To Design Landscape
Art, Nature & Utility
Routledge – 2012 – 270 pages
To Design Landscape sets out a distinctively practical philosophy of design, in accessible format. Based on the notion that landscape design is a form-based craft addressing environmental processes and utility, Dee establishes a framework for approaching such craft with modesty and ingenuity, using the concept of "aesthetics of thrift".
Employing numerous case studies-as diverse as Hellerup Rose Garden in Denmark; Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, USA; Rousham Gardens, Oxfordshire, UK and Tofuku-ji, in Kyoto, Japan - to illustrate her ideas, the book is a beautiful portfolio of Dee's drawings, which are both evocative and to the point.
The book begins with a 'Foundations' section, which sets out the basis of the approach. 'Principles' chapters then elaborate eleven significant considerations applicable to any design project, regardless of context and scale. Following on, 'Strategies' chapters reinforce the principles, and suggest further ways of designing, adaptable to different conditions. Dee ends with a focus on 'Elements', case studies and verb lists providing sources for the designer to consider how the components - vegetation, water, terrain, structures, soils, weather, and the sky - might be engaged, mediated and joined.
Catherine Dee’s book is for all those who would craft landscape, from the gardener, to the professional landscape architect, to the student of design
Part 1: To Design Landscape 1. The designed landscape 2. Craft 3. Form and Formlessness 4. The Aesthetics of Thrift: Art, Nature and Utility Part 2: Principles 5. Sculpting Time 6. All Possible Forms 7. Nature, Culture, Both 8. Soft, Rock-hard, and Evergreen Time 9. Elemental Register 10. Hand and Machine 11. Modesty and Ingenuity as Art 12. Economy of Means 13. Utilitarian Form 14. Context is All 15. Raking Part 3: Strategies 16. Abstraction 17. Hardly 18. Intervention 19. Keep 20. Absence 21. Lucky 22. Interplay Part 4: Actions 23. Survey 24. Indoor Craft 25. Outdoor Craft Part 5: Elements 26. Green 27. Terrain 28. Wet 29. Furnish 30. Dirty, Rotten 31. Wind 32. Sky
Catherine Dee trained in fine art before studying landscape architecture, and today practises both. She is author of Form and Fabric in Landscape Architecture: a visual introduction (Routledge 2001) and several articles on the relationship between design, drawing and art. She is a founding editor of the Journal of Landscape Architecture (JoLA) (2006) and creator of its peer-reviewed visual essay section ‘Thinking Eye’. A highly regarded design teacher, she holds an academic post in the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield, UK.