There’s an interesting debate going on about the role of landscape architecture in response to a rapidly evolving tech culture. At Secter, we believe this digital landscape can be a part of a healthy, developing ecology as it allows us to continue to think and to probe the possibilities of the land. When public spaces are being replaced by desktops and computer chairs, where does landscape design fit into the scene?
There’s an illuminating article about technology and its appropriation of the landscape, and though it was written in 2006, there’s a great deal of insight about this seeming fundamental shift away from people’s experience and appreciation of nature to a state of “videophilia,” which is defined by the article as a series of sedentary activities involving electronic media. Read the full article here.
While this supposed smartphone culture may occupy a bigger space of our experience today, landscape design has always been a reflection of people’s needs. It strives to continuously engage and involve the public by creating safe, usable, and easily maintained places. Technology seems to be less of a challenge than it is an inducement to keep spaces healthy, and we see various examples of this in the form of urban greenery and the rise of green walls. Now the question is, can these “natural elements” actually replace nature? The likely answer is no.
What we do is more relevant than ever: to convey the dynamism of the land, to facilitate rich experiences of nature, and ultimately to articulate the sense and recognition of place.
Because, frankly–without it, where would we be?