Embracing reality: An experience of landscape theory teaching

M. Francisca Lima, Alessandra Capuano (Editor), Veronica Caprino (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Theory can sometimes convey a sense of refuge that might be shattered by a direct encounter with reality, but it can also be the point of departure for a better understanding of our surrounding realities. I hereby propose a discussion on the embracement of the world’s complexity, local differences, and global forces by exploring how landscape theory teaching can impact design making and fieldwork. Humboldt’s fascination with plants and rugged topographies, allied with a frantic need to travel and collect data directly from the field, allowed him to know plants by their names, but primarily by their places. Climbing mountains while observing multiple phenomena created the matrix for an understanding of topography as the carver of ecosystems and biotopes that is at the heart of landscape design practices. Although relying in measurements and measuring instruments, Humboldt quickly acknowledged the equally important faculty of the imagination in the process of understanding the environment. A five-year long voyage to South America was followed by two decades of writing as a reflective process of knowledge assimilation resulting in the production of an extensive literature body later made available to the readers of the time, and to all future generations. I here argue for a revival of Humboldt’s legacy as a continuous inspirational figure for a comprehensive and effective pedagogical approach to landscape theory and design teaching via a navigation trough student’s experiences of theory learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Landscape as Union between Art and Science
Subtitle of host publicationThe Legacy of Alexander von Humboldt and Ernst Haeckel
EditorsAlessandra Capuano, Veronica Caprino, Liliana Impellizzeri Laino, Athanassia Sakellariou
ISBN (Electronic)9788822913784
ISBN (Print)9788822920461
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2023


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