Sustainable landscape design is generally understood in relation to three principles - ecological health, social justice and economic prosperity. Rarely do aesthetics factor into sustainability discourse, except in negative asides conflating the visible with the aesthetic and rendering both superfluous. This article examines the role of beauty and aesthetics in a sustainability agenda. It argues that it will take more than ecologically regenerative designs for culture to be sustainable, that what is needed are designed landscapes that provoke those who experience them to become more aware of how their actions affect the environment, and to care enough to make changes. This involves considering the role of aesthetic environmental experiences, such as beauty, in re-centering human consciousness from an egocentric to a more bio-centric perspective. This argument, in the form of a manifesto, is inspired by design work that is not usually understood as contributing to sustainable design.
Landscape design practitioners and theorists understandably focus on the ecological aspects of sustainability; this seems reasonable given that the site and medium of our work is landscape—actual topography, soil, water, plants, and space. It seems imperative given the growing consensus about the impact of human action on the global environment. Beauty is rarely discussed in the discourse of landscape design sustainability, and if it is, it is dismissed as a superficial concern. What is the value of the visual and formal when human, regional and global health are at stake? Doesn’t the discussion of the beautiful trivialize landscape architecture as ornamentation, as the superficial practice of gardening?
I call for reinserting the aesthetic into discussions of sustainability. I make a case for the appearance of the designed landscape as more than a visual, stylistic or ornamental issue, as more than a rear-garde interest in form. I attempt to rescue the visual, by connecting it to the body and poly-sensual experience. I try to explain how immersive, aesthetic experience can lead to recognition, empathy, love, respect and care for the environment.
The Dell at the University of Virginia, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.
Photographer: Hara Woltz
The intersection of Meadow creek and the Dell’s stormwater pond is marked by a stone rill. This structure’s channel is shaped to allow sediment to settle within its channel, and then to aerate and clean the water as it falls. This obviously constructed moment allows a visitor to the Dell to understand it as a constructed system, and to recognize the landscape as the product of intention, of art. Natural processes, not natural forms.
The Dell, University of Virginia Nelson Byrd Woltz
Charlottesville, Virginia, 2003
Biohabitats of Virginia
Release of Meadow Creek into the Dell Stormwater pond.
Photographer: Hara Woltz
Aerial view of stormwater pond.
Photographer: Will Kerner
1. Sustaining Culture Through Landscapes
Sustainable Landscape Design Is Not The Same As Sustainable Development Or Ecological Design Or Restoration Ecology Or Conservation Biology.
Sustainable development requires more than designed landscapes that are created using sustainable technologies. Design is a cultural act, a product of culture made with the materials of nature and embedded within, and inflected by a particular social formation; it often employs principles of ecology, but it does more than that. It enables social routines and spatial practices, from daily promenades to commutes to work. It translates cultural values into memorable landscape forms and spaces that often challenge, expand and alter, our conceptions of beauty.
2. Cultivating Hybrids: Language of Landscape
Conceptualizing Sustainable Landscapes Requires New Words As Well As New Technologies, New Languages As Well As New Techniques.
Sustainable landscape design flourishes when fixed categories are transgressed and their limits and overlaps explored. This is a familiar trope in post-structuralist theory; it is a pragmatic imperative in landscape architecture design. Our profession is still hampered by the limited language of formal and informal, cultural and natural, man-made and natural. How does such language allow us to capture the strange beauty and horror of a forest polluted by acid-mine drainage caused by coal mining that has been transformed through bio-remediation into a park? Is that natural? Man-made? Its toxic beauty, a phrase I borrow from Julie Bargmann of DIRT Studio, is a hybrid.
Through hybridization, these and other paired terms have the potential to open up new conceptual design approaches between and across categories that restrict our thinking: social and ecological, urban and wild, aesthetic and ethical, appearance and performance, beauty and disturbance, aesthetics and sustainability.
These conceptual and experiential hybrids can occur within designed landscapes on disturbed sites across geographies whether in the coal fields of Pennsylvania, in the Eastern United States, in the vague terrain of swooping, highway interchanges in Barcelona, or among coal and steel processing plants in the Ruhr River Valley in Germany.
3. Beyond Ecological Performance
Sustainable Landscape Design Must Do More Than Function Or Perform Ecologically; It Must Perform Socially And Culturally.
