A Pity Of Heaven — Editorial of the No. 1 Issue for 2014, Landscape Architecture Frontiers
By Kongjian Yu
"Temporal Landscape" is a seemingly false proposition, since landscape is per se related to time. Landscape, as defined by the late cultural landscape scholar John Brinckerhoff Jackson, is "a space deliberately created to speed up or slow down the process of nature…represents man taking upon himself the role of time". In this sense, the terraced fields of Mount Ailao are a landscape created through the filling and excavation of hillsides by the Hani ethnic group to deliberately slow down the affects of time. The tree-networked farmlands of the North China Plain are a landscape slowed down by the wind. In contrast, the orderly-arranged orchards and fishponds, as well as the channelized rivers, are landscapes of accelerated natural processes. Time, as the sculptor of landscape, is ubiquitous.
Whether human activity leaves a trace on the land ultimately depends on the ruthless and irreversible time. Significant as the influence might be, splendid the accomplishment, enormous the power to either decelerate or accelerate natural processes, magnificent the landscapes or monuments, they will sooner or later perish with the time. Therefore, "the ancestors cannot be seen, nor can the future generations," cried out Chen Zi'ang, a poet of China's Tang Dynasty. Confucius could not help but sigh, "time passes away like the flow of water." It seems that such doleful exclamations are never ending. But, I take these proverbs to be a blessing because in this world, only time can be deemed as fair. Otherwise, our planet would be piled with monuments and pyramids left behind by kings and nobles.
The other expression of landscape as a time-related process is the so-called "the Sustainability of Landscape". With time as a ruler, the meaning of human activities can be measured. We need to evaluate the meaning of all landscape behaviors of human according to the overall sustainability of human beings as well as the only planet they live on. In this case, we need to go back to the standard given by Charles Robert Darwin, the founder of evolution theory, and later by Ian McHarg, the farther of ecological planning — Adaption! As living things adapt to the nature to propagate, so do human to prosper and become beautiful. With time as a base, McHarg superimposed layers of climatic, geologic, topographic, earth, hydrologic, vegetation, organic and processes of human activities to define the spatial distribution of landscapes, elaborating the process of living things adaptation towards nature, as well as that of human beings towards natural and organic processes, and proposes a basic principle of "Design with Nature" for landscape architecture, where human beings will evolve and prosper like other living things only when they know how to adapt to natural processes. To adapt to nature does not mean to be passive, but instead to control the role of time by decelerating or accelerating natural processes according to the patterns of natural processes and layouts. In doing so a harmonious state can be created between humans and nature—a display of "deep form", as described by John Lyle, opposed to "shallow form" or the "fake form".
Unfortunately, a significant portion of the landscapes I have seen in both rural and urban areas, ancient to modern, home and abroad, are "shallow form" and "fake form". In fact, "heaven", as the goal of landscape design has become a fake goal with disregard to time. Most of the wealthy property developers and influential urban decision-makers that landscape architects have come into contact with seek shallow and fake forms, without considering the patterns of time. For example, take a look at the evergreen trees and box hedgerows that are protected with heat preservation during the winter on the streets of Beijing. Or the silk flowers and plastic palms that are seen throughout residential areas. These shallow and fake forms are created because top officials wish to stop time, and are governed by slogans demanding that "trees be green in four seasons, and flowers seen in three seasons". It is often the dream of influential officials to build a paradise of "winter without coldness, summer without intense heat, and a whole year with green trees and flowers in blossom" — a heaven that can make them immortal. What the emperors and the nobles did not know is that while investing bottomless labor and resources into the fight against time, they were creating and maintaining the "shallow form" and "fake form". In the end, once these"paradises" become "the world without human beings" under the unrelenting force of time, they would eventually transform into a natural wilderness where weeds thrive and animals hunt. In contrast, the terraced fields in the high mountains have adapted to the process and pattern of nature with the most economical labor and low input. Seed-sowing, irrigation, and harvest are all carried out according to the rhythms of nature, a balance achieved between input and harvest, creating a deep form. It represents a balance between human desires and natural forces and has endured for thousands of years.
