Transformation in Composition

Rene Van Der Velde
This study enlarges on the notion of composition in landscape architecture. It builds upon the 'Delft method', which elaborates composition as a methodological framework from its sister discipline architecture. At the same time takes a critical stance in respect to this framework, informed by recent epistemological developments in landscape architecture such as the site-specificity and process discourses. The notion of composition is examined from a historical and theoretical perspective,
more » ... perspective, before turning to an examination of the brownfield park project realised in the period 1975-2015. These projects emerge as an important laboratory and catalyst for developments in landscape architecture, whereby contextual, process, and formal-aesthetic aspects emerge as central themes. The thesis of this research is that a major theoretical and methodological expansion of the notion of composition can be distilled from the brownfield park project, in which seemingly irreconcilable paradigms such as site and process are incorporated. By extension, the study elaborates on the disciplinary specificity of landscape architecture as distinct to its sister disciplines architecture and urbanism, propositioning a 'radical maturation' of the foundations of the discipline in the period 1975 – 2015, via the brownfield park project. A metaphor for this process is offered by the phenomenon of ecdysis in arthropods (such as the blue swimmer crab), whereby the growth from juvenile to adult takes place in stages involving the moulting of an inelastic exoskeleton. Once shed, a larger exoskeleton is formed, whose shape and character is significantly different to its forebears. The research sketches the contours of a similar 'disciplinary ecdysis' in the period 1975-2015, whereby an evolution of design-as-composition praxis in landscape architecture takes place. In the slipstream of these findings, the research sheds new light on the shifts in the form and content of the city itself in this period, and the agency of the urban park in the pro [...]
doi:10.7480/abe.2018.9.2396 fatcat:e7kydjrjtrdclavfnbsvrld6ze