Editors-in-chief: Christophe Girot, Albert Kirchengast

16 x 22 cm

Landscript, ETH Zurich

“Landscript” is a publication on landscape aesthetics inviting authors from different disciplines to invest some thought on established modes of perceiving, representing, and conceiving nature.

Anchored at the Chair of Landscape Architecture of Professor Christophe Girot at the ETH in Zurich, it is steered by an editorial board comprised of distinguished international experts from various fields of visual studies, landscape design research, as well as philosophy. The publication warrants excellence in theory and acts as a revelator of conventional perceptions of landscape. The goal of “Landscript” is to cultivate the debate on landscape aesthetics at a scholarly level. It will examine what conceptual tools are at our disposal to transcend the banal deductive commentary of landscape analysis we have grown accustomed to and discuss these issues openly and critically by focusing on the way we actually think, look, and act upon landscape sites and nonsites today. As a discussion platform for the contemporary aesthetics of landscape, “Landscript” will rekindle a theoretical debate that has been seriously lagging behind in the present visual and environmental revolution.

Editorial Board
Annemarie Bucher, ZHdK Zürich
Elena Cogato Lanza, EPF Lausanne
Stanislaus Fung, UNSW Sydney
Dorothée Imbert, Washington University in St. Louis
Hansjörg Küster, Leibniz Universität Hannover
Sébastien Marot, Ecole d’Architecture Marne-la-Vallee, Paris
Volker Pantenburg, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Alessandra Ponte, Université de Montréal
Christian Schmid, ETH Zürich
Ralph Ubl, eikones NFS Bildkritik Basel
Charles Waldheim, Harvard GSD
Kongjian Yu, Peking University

Landscript 1: Landscape Vision Motion explores the change of visual thinking that has occurred through film and video setting new spatial dynamics in motion. Professionals from various disciplines comment on the impact of film and video in contemporary landscape thinking. What objectives can be achieved in the theoretical exchange between visual studies, digital media, film, space and motion? With the digital revolution dawning upon us, one can definitely say that a different visual culture pertaining to Landscape Architecture is born.

Landscript 2: Filmic Mapping examines forms of “land measurement” primarily through documentary and essay films of the past 10 years. It investigates the meaning of landscape for contemporary society through phenomenological film analysis and makes an open plea for a complex view on the landscape of today and its visual representation.

How can an abstract term like “Topology” become pertinent and effective to landscape thinking today? There is a schism between the way landscape is understood scientifically, either as a normative network or an environmental system, and the way the same place exists emotionally for people. This disparity which prevails in today’s landscape calls for a change of approach, both in terms of action and perception. Topology, in this instance, is not confined to the science of continuous surfaces in mathematics, it can pay greater attention to deeper spatial, physical, poetic and philosophical values embedded in a long tradition of designed nature. The strength of landscape topology is that it can weave together and integrate heterogeneous fields of action into a single meaningful whole. It brings disciplines together on a common topological “vellum” capable of improving our understanding of landscape as a cultural construct with all its inherent beauty and strength.

With contributions by: Annemarie Bucher, Gion A. Caminada, Stefan Körner, Wilhelm Krull, Norbert Kühn, Hansjörg Küster, Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani, Lothar Schäfer, Joseph Schwartz, Martin Seelis, Michael Seiler, Antje Stokman, Wulf Tessin.

Landscript 5 examines Material Culture in landscape architecture theory and design. Designed landscapes are temporal assemblages of extant and introduced materials, constructed and maintained through the efforts of human labor, mediated through non-human forces, and shaped by constantly changing cultural relations. Sites are bounded by property lines, yet their material relationships—from the transport of construction commodities to global water cycles—extend to untold limits. Designed landscapes are models of human-nature relations, at the same time they are human-nature relations, simultaneously representing and actualizing the co-production of the world. Landscript 5 looks at the aesthetic implications and design opportunities engaging landscape’s extended Material Culture.

Nature is not simply “green” or the “opposite of culture.” Essentially, it is an intellectual construct. The relationship between man and Nature, for instance, articulates itself architectonically. Now what could one see as the possible role of Nature in projects of architects representative of the International Style (including successive echoes in postwar modernity), and how does Nature itself only become “visible” through the built environment? Based on key architecture projects, this fourth volume of the Landscript series attempts to instigate a change of perspective. In series of investigations, renowned researchers analyse architecture through the lens of its own inherent understanding of Nature. Their essays try to gain insights both into concepts of Nature in modernity, whose entire range of characteristics have yet to be explored, and into an architecture, whose relationship to Nature is usually only negotiated in disciplines like garden history. How does this finally relate to our present condition?

The difficulty of reconciling our basic needs with the long history of cultural landscapes, in all their inherent beauty and sufficiency, has become clear. With our deep trust in modern technology, in progress and in a demanding global lifestyle we have become a real threat to our world. Yet, today the existential and elementary nature of landscapes remains the bearer of a successful metaphor for “balance”. Why not draw—amidst a truly global crisis—conclusions out of our long history of designed nature, of places shaped by skilled labor and a quest for pleasure? Landscape Analogue seeks to stimulate the “Analogue” dimension as a substantial concept for everyday landscape thinking. In an anthology of interdisciplinary essays, Landscript 6 stresses the necessity for a fundamental shift, within the likely framework of a future of restricted resources, a radically different mobility or “hot” cities.