HDYL? lecture

In October 2017 Professor Richard Weller from University of Pennsylvania visited our faculty. He gave a lecture titled “Atlas for the End of the World” as part of the How do you landscape? (HDYL?) lecture series, attracting a large audience.


Professor Richard Weller’s lecture in the Berlage Zaal of BK City, TU Delft.
Photographs by Timothy Djagiri

The lecture revolved around Weller’s approach in practice and research and how his thinking on landscape architecture evolves throughout his career. In the second part of his lecture he discussed issues and conflicts of the Anthropocene age. The research on this topic focuses on the relation of urbanisation and the left-over space for biological hotspots and can be explored more deeply on the website,

In his lecture, Richard Weller argues that landscape architecture is not scenic. On the small scale, landscape architecture uses metaphors and symbolisms as agency, on the larger scale the discipline utilises landscape structures and systems. The lecture progresses through scales from garden to megaregions, and beyond. He criticises pastoral representations, the cultural dualism of his home country Australia, as well as the economic driven horizontal urbanisation extensions in the new worlds, e.g. United States and Australia.
The larger scale of the city presents the discourse of landscape architecture, called landscape urbanism, which to put it simply can be understood as landscape structure defining the urban form. The discourse presents the conflict of the regional scale in terms of threatened biodiversity as a result of horizontal growth of cities. He argues the necessity of landscape architecture as a discipline to “guide” future developments and urbanisations through protecting, allocating and designing green superstructures based on landscape structure and its ecology. All to make sure that the impact of new developments on biodiversity is minimised. He concluded his lecture by presenting future scenarios for Australia’s megaregions where new high density satellite cities are connected with each other by high speed trains which run through ecologically preserved areas. Following this quick run through the scales, he dissects the contemporary conflicts and challenges in terms of land use and processes of urbanisation which leads into his second part of the lecture.

Protected ecological regions of the world.

Biological hotspots atlas.

In the second part, he presented the research project ‘Atlas for the End of the World’. The domination of agriculture to fulfill the world’s demand on food and the growing urbanisation due to population growth presented as the main argument for the loss of biodiversity. The growth of the world population, 3 billion people before 2100, would mean that 357 cities with the size of New York needs to be constructed in the next 80 years. He visualises these tendencies through the mapping of the threaten biological hotpots on the world map. Superimposed with the projection of Anthropogenic growth, the atlas presents flashpoints of human growth and biodiversity. Most of the cities that are growing around the world are on a collision course with unique biological hotspots. Most of them are situated in developing 3rd world countries which are less conscious in regard to protecting biodiversity, and integrated planning. Furthermore, this concern has become a bumpy road within the United Nations which so far has achieved to protect 15.3% of the world surface as protected ecological regions. The question Wellers ask is: How can we as landscape architects respond to this challenge? He criticises the missing interest of landscape architecture schools in the proximity of these biological hotspots and the involvement of the discipline in general. At the University of Pennsylvania, the department of landscape architecture has developed several research projects at these hotspots in cooperation with local authorities and stakeholders. Therefore, in conclusion, he promotes the idea of humans as active agents for landscape restoration in response to the challenges of the Anthropocene on a planetary scale.

The day after the lecture Richard Weller joined the MSc3 studio where our graduates presented their very first ideas on their individual graduation project within the theme of FLOWSCAPE. Our diverse group of international students presented their fascination for the flow-research by addressing projects situated all over the world. Richard was impressed by the diversity and first investigations. His comments are very helpful and stimulating. Hopefully within the theme of FLOWSCAPE we will take into account some of the very pressures arguments of Richard Wellers research in order to keep biodiversity as part of the richness and endless transforming treasure of flows on earth. If not we, landscape architects, who else can intergrate existing or activate new biological hotspots as a vital part of space for all species including us.

Written by: Timothy Djagiri and Inge Bobbink

The chair of Landscape Architecture invites you to a new colloquium series in the How-Do-You-Landscape sessions entitled “SCAPES”. This series focusses on urgent and emerging themes for spatial design, such as disasters and emergencies, co-creation, social justice and new technology. We invite leading academics and practitioners with contrasting or complementary views to speak about their work in an informal setting. The presentations are followed by a discussion chaired by an academic from the faculty. A screening of a film or documentary on the same topic follows up the lectures in the weeks following.

The second theme in the new series is Road-Scapes, and explores the past and future role of infrastructure in shaping the conceptions and transformations of natural, rural and urban landscapes. Timothy Davis, architectural historian for the American National Parks Authority will speak about his research on the design of roads in U.S. National Parks and their influence on ideas of nature, recreation and technology in American society.  Stefan Bendix, urbanist and founder of Artgineering, will speak on his work on cycle infrastructures as a tool for spatial and socio-economic development in contemporary urban environments. The relationship between past and future infrastructure forms a central thematic for the colloquium, which concludes with a discussion between these two speakers and moderator René van der Velde, associate professor in landscape architecture. The presentations and discussion are intended to reveal critical themes and principles for landscape architects and urban planners on this most fundamental of spatial design and development instruments.