So "Temporal Landscape" is not a false proposition, because even in "heaven" dreamed of and created by human beings, the existence of time also is often ignored.
Editorial (by Kongjian YU)
A Study of Landscape Performance: Do Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits Always Complement Each Other? (by Yi LUO, Ming-Han LI)
Views and Criticisms
Examples Showcasing Time Changes of Urban Landscape Architecture (by Carol R. JOHNSON)
Plant Landscape Changing over Time (by Li DONG)
Atmosphere: Quality, Perception and the Concept of Time in Landscape Architecture (by Stig L. ANDERSSON)
The Layers of Time (by David LEATHERBARROW)
Spring and Autumn, Winter and Summer — Scenery and Impression from Atelier 100s+1 Songzhuang Office in Beijing (by Lele PENG)
Lichtung — An Ephemeral Installation in the Floodplain Forest of Ingolstadt, Germany (by OFICINAA)
Underpass Park, Toronto (by PFS)
24 Solar Term Gardens — The Landscape Design of the Park City Toyosu Community, Japan (by Earthscape)
The Rebirth of a Lake — Landscape Design of Wenying Lake in Datong (by AECOM)
Natural Water as Cultural Water — A Thirty Year Plan for Wabash River Corridor in Lafayette, Indiana, USA (by Zhicheng XU)
Timescape (by Bernardo DIAS, Chiaki YATSUI, Qiuying ZHONG)
Experiments and Processes
The High Coast: Toward an Altitudinal Economy of Snow (by Alexander ARROYO)
Alps as Process — Engaging Montane Switzerland as an Operating Urban Ecology (by Daia Paco Stutz STEPPACHER)
【英文刊名】Landscape Architecture Frontiers • The Layers of Time
【作者】李明翰（Ming-Han LI）、卡罗尔•R•约翰逊（Carol R. JOHNSON）、斯蒂格•L•安德森（Stig L. ANDERSSON）等
A Study of Landscape Performance:Do Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits Always Complement Each Other?
作者：罗毅、李明翰 Author: Yi LUO, Ming-Han LI
The purpose of this study is two-fold: 1) to introduce background of landscape performance and the Cast Study Investigation program of Landscape Architecture Foundation; and 2) to explore whether landscape’s environmental, economic and social benefits are conflicting or converging for sustainability. Landscape performance, as defined by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, is “the measure of efficiency with which landscape solutions fulfill their intended purpose and contribute toward sustainability.” Landscape Architecture Foundation based on the concept of sustainability to establish the research framework for investigating landscape performance by quantifying environmental, economic and social benefits. The current common sustainable development concept often discusses the benefits in the three environmental, economic and social aspects whereas their interrelationship is hardly addressed. Considering the large body of literature supporting the fact that human activities have significant influences on the natural environment, it seems that certain benefits would impede other benefits, and therefore result in tradeoffs in landscape performance. Understanding the interrelationship between the environmental, economic and social benefits, allows designers to enhance the compatible relationships, mitigate the conflicting relationships and create high-performing landscapes in the future. In this study, we used the 39 landscape performance case studies published by the Landscape Architecture Foundation in its 2011 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program to test four hypotheses.
Key words ...
Sustainability; Conflict; Tradeoff; Landscape Architecture Foundation; High-Performing Landscape.
Examples Showcasing Time Changes of Urban Landscape Architecture
作者：卡罗尔•R•约翰逊 Author: Carol R. JOHNSON
Landscape architects who work in urban areas face some challenges which are similar to all landscape projects, and some of them are unique to urban sites. The article describes the landscape of a 20th Century buildings at Harvard University, and two other urban sites along rivers. In each case, the growth of trees has contributed significantly to the success of the project. In addition, a layout responsive to public use and the overall environment has contributed greatly to the final result.
Key words ...
rees; Soil; Urban Landscape Architecture; Temporal Change
Plant Landscape Changing over Time
作者：董丽 Author: Li DONG
Within a day or a year, during the life cycle of individual plants and the evolving process of the whole plant community, temporal changes of plant landscape have been taking place. Such changes are reflected not only in the plants per se, but also the spatial characteristics formed by the plants. This interview concentrates on the changes of plant landscape, and introduces planting design guidelines according to these changes, addressing the wrong understanding of plant landscape.
