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Design Under Sky discusses landscape architecture, the utilitarian but leaning towards the conceptual, thinking on modern occurrences and peripheral boundaries.  

DUS is the blog and personal design studio of Adam E. Anderson, a designer based out of the East Coast, currently a Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design, and a designer at Landworks Studio.

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Wednesday
Nov122008

Rivers and Tides

Whether each of us can sense it or not, we all share a strong connection to the land.  Perhaps some better wired for tuning in to the processes from which we came and will return, one probably more then most is land artist Andy Goldsworthy.

I just watched a documentary following his work entitled Rivers and Tides, which portrays his intimate relationship with the processes of nature, and his ability to interpret them through his art as if a hidden language has been written by the landscape.

He states in the film that his art is about trying to understand the elements of nature, and through understanding can you only then feel the heart of it, and that we often misread the landscape when we think of it as being pastoral or pretty, when there is a darker side to it.

The blinder so many of us put up to this darker side he speaks, death, specifically the death of landscape, we find taboo as we desperately search for ways to keep it shiny and green against all odds.  It speaks to our broad disconnection and misunderstanding of the natural processes which Goldsworthy works amongst.

His work deals directly with time, the flow of nature, water, growth.  In the rock cone sculpture he builds, just before it succumbs to the incoming sea tide he explains that his work is not created to be destroyed by the sea, but to be given to the sea.  It's as if by doing so, you accept creation and death as part of the processes of nature.

While fascinated by his symbiosis with the landscape, it also frustrated me that too few landscape architects share this same connection, and find it necessary to perpetually create projects aimed to outlast time, and fight against the motions of nature.  Yes, many would find it hard to secure funding for a project that withers away after the perils of four extreme seasons.  But I'd love to see a project designed to embrace these occurrences.  To age gracefully if you will, intentionally allowed to show it's signs of aging, which ultimately link to the story of place.

Anyone know of any?


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