Scripties / theses
Lessons from Le Roy's Landscapes
Exporing a philosophy of duration, intuition and desire-production
  • Ecokathedraal in Mildam
  • Le Roy tuin Kennedylaan in Heerenveen


Groenewoud, Stella



The natural processes and resident participation as essential parts of the landscape architecture of
Louis G. Le Roy reveal a thinking of time that flourished in the philosophy of Henri Bergson in the
beginning of the previous century and again in the later 60’s and 70’s when modernised and
completed by Gilles Deleuze. The ‘ecotecture’ is the embodiment of Bergson’s philosophy of time as
duration, as a heterogeneous multiplicity in which the dialectical relationship between the here-andnow
and the long term is dissolved. Time is seen as the driving force of a perpetual becoming, an
actualisation of the virtual, in contrast to a passive passage through a sequence of preplanned or
predictable events. This ‘real’ or natural time allows coincidence and contingency and acknowledges
complexity which is continuously embodied in the unfolding of the future. Le Roy’s theory against
the ‘switched-off self’ and the growth of his projects through a continuous co-creation as a human act
can be further explored with the second important Bergsonian notion: that of intuition as a method.
Intuition as neither instinct nor intelligence, but a precise method presupposing duration that
rediscovers the ‘true articulations of the real’. It works from inside of the project, with time and
memory as the driving forces, as opposed to working via abstract representations. Whereas words
and symbols categorise by nature, intuition as a method acknowledges all differences and
heterogeneity from within the system.
Bergson maintains that the time of the clock is a construction reasoned by a rational self and that
duration is sensed by a deeper, more natural self: the moi profond. This heterogeneous being has
found its climax in continental philosophy as the schizo-subject of Deleuze and Guattari: a nomadic
self, free and creative, that is an ever producing desiring-machine. Desire is here not outsourced and
replaced (as in capitalism), but free from oppression and territorialism. Within the process of
schizophrenia the past enables instead of constrains the present. Production and the produced object
melt together, whereas the subject is of no importance - the schizoid is a non-ego, eco-social and one
with nature. This theory of an architecture of duration, intuition and desire leads to a new modesty,
not as an indifferent determinism but a renewed awe for the complexity of everything; let us immerse
again in the entity and nature and time, what we are and are inside of, after all, we cannot oppress.