Posted at 10.07.2018
'Despite nature's many preceding warnings, the air pollution and destruction of the environment has truly gone on, intensively and extensively, without awakening a sufficient reaction; it is merely during the last hundred years that any systematic work has been designed to determine what constitutes a healthy and self-renewing environment, filled with all the ingredient's necessary for man's biological wealth, social assistance and spiritual activation. ' (Ian McHarg, Design With Aspect)
At the dawn of the twenty-first hundred years it becomes clearer and clearer daily to experts, environmentalists, and surroundings architects likewise, what massive climatic and ecological devastation has been brought on by one-hundred-and-fifty years of human professional activity. Mankind can no longer avert its eye from environmental catastrophe by pretending that the research behind such doom-full asseverations is unsound, that the results are ambiguous, that the data is dubious. As these delusions are blown away by a lot more certain evidence, there come in their place the horrific spectre of rivers and oceans sated with air pollution and filth, rainforests ravaged by deforestation, deserts extending at unnatural rates of speed, and the atmosphere a toxic and noxious fog crammed by the great emissions of the industrial societies. In under two ages, man's industrial and technical acceleration has taken him to the brink of environmental collapse. It really is now evident to all or any however the most blinkered or obstinate government authorities that complete action is necessary urgently to prevent our follies from going at night environmental 'tipping-point' that people have neared and whereafter we risk long term and irreparable devastation. There have been myriad recommendations from environmentalists concerning which alternatives must be implemented to reverse this destruction of the past two centuries; there have moreover been many summits, conferences and treaties convened to go over these issues - the most recent major one being the Kyoto Contract ratified by all countries except the United States. This essay however examines what scenery architects and conservationists may learn from the partnership with aspect and the environment known by indigenous individuals for thousands of years.
It looks, in particular, at what may be realized from the 'ways of life' of the Bushmen of the Kalahari in Botswana and Namibia in particular, as well as the aborigine individuals of Australia, the indigenous Indians of the Brazilian rainforest and the nomads of the Mongolian steppes. These individuals have lived in many instances, in a near flawlessly harmonious and undisturbed romance with characteristics for a large number of years -- in the case of the Kalahari Bushmen for over ten thousand years! The philosophies and mythologies of the peoples reveal that they understand and rejoice in the benevolence and fecundity of characteristics and the deep generosity of the gift ideas that she's continually bestowed after them. Universally amongst these peoples there is an intense value and gratefulness for dynamics and for what, in McHarg's word, is the 'glorious bounty' that she provides. It seems almost too simple and too obvious to state that modern man, that has wreaked enormous damage in fifteen generations, might have too much to learn from peoples who lived with no such damage for more than one thousand years!
In such a essay's analysis the word 'symbiotic' is a key conditions of investigation; the idea of two microorganisms (man and dynamics) nourishing from each other and using the other person for mutual benefit. After a section of historical representation where it glances at the seminal and pioneering ideas of Ian McHarg and J. B. Jackson, this article goes on to explore the way the understanding of indigenous cultures about the surroundings might be fused with modern tools to create an ideal, ecological and environmentally-friendly form of landscape design and city-planning. Moreover, the essay studies the notion of 'collective consciousness' amongst culture regarding the globe we inhabit and our collective duties towards it. Throughout these last sections references are made to modern examples of the topics under discussion, as well as contemporary designers such as Wayne Corner, Make Treib and Sebastian Marot.
It is essential for students of scenery architecture to know something of the genesis of the idea and practice of panorama structures; this historical orientation informs the scholar as to how landscape structures can be considered a medium by which the understanding of nature by indigenous individuals may be fused with the technical advances of our very own societies to create and develop environmentally friendly and ecological sites for the future. Within this background, perhaps no one's ideas are more seminal than those of the daddy of the discipline: Ian McHarg.