Tim Davis – Park Roads                  Park roads have been celebrated as technical and aesthetic masterpieces, hailed as democratizing influences, and vilified for invading pristine wilderness with the sights, sounds, and smells of civilization. Davis’ research traces the role of motorists, wilderness advocates, highway engineers and landscape architects in shaping these infrastructures, offering a new perspective on national park history and providing insights into evolving ideas about the role of nature, recreation, and technology in American society.

Tim Davis is a historian for the U.S. National Park Service. His writings on parks, parkways, and other aspects of the American landscape have appeared in Landscape Journal, Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes, and America’s National Park Roads and Parkways. He has taught courses on landscape history, theory and preservation at the University of Texas, the University of Maryland, and the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in Decorative Arts, Design and Culture. He received his  degree in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College and a PhD in Americ
an Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. poster-roadscapes-stefan-bendiks

Stefan Bendiks – Cycle infrastructure                  The planning and design of infrastructure in urban and peri-urban contexts is an increasingly critical task. Stefan will present research and praxis projects by the office that explores the phenomenon of the route and the role of infrastructure in the spatial and social development of territories. Recent research and a publication on cycle infrastructure by the office will form the main body of the talk, a comparative study of 10 long-distance cycleways, their planning and design characteristics, and their impact on aspects such as socio-economic development, experience and mobility patterns.

Stefan Bendiks is director of the office Artgineering, an office for urbanism based in Rotterdam and Brussels. He devises and implements design strategies for complex (inter)urban conditions with particular attention to the role of infrastructure. In various research and design projects, he re-interprets the relationship between mobility, landscape and urban development. The work of Artgineering has won various awards and prizes such as Europan, the Karl-Hofer Award of the UdK Berlin and a Bauhaus Award nomination.poster-roadscapes-stefan-bendiks2

To close this semester two exceptional How Do You Landscape? lectures are coming up next week:

jorge luis borges self portrait 1wszmgb

Self Portrait by Jorge Luis Borges from ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’, 1941 (Source )

Dr. Klaske Havik is a associate professor of Architecture, Methods and Analysis at TU Delft. She studied architecture with specialization landscape in Delft and Helsinki, and literary writing in Amsterdam. At Delft University of Technology, she teaches and develops master diploma studios as well as courses in experimental research and design techniques, focusing specifically on creative writing. Her book ‘Urban Literacy, Reading and Writing Architecture’ (Delft 2014) proposes a literary approach to architecture and urban planners. Havik is one of the initiators and contributors of the blog, and of the 2nd international conference on Architecture and Fiction: ‘Writingplace. Literary methods in Architectural Research and Design’ (Delft 2013). Klaske Havik writes regularly for architectural and literary magazines in the Netherlands and Nordic countries and is an editor of OASE, Journal for architecture. This January Architectenweb awarded her as ‘Architect of the Year 2014’ in the category “Small” for her research work.

In her lecture, she will argue that literary writing offers fruitful and productive methods for landscape research and design. The gaze of the literary writers provides ways to address seemingly opposite notions such as subject and object, author and reader, reality and imagination. Indeed, literature deals almost by definition with subjective experience and may give objects and places identity; it experiments with the interactivity between the writer who initiates a story and the reader who co-produces it; it balances between a given reality and the imagination of other possible situations.

Using the three ‘scriptive’ perspectives of ‘Urban Literacy’, ‘Terristories’ as an interdisciplinary approach, connects architectural and landscape design to literary techniques in order to achieve site-specific, sustainable development strategies. ‘Terristories’ build awareness of the sources of the earth (‘terri’tory) to literary instruments (‘stories’). A story uses narrative and fiction to connect activities and events to the spatial setting of the territory.


Sketches by Lisa Diedrich form ‘Translating Harbourscapes’, 2013 (Source )

Prof. Dr. Lisa Diedrich is a professor of landscape architecture at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp, Malmö. She studied architecture and urbanism in Paris, Marseille and Stuttgart, science journalism in Berlin, and landscape architecture at the University of Copenhagen, where she received her doctoral degree. Since 1993, she has been running her own office in Munich, working as consultant and critic, and since 2006 as editor-in-chief of the book series ‘Landscape Architecture Europe’ ( ‘Fieldwork – On Site – In Touch – On the Move’ ) and of ’scape the international magazine for landscape architecture and urbanism’. From 1993 to 2000 she was also an editor of Topos European Landscape Magazine. From 2000 to 2006 she worked as personal consultant to Munich’s chief architect at the city’s public construction department. Since 2007 she has been dedicating her career to academia, teaching and researching in the field of contemporary European landscape architecture for universities in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Norway, Denmark and Australia.

Her thesis ‘Translating Harbourscapes’ (Copenhagen 2013) investigates site-specific design approaches in contemporary harbour transformation. The integration into the urban fabric of disused harbour areas, those spatial leftovers of late 19th- and 20th-century heavy industry, is a major task of contemporary urban planning.

This thesis explores new site-specific ways to transform harbours, where certain design approaches integrate the site into the urban fabric by making use of that which already exists on a harbour site.

