Monday, November 15, 2010

'A Landscape Manifesto'

Always a big fan of manifestos - the recent release of Diana Balmori & Michael Conan's 'A Landscape Manifesto' aims to be an interesting read (I have a copy en route, so stay tuned for a more expansive review).

:: image via Amazon

Some info on the book, from the Manifesto Website.

"A Landscape Manifesto' is a new book by Diana Balmori that presents her theory and practice of urban landscape design as an art that spans the divide between culture and nature, while combining the science of ecology with formal aspects of aesthetics.  This timely Manifesto - consisting of 25 points - advocates a new language for landscape, reflecting the shift in our understanding of nature and how it interacts with "the city".
A Landscape Manifesto is much more than just a book to read, enjoy and set aside –– it's intended to spark a conversation about the infinitely changeable nature of our world, and how we might effect positive transformation where we live, work, sleep and play."
The points are concise and evocative - for instance #1 is timely in the current debate surrounding LU v. NU.
"Nostalgia for the past and utopian dreams for the future prevent us from looking at our present."
– Manifesto point #1, from The Landscape Manifesto by Diana Balmori.
As an adjunct to the book, and to meet some of the above goals of an expanded converstation, Balmori has launched a companion website and call for 'Post-It Landscape' to illustrate the key points of the manifesto.  A few examples are up on the site - giving some physical context to the narrative of the manifesto points, using a simple media of staged photographic elements.

For example Yen Trinh's example of Manifesto point #18 uses a contested space, specifically an East Village Community Garden, showing evolution of a grassroots process of reclaiming space, and some of the subsequent pressures for development that have made this particular landscape an 'actor' in the political arena.

It should be interesting to see these connections, gleaned from a range of sources - as a great example of new media (building on Balmori's very cool Twitter version of space planning on the 'Making Public Places' from 2009).

Look for info more soon, including a review and my own addition to the Post-It Landscape... and thanks to Monica @ Balmori for the heads up!

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