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Proceedings (editor) - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Working with Landscapes of Passage - to create places for memory and meaning

Wingren, Carola
Wingren, Carola (ed.)


This paper focuses on one hand on attitudes of the landscape architect working with the task to produce beauty, meaning or comfort in the cityscape, and on the other on how work with two different types of modern urban landscapes of passage simultaneously can give input and be part of each other’s knowledge processes. The two landscape types are the landscape around the city access road and the landscape of grief (cemeteries, memorials). The paper describes how reflection on twenty years of design practice has given new input about designing landscapes of passage, where the speed is the separating factor. Which attitudes, methods and means have been used to introduce place instead of space in the landscape? Design solutions answering those questions have been about 1) extending the arrival point to give the body and thought of the traveller time to adapt to the new situation, 2) designing in a more wild, and unplanned way leaving place for unforeseeable and more private things to happen, 3) designing with a big part of narrative to open for people’s fantasy to take place and be part of the design process. These answers can be seen as actions to leave more space for the individual to be part of the design process, of an inner landscape of memory and meaning. To open up for this inner design process the designer has used symbols, produced either through revealing hidden landscape features such as monuments or typical landscape elements or through tales and narratives introduced by new contributions or elements in the place. This landscape design will in the future get involved and confronted with research results from the newly established project “Designing Places for Memory and Meaning in Contemporary Urban Landscapes”. Both the infrastructural and the burial landscape of passage a) are landscapes of passage between different kinds of worlds, b) are today strictly planned and designed as a result of modernity with little potential for private influence in space, c) are maybe therefore spaces/places in need for symbols representing things like memory and meaning. The similarities and connection together with their differences make them interesting to compare. I believe that the method of bringing knowledge from design to research and from one landscape type to another in a cumulative process, can enrich the research outcomes for such complex situation as that of the urban environment

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