Summary of Articles about theory in Landscape Architecture
The author of the article ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’, Heidegger, was a German professor of philosophy who passed on in the year 1976. He was born in 1870 in Germany. His family was unable to finance his university education thus he opted to join a catholic seminary. He was later sent away from the seminary but managed to join university of Freiburg where he studied Theology. Later, he switched to philosophy and in 1914, completed his doctoral thesis on Psychologism. The thesis was influenced by Neo-Thomism and Neo-Kaintiasm. He lectured in many universities including University of Freiburg (1919-1923) and University of Marburg.
His work was mainly focused to the idea of explaining the main origin of something without any pre-assumption of the substance being in existence. The main drive in his work was the question and misunderstood idea of what is meant by something being what it is. The second source of his motivation was influence by Edmund Husserl who was also a philosopher.
‘Sein und Zeit (Being and Time)’. (1927) the book tries to investigate the idea of existence.
‘Introduction to Metaphysics’. (1935).
‘Contributions to philosophy’. (1989).
The article given is an extract from the book “Being and Time”. It mainly focuses on the author’s the difference between a building and a dwelling. He says that man thinks he is the master of language yet it’s the vice versa. This is followed by an explanation on the main terms in the extract and how thinking results in confusion between a building and a dwelling. The extract later explains the difference between a building and a dwelling. A building crops from dwelling since human beings dwell making buildings to come into existence. In simpler manner, dwelling is the existence of mortals (human beings) while buildings are the places where the mortals dwell. In conclusion the article can be viewed as a descriptive extract showing how dwelling results in buildings and not buildings resulting in dwelling as is the common misunderstood fact.
The article “The Word itself” is authored by J.B. Jackson, an American born in France in the year 1909. He undertook his university studies at the University of Wisconsin. He later attended Harvard University (1929-1932). He joined the forces and studied geography of locations during the Second World War.
His main interest in the landscape and architecture was from the writings of Lewis Mumford and Oswald Spengler’s’ book ‘Decline of the West.’ This is where his work of writing about the landscape began.
He wrote several essays that appeared in the ‘American Review’ and ‘Harper’s’. Later, in 1938, he published a novel ‘Saints in summertime’. In 1951, he published a magazine by the title’ Landscape” and remained its editor until 1968. Other works in his honor include:
Landscapes: Selected Writings of J.B Jackson (1970).
American Space: The Centennial Years, (1972).
The Necessity of Ruins and other Topics (1980).
In total he wrote seven texts all inclined towards landscape and architecture.
In the article, the author he starts by defining the word landscape. He gives several definitions from different authors some of who says that it is the beauty of the country side while others claim it is the human imagination about the land. He later gives several definitions which include:
It is a space on earth.
It is a compound with certain features either natural or modified by human beings.
Finally he gives a much comprehensive and modern definition of a landscape as: man-made and human modified space on the earth that helps in human existence.
The author of the essay ‘Disclosure on Theory II: Three Tyrannies of Contemporary Theory and Alternative of Hermeneutics’ James Corner is an assistant professor in landscape architecture. He is a graduate school of fine arts, university of Pennsylvania and B.A holder with honors from Manchester Metropolitan University. He is also a holder of M.L.A and Urban design diploma from the same university.
The author has interests in mainly focusing on: landscape design theory and criticism, landscape representation and Phenomenology and hermeneutics and form their basis on development of better landscape architectural and design.
Other works by the same author includes:
‘Meaning, genre and context: the problematic of ‘public knowledge’ in the new audience studies’. This book was published by Mass media and Society in 1991.
‘The art of record: A critical introduction to documentary’. This book was published in the year 1997 and entails the need for documentation mainly in film-making.
‘Non-pharmacological intervention for breathlessness in lung cancer’. This work was done in co-operation with H. Plant and R. Ahearn. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of non- pharmacological intervention for breathlessness on lung cancer on breathlessness ratings and patient functioning.
‘Recovering landscape: Essays in contemporary landscape architecture’.(1999).
‘A Discourse in Theory I:
In the article quoted above, the author extends the figurative language used in the book’s predecessor text ‘A Discourse in Theory I’. The article focuses on creativity as a tool for modifying the landscape and its meaning in the western culture. He reviews how the meaning of theory has also evolved over time. He explains the three key factors in contemporary theory of the landscape. Defining all:
1. Positivism is use of complete explanation of facts of a phenomenon and how scientific proofs can be done. It may also involve procedures in analysis of the theory and proof. It argues that no action should be taken until all the factual data has been taken and analyzed.
2. Paradigm this approach argues that a group of practitioners in the field of landscape architecture share an idea of history so that they can work in a coherent and stable manner. Thus the community determines the common identity, form of socialization and practice in coherent manner.
3. Avant-Garde this approach relates to the idea of trying to making something new. It argues that landscape of the present day is as a result of continuous avant-garde movements. It mainly deals with modernization and not historization.
Generally, all the approaches seem to draw their knowledge for modern scientific way of reasoning. It later gives an alternative plan based on hermeneutics.