Architecture and the Environment: Challenge & Change II

Dr. Steiner: When we conceived the conference, we thought that it would be very, very important in the discussion of architecture to talk about the land and to talk about landscape in relation to architecture. In a way there is a kind of false dichotomy, not dissimilar to the nature/culture one that Steven Moore pointed out. We invited three very stimulating leaders in landscape architecture for this next session.

Let’s step back just for a second and think about the term landscape and where the term comes from. In the original Dutch, landschap meant making territory. The Dutch are quite successful in making spaces and making pleasant spaces for people to live; furthermore, they make spaces that are both pleasant and equitable. But I think the term landscape is often misconceived as just something to look at. This is clear when you look at Latin languages. In Italian, the translation of landscape is paesaggio, which basically means scenery. I think that, unfortunately, to many people, landscape is scenery. There's another Italian word, territorio that actually has a similar meaning to the original Dutch conception.

The next three speakers will, I think, change how we view landscape and land in relation to the built environment. Our first speaker is Steve Shelton. He graduated in our first class of landscape architects from The University of Texas at Austin. He will be followed by two of the most important landscape architects in the country, Laurie Olin, principal with the Olin Partnership in Philadelphia and Mary Margaret Jones, principal with Hargreaves Associates in San Francisco. So with that, I'll turn it over to Steve Shelton.

steiner Member and Moderator Frederick R. Steiner, Dean, University of Texas School of Architecture. Photo by member John Gullett.