Key words ...
Plant; Plant Community; Change; Season
Atmosphere: Quality, Perception and the Concept of Time in Landscape Architecture
作者：斯蒂格•L•安德森 Author: Stig L. ANDERSSON
What is quality in landscape architecture? How do we define atmosphere? And what is the role of time in relation to urban design? These are the questions addressed by Stig L. Andersson in this article. He stresses the importance of context and the difference between quantity and quality in landscape design, arguing for the importance of a landscape design that creates new meanings, new experiences and new contexts that force us to engage with city and nature in new and surprising ways.
Key words ...
Atmosphere; Quality; Context; Engagement
The Layers of Time
作者：大卫•莱瑟巴罗 Author: David LEATHERBARROW
The basic thesis of this paper is that temporality gives access to the primary order of architectural topography and thus to the reality and meaning of landscapes, streets, buildings, rooms, and their details. Time is not a contingent attribute of the places intended in design and realized through construction but a key to their essential structure and significance. Three dimensions of temporality are discussed: the time of the world, of the project, and of the experience, as it moves through and comes to rest in a work’s several spatial situations. The interconnections between prior, present, and future appearances are discussed, in consideration of a building or landscape’s materials, spatial order, and location. All of this is set out in a two-part argument: that the stories of our lives are recorded in the spaces of our lives, and that this recording is essentially temporal.
Key words ...
Movement; Qualification; Anticipation; Recollection; Projection
Spring and Autumn, Winter and Summer—Scenery and Impression from Atelier 100s+1 Songzhuang Office in Beijing
作者：彭乐乐 Author: Lele PENG
This article introduces the design of Atelier 100s+1 Songzhuang Office in Beijing. Through describing experiences and perceptions of four seasons, day and night, and the temperature changes, the author delineates the scenery and impression of the buildings, emphasizing that the imagery cognition is more important than the detail design in landscape architecture.
Key words ...
Spring and Autumn; Winter and Summer; Day and Night; Scenery and Impression
Lichtung — An Ephemeral Installation in the Floodplain Forest of Ingolstadt, Germany
作者：OFICINAA设计事务所 Author: by OFICINAA
Lichtung is an installation built along a narrow pathway of 400 m in the alluvial forest of Ingolstadt, Germany. It aims to immerse residents into the haptic qualities of the Danube River. Lichtung is the German word for “clearing”, and derives from light (licht); it is a space of disclosure, appearance, and reverberation.
Key words ...
Ephemeral Installation; Atmosphere; Alluvial; Clearing; Micro-climates
Underpass Park, Toronto
作者：PFS Author: PFS
As a result of aggressive urban highway building that took place during the mid 20th century, North American cities are littered with elevated roadways that have severed neighborhoods and left behind unused, derelict and often dangerous places. Underpass Park in Toronto fights back by delivering a transformative park space that helps reconnect an evolving community while providing a highly useable, engaging and eye catching space in the process.
Key words ...
Toronto; Reconnection; Transformation; Unconventional
24 Solar Term Gardens — The Landscape Design of the Park City Toyosu Community, Japan
作者：Earthscape景观设计事务所 Author: Earthscape
24 solar terms display the seasonal changes throughout a year. The solar cycle is composed of 24 points on the traditional East Asian lunar calendar, which correspond to particular astronomical events or signifying natural phenomenon. In this project, we created 24 private gardens according to the 24 solar terms.
Key words ...
24 Solar Terms; Season; Lunar Calendar; Garden
The Rebirth of a Lake — Landscape Design of Wenying Lake in Datong
作者：AECOM Author: AECOM
In 2008, AECOM began the landscape design for the area surrounding Wenying Lake with the goal of revitalizing the lake. An “Urban Green Lung” and waterfront recreational space that focused on nature, history, and culture were recreated through a series of eco-focused design approaches. As a result, a large lake landscape has reappeared on the Loess Plateau and an eco-bird island has returned to the tumultuous city. Residents have benefited from the high-quality life brought about by nature, culture, and art, making the best footnote for the rebirth of Wenying Lake.
