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Landscape as tension: exploring the analytical and generative potential of a focus on tension in the landscape

Blackburne, Kate
Date
2014
Type
Thesis
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::120107 Landscape Architecture
Abstract
Current approaches to landscape analysis and design often respond to inhabitant value through processes of layering and categorisation. These strategies are critiqued as being limited in their ability to represent the intricate and complex character of landscape, as well as for their ‘binary’ nature. This thesis considers a potential realignment of the scope to focus on landscape tension – the emblematic relationships which come as a result of contrasting inhabitant values. A focus on landscape tension is considered in response to one particular cultural and geographic setting; the relationship between Farmers and Walkers on Banks Peninsula. First the analytical potential of a focus on tension is questioned, where rather than mapping inhabitant value, we might analyse the sociocultural landscape based upon its most active components – through a focus on tension. This is revealing of both the spatial landscape itself, its inhabitants and the associated person-to-person relationships. Following this the generative potential of a focus on landscape tension is considered, where landscape is designed as tension rather than in response to it. A critique of these outcomes is given illustrating the value of such an approach in a contested setting.
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