Before the 1970's mankind did not possess a thorough or total understanding of his romance with character and his environment; his knowledge was splinted and fragmented and so unification of environmental ideas and ideas was a very rare event. Moreover, no detailed and systematic beliefs of environmental design experienced yet been conceived. The creation of the philosophy fell, above all, to Ian McHarg. Lewis Mumford's eloquently instructs us of the importance of McHarg's, the 'encouraged ecologist', for environmental studies and scenery structures. Mumford says: '. . . his is a head that not only looks at all nature and human being activity from the external vantage point of ecology, but moreover sees the world from within, and a participant and since an actor, having to the cool dry out colourless world of research the special contribution that differentiates the bigger mammals, above all humans, from all the animate things: brilliant colour and love, insatiable curiosity, and a genius for imagination'. McHarg's work was vital because he showed that man must conceive of his environment as a totality and respond to that totality with a determination and awakened awareness yet unrivaled in human history. McHarg opened man's eye to the destructive features and tendencies of man with respect to his environment; he proved '. . . the way in which modern technology, through its hasty and unthinking software of clinical knowledge or specialized facility, has been defacing the environment and minimizing its habitability. ' McHarg nurtured a nascent awareness amidst environmentalists and academics as to the risk of pesticides, herbicides, green-house gases etc; and his epoch-making book Design With Characteristics established the essential principles of a philosophy of panorama architecture and city-design that is harmonious with character and seeks to reap the benefits of nature's large fruits without consuming them exhaustively. McHarg's viewpoint got and has a practical aspect and a significant efficacy after environmental renewal if people are prepared to put into action its advice. This knowledge must '. . . be employed to actual surroundings, to caring for natural areas, like swamps, lakes and rivers, to choosing sites for even more metropolitan settlements, to re-establishing real human norms and life-furthering in metropolitan conurbations'. McHarg imbued landscape design and city-planning with a distinctive and recently all-together lacking moral and ethical aspect, and swung across the aesthetic sensibilities of the disciplines to exalt and revere the process of harmonious inter-action and inter-dependence with the surroundings. In Mumford's words, again: 'McHarg's emphasis is not on either design or characteristics herself, but upon the preposition with, which suggests human assistance and biological collaboration'. By this school of thought a design is not enforced upon aspect and will not therefore run the chance of being unsuccessful because of its incompatibility with the surroundings; but instead a design emerges from the natural features of the surroundings. By this process, the meeting of design upon environment is a natural and harmonious fit. To employ a medical metaphor: the surroundings won't reject the body organ that is transplanted within it: the two are intimately became a member of. Perhaps, at bottom level, there emerges from the work and school of thought of McHarg, Jackson, Rachel Carson and everything who've come after them, the conviction, that if done in the right way and with the correct attitude, man may also 'improve or 'perfect' dynamics with the addition of the component of himself to it.
For more than ten thousand years the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, a vast 500, 000 kilometre rectangular area of southern Africa, have resided a lifestyle that has improved nearly nothing for this complete period. The Kalahari Desert appears to the softened American observer as a barren, inhospitable and intolerably difficult destination to make it through - yet only live continually! But the Bushmen have not only resided here among the dunes, plains and brush for countless millennia, nevertheless they have prospered also. In the centre of this historical approach to life is the harmonious and well-balanced romance that the tribes of the Kalahari share with the environment that facilitates them. This is a 'symbiotic' relationship where man needs what he needs from dynamics, but only enough, so that aspect in return revenue by being cured respectfully. A useful analogy is the one Courtlander makes between your shark and the tiny fish that clean it: the shark is washed by these fish as they remove its parasites and in exchange the fish are fed by the parasites of the shark. The partnership between your Bushmen and nature is similar: the Bushmen supply from nature's bounty and then character benefits also to the degree that she is treated respectfully. This relationship is symbolised in the abodes and dwelling places of the Bushmen: their huts are made of materials taken from the immediate environment: turf, wood, animal epidermis, earth. The products are all used in combination with maximum efficiency so that there is nothing wasted and little or nothing in characteristics is harmed; these features are elaborated in the sacred places of worship of the Bushmen (mounds, mountains, watering-holes) where these materials are used more thoroughly. Klaus has shown in his three-volume work The Sacred Rituals and Magical Methods of the Bushmen of the Kalahari the Bushmen's party of nature by way of numerous religious rituals and enchanting practices. Other civilizations that show an this intimate and delicate romance, and such a primary reflection of this the design of their dwelling places, are the aborigine peoples of Australia who live a very similar lifestyle to the bushmen and venerate Ayres rock as the acme of nature's munificence - as has been well recorded by Kama'eleiwiha in Native Land and Foreign Wants; also, the myriad indigenous tribes of the Amazon basin in SOUTH USA as registered by Davies in his Indigenous Tribes of Brazil; and the nomadic peoples of the Mongolian steppes.
