LED Online Seminar 2019 - Working Group 9

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Dear working group members. This is your group page and you will be completing the template gradually as we move through the seminar. Good luck and enjoy your collaboration!

Assignment 1 - Reading and Synthesizing Core Terminology

  • You can read more details about this assignment here
  • Readings are accessible via the resources page

Step 1: Your Landscape Democracy Manifestoes

Step 2: Define your readings

  • Please add your readings selection for the terminology exercise before April 24:

A: Landscape and Democracy

Sieverts, Thomas (2003): Cities without cities. An interpretation of the Zwischenstadt. English language ed. London: Spon Press. (Michela Madiotto)

B: Concepts of Participation

Gaventa, John: The Powerful, the Powerless, and the Experts (Raphaela Roming)

Hester, Randolph (2005): Whose Politics, Landscape Architecture (Michela Madiotto)

C: Community and Identity

Francis, Mark: A Case Study Method for Landscape Architecture (Raphaela Roming)

Welk Von Mossner, Alexa (2014): Cinematic Landscapes, In: Topos, No. 88, 2014.(Zasim Uddin Tuhin)

Gafford, Farrah D. (2013): It Was a Real Village: Community Identity Formation Among Black Middle-Class Residents in Pontchartrain Park, Journal of Urban History 39:36

D: Designing (Majeda Khatun)

Salgado, Mariana, et al. (2015): Designing with Immigrants (Raphaela Roming)

Hester, Randolph: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sustainable Happiness (Michela Madiotto)

Pritzker Prize winning architect Alejandro Aravena on sustainable design and community involvement in Chile (Zasim Uddin Tuhin)

Woodcraft, Saffron, et al.: Design for Social Sustainability: A Framework for Creating Thriving New Communities (Majeda)

E: Communicating a Vision

Boer, Florian, Jens Jorritsma, and Dirk van Peijpe. 2010. De Urbanisten and the wondrous water square. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. Webpage and Video (Zasim Uddin Tuhin)

A toolkit for transforming abandoned spaces through the arts (Majeda Khatun)

Steps 3 and 4: Concepts Selection and definition

  • Each group member selects three relevant concepts derived from his/her readings and synthesize them/publish them on the wiki by May 15, 2019
  • Group members reflect within their groups and define their chosen concepts into a shared definition to be posted on the wiki by June 12, 2019.
  • Other group members will be able to comment on the definitions until June 30, 2019
  • Each group will also report on their process to come to a set of shared definitions of key landscape democracy concepts on the wiki documentation until July 12, 2019

Concepts and definitions

Author 1: Zasim Uddin Tuhin

Welk Von Mossner, Alexa (2014): Cinematic Landscapes, In: Topos, No. 88, 2014.

  • Fictional film is a film that tells a fictional or fictionalized story, event or narrative. In this style of film, believable narratives and characters help to convince the audience that the unfolding fiction is real. Lighting and camera movement, among other cinematic elements, have become increasingly important in these films. Great detail goes into the screenplays of narratives, as these films rarely deviate from the predetermined behaviors and lines of the classical style of screenplay writing to maintain a sense of realism. Actors must deliver dialogue and action in a believable way, so as to persuade the audience that the film is real life.
  • Landscape is the dominant metaphor in fiction film because it provides a means to explore the intersection between narration and geography. While a useful and appropriate device to engage landscape, the metaphor also works to constrain the discourse surrounding cinematic landscapes.

Pritzker Prize winning architect Alejandro Aravena on sustainable design and community involvement in Chile

  • When asked to build housing for 100 families in Chile ten years ago, Alejandro Aravena looked to an unusual inspiration: the wisdom of favelas and slums. Rather than building a large building with small units, he built flexible half-homes that each family could expand on. It was a complex problem, but with a simple solution — one that he arrived at by working with the families themselves. With a chalkboard and beautiful images of his designs, Aravena walks us through three projects where clever rethinking led to beautiful design with great benefit.
  • Sustainability is nothing more than the rigorous use of common sense. We must change our way of thinking and realize that we cannot continue to consume land without looking to the future.

Boer, Florian, Jens Jorritsma, and Dirk van Peijpe. 2010. De Urbanisten and the wondrous water square. Rotterdam

  • The Rotterdam North sub-municipality will be the first to transform a 'stony' plaza into an attractive city plaza that offers space for water, sports and greenery. The concept of 'water plaza' is a Rotterdam innovation in order to keep dry feet in a densely populated area during heavy rains and to make the city more attractive at the same time. These objectives will contribute to the ambitions of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative.