Sustainable landscape design can reveal natural cycles such as seasonal floods, and regenerate natural processes—by cleaning and filtering rainwater or replenishing soils through arrested erosion and deposition—and do so as they intersect with social routines and spatial practices. This intermingling of ecological and social temporal cycles—seasonal floods and human activities such as holiday festivals or sports—links the activities of everyday life and the unique events of a particular city, to the experience of the dynamic bio-physical aspects of the environment. Nature is not out there, but in here, interwoven into the human urban condition. Hydrology, ecology and human life are intertwined.
4. Natural Process Over Natural Form
Ecological Mimicry Is A Component Of Sustainable Landscape Design, But The Mimicry Of Natural Processes Is More Important Than The Mimicry Of Natural Forms.
Natural looking landscapes are not the only genre that performs ecologically. This is especially true in constructed urban conditions when there are no longer spaces of the scale that might support a natural looking landscape. In these extreme conditions—in narrow, remnant strips between city streets and rivers, on compacted sites with no organic matter or topsoil, along abandoned post-industrial infrastructure such as railroad right of ways and factory sites—nature must be constructed in new ways, in different configurations, deploying technological and ecological knowledge.
Where space and soil are limited, plants can be opportunistically inserted between and along the ramps flanked by chain link scrims and cantilevered walks; hardy species can act as hosts and create habitat for other species of plants and wildlife; spontaneous vegetation can be facilitated with soil trenches and mounds; wetland grasses can be planted in floating planters instead of on terra firma. This is an example of what Joan Nassauer has described as framing messy landscapes—another form of hybrid—so that ecological design aesthetics can be recognized as art.
These types of projects—part technological construction, part ecological process—won’t be confused for natural landscapes. This may contribute to their longevity. Natural-looking landscapes may not be sustainable in the long term, as they are often overlooked in metropolitan areas. They are assumed to be found, wild conditions not needing care. Most constructed nature in the city needs care, cultivation, and gardening, especially constructed wetlands. In my experience, natural-looking designed landscapes quickly become invisible landscapes and neglected landscapes.
5. Hypernature: The Recognition of Art
The Recognition Of Art Is Fundamental To, And A Precondition Of, Landscape Design.
This is not a new idea; nineteenth-century landscape design theorists J.C. Loudon, A.J. Downing and Frederick Law Olmsted advocated such, when they were making the case for the inclusion of landscape design or landscape architecture as one of the Fine Arts. More recently, Michael Van Valkenburgh and his partners, Laura Solano and Matthew Urbanksi expressed their interest in exaggerated, concentrated hypernature—an exaggerated version of constructed nature. Creating hypernature was prompted by pragmatic acknowledgements of the constrictions of building on tough, urban sites and the recognition that design landscapes are usually experienced while distracted, in the course of everyday urban life. Attenuation of forms, densification of elements, juxtaposition of materials, intentional discontinuities, formal incongruities—tactics associated with montage or collage—are deployed for several reasons: to make a courtyard, a park, a campus more capable of appearing, of being noticed, and of performing more robustly, more resiliently.
Sustainable landscape design should be form-full, evident and palpable, so that draws the attention of an urban audience distracted by daily concerns of work and family, or the over stimulation of the digital world. This requires a keen understanding of the medium of landscape, and the deployment of design tactics such as exaggeration, amplification, distillation, condensation, juxtaposition, or transposition/displacement.
6. The Performance of Beauty
The Experience Of Hyper Nature—Designed Landscapes That Reveal And Regenerate Natural Processes/Structures Through The Amplification And Exaggeration Of Experience, And That Artistically Exploit The Medium Of Nature—Is Restorative.
A beautiful landscape works on our psyche affording the chance to ponder a world outside ourselves. Through this experience, we are de-centered, restored, renewed and reconnected to the bio-physical world. The haptic, somatic experience of beauty can inculcate environmental values.
As Elaine Scarry writes, “Beauty invites replication…it is lifesaving. Beauty quickens. It adrenalizes. It makes the heart beat faster. It makes life more vivid, animated, living, worth living.” Furthermore, Scarry suggests that when we experience beauty, it changes our relationship to that object or scene or person. She continues:
. . . At the moment we see something beautiful, we undergo a radical decentering. Beauty, according to Weil, requires us ‘to give up our imaginary position as the center…a transformation then takes place at the very roots of our sensibility, in our immediate reception of sense impressions and psychological impressions.’…we find we are standing in a different relationship to the world than we were the moment before. It is not that we cease to stand at the center of the world, for we never stood there. It is that we cease to stand even at the center of our own world. We willingly cede ground to the thing that stands before us (Scarry 1999: 3, 24, 109-110).
