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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Decentring landscape: rethinking landscape analysis with a relational ontology

Qvistrom, Mattias


Landscape theory has frequently been used as a base for scrutinising landscape characterisation and landscape analysis. However, this paper argues that if we aim to understand action-oriented methods for landscape analysis, then landscape needs to be decentred in favour of studies of the enactment of the landscape-project interplay. Relational ontology offers a fruitful ground for such examinations. Following a conceptual discussion, the paper draws on an in-depth interview with a senior landscape architect on his practise. The conversation captures how a complex set of theories on landscape, planning, methodology etc. is informing his methodological approach. Second, the interview shows how he centres the unfolding of relations through which the project and landscape can be understood, to identify what matters for the siting of the project. While this methodology remains constant, it requires different ways to enact landscape. This calls for further studies of the relational nature of such methodologies.


Action-oriented landscape analysis; landscape theory; landscape planning; methodology; ontological politics; practising landscape architecture; relational ontology; >

Published in

Landscape Research
2023, Volume: 48, number: 8, pages: 1108-1119

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Landscape Architecture

    Publication Identifiers


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