Among other European design projects she scrutinised the Port’s Visual Quality Programme in Rotterdam. Game rules for site-specific design are proposed for all actors involved in harbour transformation. The study introduces translation as a powerful metaphor for the way existing qualities of a site can be transformed, rather than erased or rewritten, to foster new design ideas for old harbours.

26.06.2015 16h00 –18 h00

Public lectures, free entrance

TU Delft Faculty of Architecture, building 8 – Julianalaan 134

Room 02 west 600, Landscape Architecture Studio

Our next couple of How Do You Landscape? lectures is again framed by the subject ‘Urban by Nature’. 2014 is the summer of the the International Architecture Biennale IABR ‘URBAN BY NATURE’, curated by the Prof. Dirk Sijmons, the chair of Landscape Architecture at TU Delft. With the focus of ‘How do You Landscape?’ we aim to bring the new perspective of IABR 2014 into the context of Delft design studios of Landscape Architecture and the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment in general, but also widen the debate to our guests and visitors.

The URBAN BY NATURE Biennale starts from a different idea about the relationship between urban society and nature. We look back at its rich history, in which, from the beginning of urbanisation, natural elements and gardens have been part of the city. We see the affectionate and mediated relationships between city and nature that led to gardens, urban arcadia, the establishment of parks and the idea of nature conservancy. We investigate how these rich sources of inspiration can inspire the making of the city today.

Image tapestry metropolis of Brabant LOLA, Architecture Workroom and Floris Alkemade source:

Cees van der Veeken is a Landscape architect and teacher at the Academie van Bouwkunst Amsterdam. Together with Eric-Jan Pleijster and Peter Veenstra – all graduated from Wageningen UR – he founded LOLA landscape Architects in Rotterdam. In 2006 they started their office to strive for ‘progressive landscape architecture’.

LOLA stands for LOst LAndscapes and wants to bring new life to forgotten, worn-out and changing landscapes. In doing so, LOLA has an optimistic and conceptual approach, as well as a fascination for new spatial phenomena. They approach space with surprising ideas and inventive actions, that are nevertheless based on careful research and lead to elaborate designs.

LOLA won multiple design competitions and awards, amongst them Europan 8 for Portugal, the EO Wijers competition and the Delta Water Award. As a Winner of the illustrious Maaskant Price for Architecture of the City of Rotterdam in 2013, they published their first book ’Lost Landscapes‘. The jury praised their work for a ‘contagious new romanticism that puts human experience into the centre,’ giving ‘form to sublime experiences in the city and in the landscape. They combine knowledge about large scale ecosystems with their own approach to space.’*

For the Biennale Rotterdam LOLA produced a vision for the tapestry metropolis of Brabant, in collaboration with Architecture Workroom and Floris Alkemade, that will be exhibited on the top floor of the Kunsthal, curated by Dirk Sijmons.

In his How do You Landscape? Lecture Cees van der Veeken is going to elaborate on the need for process vs. project from a designer’s perspective.

Marc Treib is Professor of Architecture Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley and holds degrees in architecture and design.

For nearly four decades, he has taught design studios, lecture courses on Japanese architecture and gardens, and graduate seminars on specialised topics including landscape architecture, criticism, art, and modern Scandinavian architecture. Over the last twenty years his writing has centred on landscape architecture, questions of regionalism, and the intersection of architecture, art, and landscape design.

He is author, co-author, or editor of excellent studies of designers such as Eliel Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, Garrett Eckbo, Le Corbusier, Edgard Varèse, Louis Barragán, and William Wurster. His valuable anthologies have made important contributions to contemporary landscape architecture theory: for example, ‘Modern Landscape Architecture: A Critical Review’ (1994), ‘Representing Landscape Architecture’ (2007), ‘Drawing/Thinking: Confronting an Electronic Age’ (2008), ‘Spatial Recall: Memory in Architecture and Landscape’ (2009), and most recently ‘Meaning in Landscape Architecture and Gardens’ (2011).

Honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowships, American Academy in Rome Fellowship, ASLA Honor Awards, and Best Exhibition Publication Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. For over a decade he served as contributing editor for Print, the American graphic design magazine, as well as on the Board of Senior Fellows at the Dumbarton Oaks Program in Garden and Landscape Studies; and on the editorial boards of Design Issues; l; Places; Design Book Review; Journal of Garden History, Garden History, Journal of Landscape Architecture, and Landscape Research.

Marc Treib is a guest at our faculty as an opponent to Saskia de Wit’s PhD defense “Hidden Landscapes: The Metropolitan Garden and the Genius loci” the day before this lecture.

In his How do You Landscape? lecture Marc Treib will elaborate on the need for project vs. process in landscape architecture from a critic’s perspective.

17.6.2014 16h00 – ca. 18h00
public lecture, free Entrance
at Landscape Architecture Studio 01west550
TU Delft Faculty of Architecture
Building 8 – Julianalaan 134

Sources Cees van der Veeken

Sources Marc Treib

Urban by Nature
Curator Dirk Sijmons’ statement: