Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Worldviews on Landscape

by Antonio C. Antonio
January 7, 2015

The term “landscape” (as a noun) is defined as all the visible features of an area of countryside or land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal; and (as a verb) pertains to the improvement of the aesthetic appearance of (a piece of land) by changing its contours, adding ornamental features, or planting trees and shrubs.  A landscape, however, may represent many things to a particular person depending on his background, tradition and discipline orientation.  This is the reason why people have different worldviews on landscape.

A person educated in the discipline of landscape architecture and design will always view landscape as having the following properties… (1) people, (2) softscapes and (3) hardscapes.  Softscapes are the biological component; therefore, the people, plants and animals that use the landscape as their home and source of food.  Hardscapes are the man-made infrastructure on the landscape which are basically made of cement, metal and wood.  An engineer, however, will always see landscape as a specific site where he is to build an infrastructure or hardscape.

A person schooled in the natural resources will have a tendency to view landscape as more than the hardscapes, softscapes or even the infrastructure both in a general sense as well as in specific terms.  An allied study in natural science, landscape ecology is a multidisciplinary academic discipline that deals in the science of studying and improving relationships between ecological processes in the environment and particular ecosystems.  This is done within a variety of landscape scales and the development of spatial patterns.

Most ordinary people will view landscape as a small household garden lay-out and design for aesthetic purposes.  Quite different from the other worldviews already discussed, it is the most popular and accepted one.  Afterall, worldviews (defined as a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world) are subjective and depend largely on culture, tradition, background and academic orientation of the holder of such worldview.  Tolerance, not necessarily acceptance, should be the ideal order in dealing with the different worldviews on landscape.

Just my little thoughts…

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