International Conference of Landscape Architecture
Not in My Backyard
Adventures into the profoundly frightening, deeply uncertain and yet somehow incredibly optimistic landscapes of the 21st century
At the same time that the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, the International Commission on Stratigraphy is expected to formally announce the dawn of the Anthropocene Epoch: a new geological period defined by the fact that the earth’s systems are now fundamentally determined by human activity. The philosophical and practical consequences couldn't be greater: in short, nature is no longer that ever-providing thing ‘out there’, it is, for better or worse, something we are creating. The landscape of the Anthropocene is a cultural landscape and thereforea question of design.
The underlying proposition of this conference is that the major dynamics of the Anthropocene—global urbanisation and climate change—are, at root, landscape architectural in nature. They are interrelated issues to which landscape architects can in theory, and increasingly in practice, uniquely apply both scientific knowledge and artistic imagination.
Organised around the sub-sections of New Views, New Cities, New Natures, New Stories, New Signs, New Techniques, and New Practices the conference asks how design intelligence can be more effectively applied to the major challenges of the times. Bringing together landscape architects, planners, architects and artists the ‘Not in My Backyard’ festival celebrates the 50th anniversary of landscape architecture in Australia by acknowledging what has been achieved and, more importantly, by asking what can be achieved. The festival’s overarching proposition and the bold claim around which our conversations will revolve is thatthis is landscape architecture’s century.
The conference begins with two keynotes, and is thereafter structured around seven thematic panels over two days. They are;
New Views -curated by Dr Helen Armstrong AM Emeritus-Professor in Landscape Architecture at QUT and offers an historical account of the achievements of landscape architecture in the last 50 years in Australia and examines the relevance of this history to the future.
New Natures -curated by Deakin University lecturer and media commentator Josh Zeunert and concerns the state of the nation’s ecosystems and challenges landscape architects to scale up and reconceptualize design and planning in the denatured conditions of the Anthropocene.
New Cities- curated by Dr Julian Bolleter from the Perth based Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) and sets out the big challenges facing Australian cities in the 21stcentury and offers speculations and strategies as to how to improve their ecological, economic and social performance.
New Stories- curated by eminent author and artist Professor Paul Carter and explores how designers manifest new senses of post-colonial place in a range of media. Carter challenges landscape architects to think more deeply and more critically about how they create places.
New Signs- curated by Melbourne architect and critic Mark Raggatt and explores perceptions of space and time in contemporary design culture highlighting the importance of subversive tactics, intellectual risk, formal experimentation and symbolism.
New Techniques -curated by Dr Jillian Walliss of Melbourne University and examines the ways in which rapidly evolving digital technologies are opening opportunities for landscape architects to engage more creatively with complex systems.
New Practices- curated by Dr Sue Anne Ware, Dean of the School of Architecture at Newcastle University and concerns ways in which designers engage communities and relate to power. Ware questions the notion of the designer as activist and considers new ways of working.
Supplementing the core program of the seven themes will be;
A global short film competition titled Anthroposcene is now confirmed – see here for all details (with AUD$10K prize money).