Key words ...
Wenying Lake; Urban Green Lung; Ecological Restoration; Rebirth
Natural Water as Cultural Water — A Thirty Year Plan for Wabash River Corridor in Lafayette, Indiana, USA
作者：徐之成 Author: Zhicheng XU
The project seeks to find the balancing point between culture and nature along the Wabash River in Lafayette, Indiana, which is currently underappreciated because of flooding, vacancy and disconnection. The design solutionis an embodiment of cultural representation and technology of stormwater management in order to achieve ecological and social resilience. With potential for spontaneous use and dynamic programming, the site can transform into asustainableinfrastructure with a cultural identity that provides active waterfront experience.
Key words ...
Flooding; Transformation; Landscape Infrastructure; Time; Nature; Culture
作者：贝尔纳多•迪亚斯、谷井千晶、钟秋莹 Author: Bernardo DIAS, Chiaki YATSUI, Qiuying ZHONG
Timescape is a project that morphs geometric sculptures with nature to explore the idea of the picturesque and the potential of architectural decay. The virtual side of the project explores the geometry of interlocking bricks, generated from 3D pieces cast from local materials, such as earth, cork, sand, and cement, that will decomposed from exposure to high pressures of water mixed at different ratios. The shifting morphological shape means that some parts will maintain a concrete structural base, while others are more fragile, porous, and textural. During the process of exposure, the architecture is sacrificed to wider landscape, creating a series of informal spaces that are both intriguing and uncertain.
Key words ...
Architectural Decay; Interlocking Bricks; Local Materials; Morphological Shape
The High Coast: Toward an Altitudinal Economy of Snow
As avant-garde interface between geologic and meteorologic media, high-altitude montane and alpine zones constitute a "High Coast" delimiting a massive, diffuse, yet largely unrecognized freshwater "ocean": the snowpack. In the western United States, up to 80% of water resources draw from the snowpack of the Rockies, Sierra Nevadas, and other ranges; accordingly, snow has critically shaped geotechnical systems of regional urbanization, both up- and down-slope. The infrastructural components of such systems express the vernacular geographies of economy and ecology unique to each altitudinal and orographic (mountain) range, from snow-fences to forestry patterns. The highly varied coupling of components evidences decentralized yet systematic territorial management of snow across multiple spatio-temporal scales. Reimaging snow as theoretical and material ground for geotechnical praxis (following Patrick Geddes, Lewis Mumford, and Benton MacKaye), this project proposes a speculative thermodynamic narrative for a set of sites in California, Nevada, and Utah, exploring the potentials and implications of a "Big Melt" for the High Coast.
Key words ...
Snow; Geotechnics; Thermodynamics; General Economy; Remote Urbanization
Alps as Process — Engaging Montane Switzerland as an Operating Urban Ecology
作者：达亚•柏高•斯图兹•司提帕查尔 Author: Daia Paco Stutz STEPPACHER
What started as a research project on underground urbanization and mega-infrastructures in Switzerland became a thesis project on the Alps as a whole: from significant changes in climate conditions, heavy infrastructural intensification, to concentrated real-estate boom together with simultaneous abandonment and decline, a whole series of dynamic forces are currently pressing on the European Alps while thoroughly changing its geography and territorial relationships. As new yet indispensable phenomena, these urban transformations heavily question the predominant static and isolated view of the picturesque and natural alpine landscapes as well as the conservation and preservation efforts behind them. Through the lens of the new Transalpine Rail Tunnel in Switzerland (AlpTransit), the largest and deepest tunnel on earth, the paper outlines a radical rethinking of the Alps not only as an thoroughly urbanized and artificial territory in transition, but as an operating urban ecology itself where processes of urbanization, de-urbanization, growth and shrinkage become the programmatic vectors of a systemic and flexible design approach.
Key words ...
Alps; Infrastructure; Alps Transalpine Rail Tunnel; Urban Ecology