Landscape and Agency explores how landscape, as an idea, a visual medium and a design practice, is organized, appropriated and framed in the transformation of places, from the local to the global. It highlights how the development of the idea of agency in landscape theory and practice can fundamentally change our engagement with future landscapes. Including a wide range of international contributions, each illustrated chapter investigates the many ways in which the relationship between the ideas and practices of landscape, and social and subjective formations and material processes, are invested with agency. They critically examine the role of landscape in processes of contemporary urban development, environmental debate and political agendas and explore how these relations can be analysed and rethought through a dialogue between theory and practice.
Table of Contents
Ed Wall and Tim Waterman
Chapter 1: Landscapes of Post-History
Chapter 2: Reciprocal Landscapes: Material Portraits in New York City and Elsewhere
Chapter 3: Agency, Advocacy, Vocabulary: Three Landscape Projects
Chapter 4: The Law is at Fault? Landscape Rights and ‘Agency’ in International Law
Chapter 5: How to Live in a Jungle: the (Bio)politics of the Park as Urban Model
Chapter 6: Planetary Aesthetics
Chapter 7: The Closed Landscapes of Sverdlovsk-44 and Krasnoyarsk-26
Chapter 8: Rhythm, Agency, Scoring and the City
Chapter 9: Publicity and Propriety: Democracy and Manners in Britain’s Public Landscape
Chapter 10: The Power of the Incremental: Agronomic Investment in Lisbon’s Chelas Valley
Chapter 11: Post-Landscape or the Potential of Other Relations with the Land
Chapter 12: Activating Equitable Landscapes and Critical Design Assemblages in Bangkok
Camillo Boano and William Hunter
Chapter 13: Agency and Artifice in the Environment of Neoliberalism
Afterword: Landscape's Agency
Ed Wall is the Academic Leader Landscape at the University of Greenwich, London, Visiting Professor at Politecnico di Milano (DiAP) and City of Vienna Visiting Professor 2017 (SKuOR) for urban culture, public space and the future – urban equity and the global agenda. Ed’s research focuses on the design and theory of landscapes, public spaces and cities. He is the founding editor of the design research journal Testing-Ground (2015). In 2007 Ed established Project Studio. Award-winning projects have been published and exhibited widely, including at the Architecture Foundation, Royal Academy, Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, London Festival of Architecture and the Van Alen Institute.
Tim Waterman is senior lecturer and landscape architecture theory coordinator at the University of Greenwich, and a tutor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. He writes for a wide range of professional and academic publications on the subjects of power, democracy, taste, foodways and everyday life.
"Landscape and Agency: Critical Essays is a wonderful, diverse and apposite collection of essays that critically discusses the future of landscape. The editors have selected an excellent set of authors who question the past, present and future. Was landscape urbanism a part of a neo-liberal plot? What is the future of the social and common, shared spaces? Is a new mapping system required, or is there a new geography of the territory? These and many other design questions are pursued in this valuable and timely volume."
David Grahame Shane, Adjunct Professor Urban Design, Columbia University GSAPP, USA
"Wall, Waterman and the authors assembled for this volume move landscape to centre stage, where it is reconceptualised as actor. Landscape has agency. It has clout. It matters. It makes a difference, both for good and sometimes for ill. Recognising landscape’s agency empowers those who shape landscape, but it also brings responsibility. Issues of social and environmental justice are integral to the creation of landscapes. Herein lies the challenge of Landscape and Agency."
Ian Thompson, Reader in Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, UK