’, a Greek word meaning ‘way’). The psychogeographical maps of Guy Debord in the 1950’s and Hans Dieter Schaal in the late 1970’s are inspiring attempts to visualize perceptual space.

 

Psychogeographical mapping of hodological space (drawing by Hans Dieter Schaal, 1978)

Mapping hodological space (drawing by Hans Dieter Schaal, 1978)

 

Visual perception and kinaesthesia

The shape of a walk as a concept connects visual perception to the ‘sense of movement’ or kinaesthesia. In traditional Asian culture it is common to link visual perception with movement as exemplified by the Chinese character for ‘to see’ 見 in which the upper part symbolises the eye 目and the lower part symbolises the feet of a person 儿. Kinaesthetic experience involves several sensory channels for an active participation with the spatial environment. The brain integrates information from proprioception and the vestibular system into its overall sense of body position, movement, and acceleration, which is important for spatial orientation as described by the neuroscientist Alain Berthoz.

Bodily sensation and muscle movement are thus closely related to visual perception. As James Gibson elaborates in his seminal work ‘The ecological approach to visual perception’: “Locomotion is guided by visual perception. Not only does it depend on perception but perception depends on locomotion inasmuch as a moving point of observation is necessary for any adequate acquaintance with the environment. So we must perceive in order to move, but we must also move in order to perceive.” The shape of a walk is therefore determined by a kinaesthetic experience of the designed landscape where visual perception is inherently connected to one’s abilities and possibilities for movement offered by the design.

 

Bodily sensation and muscle movement are closely related to visual perception (photos by Eadweard Muybridge, 1887)

Bodily sensation and muscle movement are closely related to visual perception (photos by Eadweard Muybridge, 1887)

 

Walking as field of study in landscape architecture

The shape of the walk is thus of crucial importance in landscape architecture because it is not possible to perceive space without movement of the eye, head and body. It determines the tactile and kinaesthetic experience and is the means to organise the visual logic of a site by directing the individual’s gaze at views or focal points and their sequence. From this follows that the shape of a walk is an important unifying and structural principle in landscape design and the discovery of landscape from past to present. According to the garden theorist and historian Erik A. de Jong it must be considered the hinge that steered more than anything else the changing options for use, experience, and design and contributed fundamentally to both personal and cultural developments.

From this perspective the shape of a walk becomes a highly relevant field of study in landscape architecture. Not only in the sense that it addresses the phenomenological dimensions of landscape as proposed by the sociologist Lucius Burckhardt with his Science of Strolling (called: Strollology or Promenadology), or that it offers an alternative approach to landscape design that integrates intense space perception, encourages intuition and supports organization as elaborated by landscape architects such as Henrik Schultz and Günther Voght. The shape of a walk is also an important container of design knowledge available for systematic exploration, description and classification. It is an invaluable source of design principles that effectively shape the relation between formal space (‘space of coordinates’) and perceptual space. Studying the shape of a walk can help landscape architects to get a grip on space as perceived from eye-level, kinaesthetic aspects, wayfinding, and the phenomenology of landscape in order to become tools for landscape design.

GIS-based analysis of the shape of the walk at Stourhead Landscape garden combining height gradient, visible features and light and shade along the route (analysis by Steffen Nijhuis, 2015)

GIS-based analysis of the shape of the walk at Stourhead Landscape garden combining height gradient, visible features and light and shade along the route (analysis by Steffen Nijhuis, 2015)

The material as discussed above is excerpted from: Nijhuis, S. (2015) GIS-based landscape design research. Stourhead landscape garden as a case study. Delft, A+BE. http://dx.doi.org/10.7480/abe.2015.13 or http://repository.tudelft.nl/view/ir/uuid:74854bbb-1843-4b73-9214-040e8c64384c/

From November 5 up to and including November 19, 2015 the Institute of Poldering shows in BK-expo. At the opening event a booklet with the results of the course has been presented. The booklet can also be downloaded as pdf from TU Delft Repository. An impression of the ‘AR0048 – Landscape architecture ON site’ projects can be found on the dedicated website IOPM.

The opening event November 5:

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An impression of the exhibition:

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All photos made by Boya Zhang.

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‘Institute of Poldering – Landscape under construction’ is a project produced by students of the Faculty of Architecture for the Expedition program of Oerol 2015, Terschelling.1

The chair of Landscape Architecture of the Faculty of Architecture and Oerol have worked together for a couple of years already on the theme ‘Sense of Place’ of Oerol . This year the theme was enriched by a cooperation with Bird Life Netherlands in the project ‘Polderpracht Terschelling’.Other important themes are coastal dynamics and climate change. But first of all it is a study project in which 15 students of different disciplines learn about the Dutch landscape and landscape design from a scientific background.

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Due to the nature of the project, the group also learns how to cooperate, plan, realise and present a design project for 5000 visitors, and about fields related to an artistic project like visual arts and theatre. Teamwork and individual work are used together to generate a range of ideas. In the 2nd half of the project the emphasis is on teamwork and making choices that everyone can agree with.

For Birds-I-View three main themes have been put forward: meadow birds, the Terschelling Polder and climate change. To highlight all aspects as balanced as possible, we followed two tracks: the Oerol project, an artistic, interactive installation that communicates an idea or vision on meadow bird related issues, as well as examining the landscape of the Terschellinger Polder and create a design for it. Both tracks run parallel and influence and enrich each other.

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Within the course, the role of individual students has been re-defined continuously in order to have the maximum of knowledge and skills of individual group members available for the team. This group work represents the situation where the designer operates in, a multidisciplinary team trying to agree on goals and how to achieve them. Learning to discuss ideas in a constructive spirit is essential in this process; looking for similarities rather than differences, possibilities instead of limitations.

The result is a project that evaluates the human impact on nature, but also interdependencies between humans and nature. We see the landscape of the island as a large construction site, where man in the course of centuries has modified nature through various interventions, creating a constructed landscape, with positive and negative consequences. Meadow birds are attracted to the agricultural grassland habitat in the polder made by man , and now that they are there, we have a responsibility for them. Do we continue with profit maximization at the expense of meadow birds, or do we protect them at the expense of our profit? A question regarding the future is linked to this; do we prevent the polder from getting lost for agriculture by sea level rise and salinization, also causing grassland birds to disappear? And in what way?

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With these ingredients the group conceived a dynamic structure, which deformed and moved under the influence of choices visitors made and where they during participation in the transformation process gained insight into their choices and the consequences for their environment.

Oerol took place from June 12-22 2015. More images and videos can be watched at the IOPM website

Invitation

The chair of Landscape Architecture of the TU Delft cordially invites you for the opening of the exhibition ‘Institute of Poldering’ on Thursday, November 5, 2015, where we will look back at the project and forward to the next move.

We will also proudly present a booklet describing the project, from the first steps on Terschelling to gathering information, discussion, generating design ideas, realisation and running the project.

Programme

The exhibiton takes place in BK expo, the exhibition space of the Faculty of Architecture in the east wing.

17.00 BK expo open

17:30 Speech and opening

18.00 Drinks

Please RSVP with number of attendees to: Margo van der Helm | j.m.vanderhelm@tudelft.nl | telephone +31 15 27 81298

Address: Faculty of Architecture TU Delft | Julianalaan 134 | 2628 BL Delft

The exhibition can be visited from November 5 – 19, 2015 during regular business hours.


  1. This text has been published before in Bnieuws 09 2014 2015, http://issuu.com/bnieuws/docs/bnieuws_09_2014_2015