Scarry’s account of the experience of beauty resonates with that of art critic and philosopher Arthur Danto. He argues that beauty is not found or discovered, immediately, through the eye and in relationship to known tropes. Rather, it is discovered through a process of mediation between the mind and body, between seeing and touching|smelling|hearing, between reason and the senses, between what is known through past experiences and what is expected in the here and now. As Danto, drawing on Hegel and Hume writes, “We arrive at the judgment of beauty only after critical analysis—which means that it is finally not subjective at all, since it depends on the kind of reasoning in which criticism at its best consists…. Doubtless the critic should look. But seeing is inseparable from reasoning, and response to work of art is mediated by a discourse of reasons parallel entirely to what takes place with moral questions.” (Danto 1999: 192-193)
The experience of beauty, a process between the senses and reason, an unfolding of awareness, is restorative. By extension, the aesthetic experience of constructed hyper-nature is transformative, not simply in nineteenth-century terms or practices known to Olmsted. Rather aesthetic experience can result in the appreciation of new forms of beauty that are discovered, in Howett’s terms, because they reveal previously unrealized relationships between human and non-human life processes.
7. Sustainable Design = Constructing Experiences
Beautiful Sustainable Landscape Design Involves The Design Of Experiences As Much As The Design Of Form And The Design Of Ecosystems. These Experiences Are Vehicles For Connecting With, And Caring For, The World Around Us.
Through the experience of different types of beauty we come to notice, to care, to deliberate about our place in the world. In phenomenological thought of scholars such as Merleau-Ponty and Berleant, these participatory environmental experiences not only break down the barriers between subject and object; they change us, and, at times, have the capacity to challenge us, to prod us to act. Many environmentalists speak of their early experiences in the wild or the countryside—some nearby woodlot or creek where they learned to revel in the exuberance of successional plant growth in unlikely places, the adaptive shelters of insects, birds and animals—as the reason they became environmentalists.
Designed landscapes can provide such experiences as well if they afford experience of the wild, when the abundance, the excessiveness, and the tenacious persistence of plants, wildlife, and water are uncovered in the most unexpected places—city drainage ways, urban plazas and gardens, above and below elevated rail lines and highways.
Sustainability at Urban Outfitter began with the decision to re-use as much demolition debris as on-site building material as possible. The thick concrete pavement of the former Naval yard was reused as large-scaled porous pavement. The joints between were planted with trees and filled with smaller construction rubble. The forms and materials are not generic, but particular to the site.
DIRT Studio: Urban Outfitters corporate campus, Philadelphia Navy Yard, 2006
Collaborators: Meyer Scherer Rockcastle, architects
Above: Photographs of materials salvaged from site demolition. Courtesy of DIRT studio.
8. Sustainable Beauty is Particular, Not Generic
There Will Be As Many Forms Of Sustainability As There Are Places/Cities/Regions.
These beauties will not emulate their physical context but act as a magnifying glass, increasing our ability to see and appreciate context. Sustainable landscape beauty can find the particular in the productive as well as the toxic, the transposed as well as the transgressive, the found and the made, the regenerative as well as the resilient. Sustainable beauty may be strange and surreal. It may be intimate and immense. It will be of its place whether an abandoned brownfield site, an obsolete navy shipyard, or a lumbered forest. And yet it will not simulate its place. It will be recognized as site-specific design, emerging out of its context but differentiated from it.
9. Sustainable Beauty is Dynamic, Not Static
The Intrinsic Beauty Of Landscape Resides In Its Change Over Time.
Landscape architecture’s medium shares many characteristics with architecture, dance and sculpture. Our medium is material and tactile; it is spatial. But more than its related fields, the landscape medium is temporal. Not only do we move through landscape, the landscape moves, changes, grows, declines. Beauty is ephemeral; it can be a fleeting event, captured once a year in the mix of a specific light angle, a particular slope of the ground, and a short-lived drop of a carpet of brilliant yellow leaves. Or it can created by the long processes of stump and log decay, and regeneration in a forest garden.
