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The Cultured Landscape: Designing the Environment in the Twenty-First Century

The Cultured Landscape: Designing the Environment in the Twenty-First Century
Sheila Harvey and Ken Fieldhouse (editors)
Publication Date: 

paper, 176 p., $43.95

British experts in the field of landscape architecture, Sheila Harvey and Ken Fieldhouse have brought together an international team of contributors for this collection of essays on the future of global landscape architecture and its potential impact on society and the environment. The goal of the publication is to encourage the application of current theory to design practice. The essays are divided into four sections: the theoretical, cultural, and philosophical implications of landscapes; the design perspective; the benefits of the design process to the environment; and finally, the future of landscape design.

In rather esoteric language, the contributors discuss the diverse meanings of ‘landscape’ to people of different backgrounds and interests. The editors encourage progressive thinking in order to form new approaches to design for different environments. Although the general consensus is that landscape designers must consider both utility and beauty in the design of a site, their individual interpretations of priorities offer many possibilities. Essayist John Hopkins reflects in a discussion of future design that “the establishment of a new political economy that is based on the principles of ecology and informed environmental ethics is, and will continue to be the centre ground of political debate through the early decades of the twenty-first century.” The concluding text explores new approaches to design, which take into consideration the natural processes. This book will be of particular interest to academics, professionals, and students of landscape architecture and design. It is not best suited for the general reader.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden