|dc.description.abstract||This thesis examines the relationship between walking, pathways and landscapes. It considers the use of walking as a tool for discovering landscape, the influence of pathways in engagement and questions the possibility that pathways, the tracks and walkways used, may act as an agent to enable a further, meaningful relationship with the landscape. The research follows a structured series of investigations; each step is composed of practical walking explorations and reinforced by theoretical review. Four processes were used: seeing, being, moving, making. A series of walking investigations were undertaken along the tracks of Banks Peninsula, east of the Canterbury Plains, NZ. These employ walking as a probing tool, an access point to observable interaction and as a method of generating information. This research questions what is seen, how it is seen and what results from observation. It explores alternative ways of knowing the path and landscape through movement along and within the path. It questions how the walker comes to understand through the use of a range of senses and particular positions, before exploring the role of movement and making.
The studies reveal that there are limits to seeing; they reveal that how we know landscape and how we enter into it influences our responses – both in place and out, both now and after. In opening possibilities for knowing and observing spaces through the path, this research finds enriched ideas of materiality and relationship that interrogate the relationship between walker and path. Walking exploration reveals ways in which the landscape informs and alters perspectives, and opens up a designing that might be informed through experience within landscape. The research shows how paths are more than static materials and lines on maps or ground. The nature of the walk and the variable forms of contact along a path determine experiences and direct knowing. The research finds walking is a rich and diverse practice: its outcomes situate the walker, enable exploration and confirm particularities. Walking can be used to clarify, to confirm and to provide a platform for discovery. The research determines however a walk is undertaken, it is never passive or other. As articulated spaces, landscapes reveal rich and complex meanings that can be observed along the path or built into the path. This research utilises these ideas and proposes a way of conceptualising pathways and the relationship between walker and path. The research provides a model which identifies how path trajectories and possible itineraries can be situated in an expanded field for paths and locates various path ‘fields’. The path, its exploration and design is relational: the path's place within landscape and design is an intersection, and not a binary ‘this’ or ‘that’. A series of relational constructs is developed and expressed as a set of positional type diagrams which reveal path elements and conditions. Four path characteristics are identified in this research which define paths: path is directional; path is negotiated and contingent; path is haptic, and path is immersive. This research identifies many different ways of coming to know paths, formed as the walker-observer connects with things found both inside and outside the path, and suggests that there are a range of possibilities latent in the consideration of a different approach to seeing, knowing and moving along a path.||en