Color. It took a while for me to begin to see and understand color in the landscape. Part of it was a bias against "garden-y" landscapes, which seemed somehow inferior - less urgent, less important, harder to conceptualize - to the BIG infrastructural projects that are still the current aspirational territory (and rightfully so, I think!) of landscape architects. But while LAs were forging ahead with Landscape Urbanism, this very same vanguard tried to ditch the aesthetic language of old school gardeners. Sure, we whip out abstract diagrams of seasonal colors, and diagrams that are beautiful to my eye are lauded for their clarity and analytical prowess. But the subtlety of observation that requires the eye of your mom's garden club or a 19th Century dandy seems bourgeois, quaint, small-minded.
I dunno, there's just something that smacks a little bit of a double standard; maybe it's just because architecture was so devoid of color for so long and that landscape gardening and horticultural cultivation saw it as a focus, albeit an inward looking one. What needs to happen to make color in the landscape something to be celebrated as much as a great graphic eye?
Early 21st C. design pedagogy and practice privilege the blurring of landscape architecture, building architecture, and urbanism. While the integration of environmental and built systems holds great promise for designers, the generalist impulse can obscure the value of specialization and experience, especially when working in the medium of living systems. This blog seeks to demystify landscape architecture, working not to reinforce differences in title, but foster mutual understanding.