Thumbnail Image

“Thickening the Light”: designing grounded experience in Christchurch’s Eastern Frame

Murphy, Charlotte
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::120107 Landscape Architecture , ANZSRC::120301 Design History and Theory , ANZSRC::120307 Visual Communication Design (incl. Graphic Design) , ANZSRC::120302 Design Innovation
This thesis explores the recent movement in landscape architecture towards phenomenological design, and investigates what possibilities could be generated through a process which places primacy on embodied experience. The research project investigates both the body of phenomenological theory and the realm of landscape design. The design processes, as well as the design outcomes, were found to be integral elements of what constituted the design intervention as an continuous, modulating being. The resulting design process is performative in that the majority of work takes place on site, in direct engagement with the landscape. As part of its experiential focus, the design process places importance on what the landscape is doing: materially, operationally, and temporally. In addition, in order to design landscapes that provide for more grounded experiences, techniques of strangemaking are used. In particular, cut-up methods are adopted in order to create design briefs that de-familiarise the familiar in the landscape. In doing so, habitual design conventions are disrupted. In order to maintain a focus on embodied experience, perspectival, rather than bird’s-eye viewpoints, are employed in representing the design work. In this process, representation acts as a generative, as well as communicative, tool. The thesis suggests that phenomenological methods offer alternatives in urban design to conventional analysis, plan-view driven approaches. It also proposes that there is potential scope for application in and examination of experience in rural settings. The research identifies particular resonance in this phenomenological approach in post-disaster settings. Finally, the research reflects on the role of the design-researcher in a phenomenologically-inflected process.
Source DOI
Creative Commons Rights
Access Rights