Scripties / theses
Novelty in the Entropic Landscape: Landscape architecture, gardening and change
University of Queensland, Faculty of Architecture
Queensland (AUS)


Raxworthy, Julian Richard


A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Queensland in 2013School of Architecture


Processes of change in the landscape produce material outcomes, both organic and inorganic, thatexhibit the quality of novelty, or specific newness. The idea of change is implicit for landscapearchitecture, because of its relationship to plants that grow. While recent interest in process inlandscape architecture and architecture celebrates change (a body of thought the author labels “TheProcess Discourse”), such change however is often simulated rather than real. Correspondingly, thisdissertation asks, “How can landscape architecture be practiced to allow it to manipulate itsmaterials’ inherent capacity for change?”Three built case studies that were designed and managed over time (The Bordeaux Botanic Garden,France by Catherine Mosbach, Sven-Ingvar Andersson’s Garden at Marnas, Sweden and Louis LeRoy’s Ecocathedral in the Netherlands) were visited over a 10-year period. Using on-siteobservations (and participant observation in the case of the Ecocathedral) the case studies areanalyzed to determine the mechanisms used to encourage and direct novelty that emerges over time.These projects question, and in turn suggest, practices suited to working with change in the gardenand the designed landscape.Gardening can be considered a ‘real-time’ cultural means of engaging and manipulating growth in adynamic, improvisatory relationship with natural processes. This dissertation argues that rather thanlooking to architectural models of representation, landscape architecture should look to (andreconcile with) gardening for models to produce novel design outcomes that gain qualities ratherthan lose them over time.


"[The ecokathedral} looks like a whole lot of piles of bricks in a forest” with the overall “appearance of a ruin or an archaeological site.”
[...] In the oldest part, symbiogenesis is visible, the co-making of living things which creates a double meaning. On the one hand, a beautiful unknown and consciously chosen entanglement of nature and temporal architectural forms changing in daylight and seasons and, on the other, a form of decay, both part of the cyclic renovation of life and work in progress. Nature pushes the architectural forms upwards and sideways, and stones become undulating or fall, creating a confronting ‘feel’.

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