authentic wilds

A couple of weeks ago, a group of Australian landscape architects visited UVA for the Thaler Symposium — Anton James from JMD, Perry Lethlean from Taylor Cullity Lethlean, and Julian Raxworthy from QUT. I’ve found myself thinking about the projects their presented several times since then, and a strain of thought brought out through Julian’s lecture (and a later conversation) has seemed particularly productive in attempting to frame this project.

source: picasa user: morlock


source: wikipedia

Is Berlin’s Mauerpark a wild landscape? What do we make of this place that is characterized by spontaneous vegetation and spontaneous use?


With what values and associations do we view this landscape?  Do we view it in the same way we view Field Operations’ design for the High Line:



Even when we know that it used to look like this:

source: joel sternfeld

source: joel sternfeld

What level of “wild” or “spontaneous” are we comfortable with, and where do we draw the line? How do we establish an aesthetic of care without ruining the wild qualities of the site that we love most?

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