More and more our society is drawn to experience and understand the world around us as spectacle – consumable and pleasurable, dramatic and superficial, speculative and temporary; image obsessed. At the same time, we are threatened with the collapse of ecosystems, critical to the survival and vitality of communities and cultures. Yet acting on this threat requires depth of systems thinking and practice and an appreciation of prolonged time, large scales and broad context.
Landscape architects are skilled in these modes of thought and practice – how can we better move between image making and contextual reality? Is our focus on spectacle obscuring our vision and reducing our capacity to act in response to collapse?
Under the influence of globalisation, digitalisation, increasing mobility and social expectations, people are drawn to a perpetual search for new experiences.
To understand, relinquish, restore, and reinvent are paramount to landscape architectural research and design process in order to explore new social, economic, cultural and ecological frameworks. Landscapes are regenerated to suit local demand, abandoned landscapes are reclaimed and connections to local systems are reinvented.
As landscape architects, can we position ourselves to negotiate with and re-imagine a world at risk of collapse, to see through the spectacle and work beyond its limits?