These changes are multiple and overlapping, operating at numerous scales and tempos: the spontaneous, successional vegetation growth on slag heaps; the tidal rhythms of water ebbing flowing in a rocky, tidal channel next to a smooth, constant, gently tilting lawn; or the seasonal changes of temperature and plant growth. J.B. Jackson, the landscape historian, wrote that the act of designing landscape is a process of manipulating time (Jackson 1984: 8). Since sustainable landscapes reveal, enable, repair and regenerative ecological processes, they are temporal and dynamic. Sustainable beauty arrests time, delays time, intensifies time; it opens up daily experience to what Michael Van Valkenburgh calls “psychological intimate immensity,” the wonder of urban social and natural ecologies made palpable through the landscape medium.
A subsurface stormwater pipe at Averett University was brought to the surface and directed over, across and through an exterior courtyard to a new student center. The volume and velocity of the water in the system changes over time with the amount of rainfall and ground water infiltration. Sustainability is temporal and dynamic.
VMDO Landscape Studio (now Siteworks) (Pete O’Shea, Alan Wong, John Meaney): Averett University Student Center, Danville, VA, completed 2006
Architect: VMDO Architects
(David Oakland, Joe Atkins, Randy Livermon, Jim Kovach, Bryce Powell, Alan Wong)
Civil Engineer: LE+D Professionals PC of Danville, VA
Above: Images of stormwater plaza under construction and after completion. Courtesy of Siteworks.
10. Enduring Beauty is Resilient and Regenerative
Antiquated Conceptions Of Landscape Beauty As Generic, Balanced, Smooth, Bounded, Charming, Pleasing And Harmonious Persist And Must Be Reconsidered Through The Lens Of New Paradigms Of Ecology.
Projects that are dynamic, and not static, can be designed for disturbance and resilience. Floods that are anticipated are not disasters, but natural events that form part of a regular disturbance regime. Plants that can sustain extreme spring high water are planted. Knowing that ice flows damage tree trunks, we specify species that regenerate with numerous new stems when damaged. The beauty of this type of landscape lies in the knowledge of its tenacity, its toughness, its resilience.
This sense of beauty, not as a set, unchanging concept, but one that evolves over time, in response to different needs or contexts is accepted in many fields outside of landscape architecture. This changing conception of beauty, based on the resilience of a designed landscape’s materials and not on an a priori set of forms or types, resonates with contemporary concerns as well as the early theoretical foundations of our profession. In a post-September 11th context where American urban space is subject to increasing standardization and surveillance due to a culture of fear and security, the adaptation and resilience of plants and paved surfaces to the disturbances of extreme weather, flooding, pollution, low light levels, evokes hope and inspires alternative models for coping with the uncertain.
In one of his prescient articles that outlined many of the conundrums to be faced by American landscape architecture as it emerged as a discipline, Charles Eliot, Jr. established a position within the formal and informal debates of the 1890s by arguing that beauty was not intrinsic to either formal type.
The fact may not be explicable, but ‘it is one of the commonplaces of science that the form which every vital product takes has been shaped for it by natural selection through a million ages, with a view to its use, advantage or convenience, and that beauty has resulted from that evolution.…Whoever, regardless of circumstances, insists upon any particular style or mode of arranging land and its accompanying landscape, is most certainly a quack. He has overlooked the important basal fact that, although beauty does not consist in fitness, nevertheless all that would be fair must first be fit. True art is expressive before it is beautiful (Eliot 1896: 133).
Eliot recognized that changes in need, in society, and in the sciences, would alter cultural conceptions of beauty.
Closer to our times, paradigm shifts in the ecological sciences have influenced cultural conceptions of what is fitting, and beautiful in the natural world. Since the publication of Ian McHarg’s Design with Nature in 1969, scientific theories about ecosystem dynamics have changed considerably. Resilience, adaptation and disturbance have replaced stability, harmony, equilibrium and balance as the operative words in ecosystem studies. Conceptions of stable, climax plant and animal communities have given way to an understanding of disturbance regimes, emergent and resilient properties, and chaotic self-organizing systems. These theories have enormous implications for landscape design, and yet twenty years after their general adoption in the sciences, many landscape architects and out clients operate on outdated, even romantic, conceptions of nature and its beauty. Just how beautiful is a green residential lawn maintained by pesticides and herbicides that are harmful to children, pets, and song birds?
