1st Edition

Arcadia Updated
Raising landscape awareness through analytical narratives

ISBN 9781138496941
Published October 10, 2018 by Routledge
162 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Arcadia Updated delves into the concept of landscape as it is shaped by the literary tradition and material works known as pastoral. Referring to several of the tradition’s works as well as scholarly critiques, Fiskevold and Geelmuyden highlight how individual landscape perception is primarily a cultural construct: each individual may see a unique landscape based on personal experiences, but simultaneously, landscape represents a tradition of engaging with nature and land, which has been largely forgotten. In re-engaging and connecting the practice of understanding landscapes with the pastoral tradition, the authors establish a common ground for treating landscape as an object of analysis in landscape planning. Arcadia Updated contributes to the methodological debate concerning landscape character assessment.

Including 30 black-and-white images, this book analyses how humans engage with land organically, materially and communicatively. It seeks to raise landscape awareness as both an individual and a collective act of imagination. The practice of analysing landscapes is an ongoing culture of reinterpreting the land as landscape in response to society’s development and technical progress. The role of the landscape analyst is to interpret the contemporary world and offer visual explanations of it.

This book will be beneficial to professional landscape planners as well as to academics and students of landscape, literature and cultural studies. It provides an essential contribution to the cross-disciplinarity of the landscape discourse.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: Reinterpreting Landscapes in an Evolving World 

2. The Pastoral Tradition as Inherited Motives 

3. From Classical Pastorals to Pastoral Landscapes: Rebirth of the Landscape Idea Through Analytical Narration 

4. Instances of Pastoral Motivation in Contemporary Landscape Analytical Practice 

5. Articulating Analytical Narratives of Contemporary Pastoral Landscapes 

6. The Landscape Analyst’s Pastoral Action 


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Marius Fiskevold received a Cand. Agric. in landscape architecture from the Agricultural University of Norway in 1998. He worked as a landscape designer and planner for a number of consulting companies for 10 years before starting a PhD study, which he finished in 2012 with a thesis entitled "The road as will and representation: landscape analysis and aesthetic experience". In addition to his work as a landscape architect and planner, he draws heavily on his long experience with and passion for landscape photography. All the original photographs in this book are his. He now works as a landscape architect at Sweco Norge AS and as an assistant professor at the School of Landscape Architecture at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

Anne Katrine Geelmuyden received a Cand. Agric. in landscape architecture from the Agricultural University of Norway in 1982. She gained a PhD from the same university in 1989 with a thesis entitled "Landscape experience and landscape: ideology or critique of ideology?", an early example of the social constructivist approach in landscape studies, at least within landscape architecture. She works as a professor at NMBU, where she heads the programme board at the School of Landscape Architecture. Her research focuses on the conceptualisation of landscape, landscape aesthetics and landscape criticism.


"In an era where connections to landscape are being disciplined into increasingly positivist frames, Arcadia Updated offers a lifeline. Fiskevold and Geelmuyden present a vivid reminder of the place of the imagination in the analysis of landscapes, as well as the welcome resuscitation of the concept of narrative. Theoretically rich, and well-supported by a range of case studies, this book has broad appeal for landscape architects and planners from both academic and practice perspectives."

Jacky Bowring, Lincoln University, New Zealand