What then gets the modern scenery architect to study from the symbiotic relationship of indigenous individuals with nature? Landscape architects of 2005, often working on sites at the derelict fringes of modern culture, on commercial waste-grounds, the edges of motorways, near to airports and so on are often compelled to work with sites that are sated with pollution, waste, scrap materials and waste material. The rejuvenation of sites as these by panorama architects must be in accordance with concepts of sustainability and environmental balance. The Bushmen of the Kalahari, the aborigines of Australia and so forth have, most importantly, a certain 'control' about just how they occupy and use their environment. The Bushmen is only going to kill as much family pets as suffice to fulfill their food cravings; by not hunting to excess the Bushmen ensure the stableness of the livestock populations and the other types that depend after them. The aborigines of Australia and the nomads of Mongolia are intimately aware of the maximum amount they can take from nature without forcing deprivation upon her; there is a 'collective consciousness among these peoples as to their responsibility towards dynamics and as to what the relationship is between dynamics and modern culture. For an aborigine or South American Indian to do damage to or pollute his environment is tantamount to the take action of self-harm and self-destruction; and as such works of mass air pollution are undocumented amongst such peoples. Panorama architects must take up an identical collective awareness and try to produce this through their designs so that their followers and users come to take up a similar consciousness. Surroundings architects must learn something of the 'control' exhibited by indigenous peoples towards the conditions, and do that by building their landscape creations with the same centrality of control. This has been shown specifically by the task of Martha Schwartz in the United State and the Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam. Instead of great landfill sites that forever plant more waste and pollutants in the land, designs must embrace the systems of recycling, bioengineering and so on. Notable examples of attempts consequently design include the, the Evergreen House in Chicago, USA, the BMW building in Berlin, and, less well-known but perhaps most persuasively of most, in the Plaza de Paz in Bogota, Colombia. In each of these designs the materials used for structure are environmentally friendly and were stated in an environmentally friendly manner; the vitality employed by these places is clean and originates from renewable sources. Every aspect of the designs is intended to foster tranquility and equilibrium between man and his environment, also to promote between users of the sites a deeper environmental consciousness that they might then extend to their families and acquaintances and therefore, eventually, drive the government authorities who represent these to take up similar attitudes also. It is almost obviously, that future opportunities for such design are infinite.
In the ultimate analysis, panorama architects of the twenty-first find that they have an immense amount to find out about their willpower from the ways of life and symbiotic romantic relationship with nature that have been known and practised by indigenous and nomadic peoples for many millennia. A landscaping architect might indeed conclude that buried in this intimate and intricate relationship with dynamics will be the ideal rules with which to compensate the rapacious desire for food for and ingestion of the environment by modern commercial society. In the centre of the indigenous and nomadic attitude to nature are the principles of 'balance' and 'equilibrium': it is by these ideas that mankind may continue to enjoy the bountiful fruits of characteristics without exhausting her potential to produce them. It is this exhaustive, relentless and seemingly inexorable 'taking from character' by our economies and civilizations without going back anything to mother nature that has disturbed the fragile balance valued by indigenous and nomadic individuals. Nonetheless, it is impossible for our years to dispense with the sophisticated technologies and business that people have developed and also to return to circumstances of indigenous lifestyle; what is needed is to make an architectural philosophy of design that fuses the simpleness and balance of the indigenous romantic relationship with mother nature, with the technical advances of our very own age. The duty and responsibility of the twenty-first hundred years landscaping architect is to produce designs and constructions that bring both of these philosophies together. Hence, it is essential that landscape architects work intimately with experts, ecologists, botanists, businessmen and others to be able to bring the best amount of environmental awareness and representation to the development of a specific site or task. By convening all of the particular parties considering a site in this way, a dialogue may be opened up between them and then the greatest hope arises that action will be executed to guarantee environmentally friendly health of a niche site. It should always maintain his mind that as the earth races towards environmentally friendly 'tipping-point' of no return, that responsibility upon the scenery architect is much one. The realization of such ambitious landscaping architecture has started with the works of Wayne Part, Sebastian Marot and Mark Treib.
Academic Books, Journals & Articles
-- Bachelard, Gaston (1994) The Poetics of Space; Beacon Press, Boston.
-- Casey, Edward (1993) Getting back into place - towards a fresh understanding ofthe place world; Indiana University Press
-- Courtlander, H. (1996). A Treasure of African Folklore. Marlowe & Company, New York.
-- Ed: Corney, James (1999) Recovering Panorama; Princetown
-- Davies, P. (1971). The Indigenous Tribes of Brazil. Farenheit Press, Preston.
-- Heidegger, Martin (1977) 'Building/Dwelling/Thinking'; New York, ed: Krell
-- Heizer, Michael (1999) Effigy Tumuli; New York, Harry N. Abrams
-- Heizer, Michael (1997) Metropolitan areas & Natural Process; London & New York, Routledge.
-- Jackson. J. B. (1994) A FEELING of Place, a Sense of their time; Yale.
-- Kame'eleiwiha, L. (1992). Native Land and Foreign Wants. Frontham Literature, Sydney & London.
-- Klaus, Walter. (1951). The Sacred Rituals and Magical Practices of the Bushmen of the Kalahari. Ford Literature, Edinburgh. Ford Books.
-- Mathur, Anuradha, da Cunha, Dilip (2001) Mississippi Floods: Building aShifting Surroundings; Yale Univ. Press
-- McHarg, Ian L. (1971) Design with Character; Doubleday/ Natural Record Press
-- Mumford, L. 'Release' in McHarg, M. L. (1971). Design With Aspect. Doubleday, Natural History Press.
-- Roy, Arundhati (1999) The expense of Living; Flamingo
-- Smithson, Robert (1996) The Collected Writings; California Press
-- Ed: Swaffield, Simon (2002) Theory in Landscape Architecture - A Audience; Univ. of Penn Press
-- Weilacher, Udo (1996) Between Panorama, Structures & Land Art work; Birkhaјser