Recent American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) conference themes are a case in point. During the 2006 conference there was little talk of brownfield sites; instead, “Green (not brown and gray) solutions only for a Blue Planet.” This past year’s theme was “Designing with Nature: The Art of Balance.” That sounded like a retrospective glance at landscape ecology and design from the 1950s-70s. As a professional organization, the ASLA needs to be more cognizant of contemporary ecological theory, especially given the recent U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report’s findings on global climate change and its implications for the future form of cities and settlements. Our adaptive designs must be part of resilient, adaptive, and regenerative urban form.
Twenty-first century associations of resilience are as much cultural as ecological. Three American landscape architects, each committed to the concepts of sustainability if not the rhetoric, have recognized the limitations of the word sustainable, and the potential of conceiving landscape architecture as regenerative and resilient: John Lyle, Julie Bargmann, and Randy Hester. In Design for Ecological Democracy, Hester’s account of the principles that support enduring settlements underscores the importance of replacing stability or balance with resilience:
…. Design of nature or mimicry of nature that allows human habitation to maintain itself efficiently and compatibly with its surrounding environment through often dramatic changes that threaten survival. Such design is the basis of resilient form that is fundamental to sustainable urban ecology…. This ability to endure is based on, among other things, having an urban form that continually provides what a community needs, even in times of temporary crises. Resilient urbanity has the internal ability to persist—to recover easily without significant loss from illness, misfortune, attack, natural or social disaster, or other dramatic disturbance. And it can readily absorb change. A resilient city is able to retain the essence of its form even after it has been deformed. In this way, resilience seems a better word than sustainability for design goals for the city. Resilient form maintains itself efficiently and seamlessly with both the landscape and the cultural networks of which it is a part (Hester 2006: 138-139).
11. Landscape Agency: From Experiences to Sustainable Praxis
The Experience Of Designed Landscape Can Be A Spatial Practice Of Noticing, Wandering And Wondering In, And Caring About The Environment. The Experience Of Landscape Can Be A Mode Of Learning And Inculcating Values.
The final tenet of this manifesto underscores the multiple discourses and practices where sustainability resides. Sustainability is a position within environmental ethics, as well as techniques or tactics grounded in the natural sciences. Sustainability, as an ethic, is decidedly a middle-ground position between an egocentric and ecocentric world view. It straddles the human and non-human, attempting a hybridity that see the interconnections between and across a homocentric and biocentric world view. I believe that the designed landscape can be built through various tactics, using sustainable eco-technologies, but it can also be an aesthetic experience that changes people’s environmental ethics. And from my perspective the latter is the most important reason to care about sustainable landscape design. The apprehension and experience of beauty, especially new, challenging forms of beauty, can lead to attentiveness, empathy, love, respect, care, concern and action on the part of those who visit and experience designed landscapes. It will take more than the estimated 15,000 registered landscape architects or 30,000 members of the ASLA to make the United States--the most energy consuming, waste producing, environmentally-challenged developed country in the world—a sustainable culture. But multiple those numbers by the number of people who are our clients, who visit and frequent the streets, public spaces, parks, gardens and communities we design, and whose understanding of the connections between human consumption, waste, and habits and eco-system health might be altered because of an aesthetic experience they have. Not all change will, or has to be based on education, guilt, or a sense of sacrifice. Sometimes, in the best of situations, persuasion takes place unknowingly, gradually, but convincingly, until the change is perceived to be internal and an act of personal will, not collective guilt.
Sustaining Beauty | Sustaining Culture
The mass media is replete with images and discussions of sustainability, green politics, and global climate change. During the past year around the annual celebration of Earth Day, a parka-wearing actor Leonardo DiCaprio shared the cover of Vanity Fair magazine with a small polar bear (May 2007), the Republican Governor of the State of California twirled a small globe on his finger like it was a basketball on the cover of Newsweek’s Leadership and the Environment issue (16 April 2007), Time magazine published a special double issue entitled “The Global Warming Survival Guide: 51 Things You Can Do to Make a Difference” (9 April 2007), and a New York Times Sunday Magazine cover adorned with an American flag made out of green flower blossoms, moss, seed heads and leaves examined “The Greening of Global Geopolitics” (15 April 2007).
