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Drawing in landscape architecture: fieldwork, poetics, methods, translation and representation

Cureton, Paul (2014) Drawing in landscape architecture: fieldwork, poetics, methods, translation and representation. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

By analysing landscape architectural representation, particularly drawing, the thesis contribution will develop the mode and process of making - poesis: between production and representation. Extending the work of James Corner on drawing within landscape architecture (1992), the thesis will develop a positive hermeneutics from the novelist Italo Calvino (1997) in which this agency of drawing can be understood and conceived. From this framework of operation, a number of drawing methods are to be developed - particularly heuristics and scoring which creates a positive valence for landscape architectural production. The focus will lie within the process or translation of drawing into landscape, or its process of ‘becoming’ (Vesely 2006, Evans 1996, 2000, Deleuze 1992). This focus will be contextualised amongst others by the work of: Paolo Soleri (1919- 2013), Wolf Hilbertz (1938-2007) and Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009). The agency of drawing is to be situated in broader theories of space and ‘everyday life’ particularly by extracting critical neo-Marxist notions and readings of social productions of space as found in Henri Lefebvre (1901 -1991) (De Certeau 1984, 1998, Lefebvre, 1991, 1996, 2003, Soja 1996, 2000 & Harvey 1989. 1996). The thesis contribution to knowledge will thus chart drawing use, communication, alternative strategies, and new concepts of urban environments; a ‘poetic mediation on existence’ (Kundera 1987). This very movement & ‘becoming’ whilst containing analysis, in each separate component, has yet to be collectively discussed in a constructive and meaningful way. This inturn will reflect back on the role of representation in the shaping and conception of space – this is the role of drawing in landscape architecture. This knowledge is enabled using methods of interdisciplinary exhibition, educational modules, oral history interviews and the history of professional landscape architecture practices, as well by deploying a visual literacy method within the thesis (Dee 2001, 2004).

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