Design and shelter magazines run regular columns and issues on the greening of the design fields. Even Dwell. At Home in the Modern World magazine, dedicated to perpetuating modernist design, has run an article on sustainability in every issue since 2000. In a recent issue, A New Shade of Green. Sustainability is here to Stay, editor Sam Grawe captured the culture’s reaction to a year of green journalism in the wake of unexpected popularity Al Gore’s 2006 documentary film and book, An Inconvenient Truth, and his 2007 Nobel Peace Prize award (shared with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, for its analysis and synthesis of global research findings). “I have to be honest with you. I am getting tired of sustainability. “ (Grawe 2007: 41).
Are these forums the only effective means to change values and practices? I think not. For as Grawe’s editorial attests, media saturation can as easily lead to cynicism as environmentalism. Especially when it appears that every product and industry is now eco-friendly or environmentally-friendly, from oversized SUV automobiles and “McMansion” houses to oil companies; when the sustainability-obsessed become eco-bloggers monitoring their daily impact on the globe, and patrons of eco-chic night clubs who party in a space made of recycled, renewable, sustainable, and not dangerous materials; and when the bio-physical world is depicted in ads for Home Depot hardware store as if were a toy or pet to be be-friended and hugged.
We need multiple forms and forums for caring and learning about the impact of our actions on the planet, some visual, some textual, and some experiential. As Lawrence Buell noted in Writing for an Endangered World, we need more than reports and data, we also need products of culture, narratives, images, and places to move us to act.
In this regard, design matters and beauty matters. It moves something in our psyche as the experience of a winter snow fall on the imprinted concrete waterfront promenade at Allegheny River Park, Pittsburgh, PA, demonstrates. In the absence of vegetation, in the linear marks left by imprinting native grasses in the concrete, water settles and freezes, icy shadows form reminding us of what is absent. These ground marks intermingle in mysterious ways with the motion of river water and the light from nearby street lights. Where is man and nature there? Formal and informal? Ecology and technology? Aesthetics and sustainability? All superceded by the fleeting, yet memorable, recognition of and experience of a place known in, and over, time.
It is not enough to design landscapes that incorporate best management practices, follow LEED (USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) criteria, and look like they were not designed. It is not enough to emulate the admirable design forms or practices of our colleagues from afar. Designed landscapes need to be constructed human experiences as much as ecosystems. They need to move citizens to action. The designed landscapes of the world take up a small amount of the globe’s surface. Yet they are visited and inhabited by people who have great impact on the environment in every thing they do--where they live and how they commute, what they consume, and whom they elect into public office. The influence of designed landscapes might be much larger than their immediate influence on a local ecosystem or watershed, as worthwhile as designing a rain garden or a green roof that reduces storm water run-off may be.
Many professions and disciplines will contribute to our understanding of sustainability. Landscape architects who are designers do so by making places that are constructed performing ecosystems and constructed aesthetic experiences. We are sustained by reducing, editing, doing less bad. But we are also sustained, and regenerated, through abundance, wonder, and beauty. The performance of a landscape’s appearance, and experience of beauty, should have as much currency in debates about what a sustainable landscape might, and should, be as the performance of its ecological systems. I think, I hope, such a shift might be one of the tools that jolts our clients and neighbors out of their complacency and inaction, transforming them into a new generation of environmentalist-citizens.
Berleant, A. 1991. Art and Engagement. Philadelphia: Temple University
Danto, A. 1999. “Beauty from Ashes”. In: Benezra and Viso. Regarding Beauty. Washington, D.C.: Hirshhorn Museum: 183-197.
Eliot, Jr. C. 1896. “What is Fair Must be Fit.” Garden and Forest April 1): 132-133.
Hester, R. 2005. Design for Ecological Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Grawe, S. 2007. “Sustainability 24/7”. Dwell. At Home in the Modern World (November) 11.
Jackson, J. B. 1984. The Word Itself. In: Discovering the Vernacular Landscape. New Haven: Yale University Press
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1948, 2004 translation. The World of Perception. New York: Routledge
Nassauer, J. 1995. “Messy Ecosystems, Orderly Frames.” Landscape
Journal 14 (2): 161-170.
Scarry, E. 1999. On Beauty and Being Just. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
This manifesto is an excerpt of a longer article in Journal of Landscape Architecture, Spring 2008.
All included projects are the work of alumni and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.