Author 2: Raphaela Roming

  • Francis, Mark: A Case Study Method for Landscape Architecture: An important, but at the moment often underrated tool for developing our profession of landscape architecture is the case study methodology. It can be used in various different areas: teaching, research, practice, theory building, criticism & communication and outreach. In an exemplary case study for landscape architecture the LAF invented a methodology on which these studies in our profession can be developed. In this study it becomes clear that the redesign of a problematic public open space itself is not the solution to solve them.In the beginning there has to be a careful analysis in the users behaviour, social and economical situations - People have to get involved to it.
  • Salgado, Mariana, et al. (2015): Designing with Immigrants - Means a lot of emotional involvement. Whatever method we want to use in a participation project with immigrants we have to focus on the relationship level. „Working with people from different cultural backgrounds is not straightforward and the atmosphere created influences results, perhaps even more than the techniques themselves. (…) Design researchers have to look on other fields to learn how to deal with and report on emotions“ But if we keep this in mind and focus on trust, empathy and relationships we can get enriching design visions.
  • Gaventa, John: The Powerful, the Powerless, and the Experts: In a information society knowlege is a capital which is reserved to a closed club of experts though. As various studies have shown in the past knowledge is related to money and in that sense to power. Knowledge is rarely produced for poor or the powerless. There are developments and participation projects that want to improve the access and the generation of knowledge in the future. There need to be changes in this field and everybody should have access to knowledge and therefore there are current approaches to involve the powerless to it. This happens through participatory research, research withand by the people where they actually work out their own knowledge to be not reliant on so called experts anymore.

Author 3: Michela Madiotto

  • Hester, Randolph: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sustainable Happiness-Our affluence has empowered us to consume nonrenewable resources at alarming rates. We have seemingly gained freedom from environmental constraints through technology, standardization and specialization. We no longer experience ecological dependence or community connections in our daily lives. Our disassociation from the world around us offers us enormous short-term freedom. We talk about anomia. Anomie in this case refers to the state of confusion individuals and society feel about how to act toward their community and landscape. Our most realistic goal is to pursue sustainability with enough substantive and holistic insight that our pursuit can be sustained. Pursuing sustainability will require us to reformulate our premises about the best possible life we can achieve. To effect this transformation, the form of the city must enable us to act where we are now debilitated. This metamorphosis must be guided by three distinctive traits: enabling form, resilient form and impelling form.
  • Hester, Randolph (2005): Whose Politics, Landscape Architecture-No landscape architectural design is ever implemented without political activity. Every act of city making, landscape architecture and environmental planning is a direct act to achieve some political end and to support power and authority. The test describes five types of designer postures that illustrate political stances. The Blissfully Naïve do not see the connectedness of systems beyond their landscape architecture. For The Blissfully Naïve the design of the landscape really be separated from the decision about its location. They are so focused on the form making of objects that they are blind to the impacts of their actions. Second are the Savvy Naïve who are more aware of connectedness. They understand the political implications of their design work but claim ignorance. They are active accomplices to political power but they say they are “just designers”. The third type is the Servant. Servant understand and often support the normative political agendas of their clients. The power of these clients is attractive because it enables the designer's art, most of which is rather mundane The Servant role can be particularly profitable for the business-oriented landscape architect. The fourth type is the contextualist. Contextualist will try to address broader social issues within the bounds of polite politics. Catalysts, the fifth type, are landscape architectural agents of change, the group usually considered activist designers. Consider four focuses of catalyst designers: environmental justice, deep democracy, cultural and biological diversity and radical sustainability.
  • Sieverts, Thomas (2003): Cities without cities. An interpretation of the Zwischenstadt. English language ed. London: Spon Press.-One of the central lines of analysis to accompany the reading of Thomas Sieverts Cities without cities is represented by the correlation between diffusion and fragmentation of settlements and the processes of globalisation. Although the irrefutability of this statement probably warrants some ulterior element of evaluation, the fact remains that actually we are witnessing a proliferation of studies and research on the post-Keynesian landscape of the city that from diverse points of view, are inclined to highlight the relation that exists between the transformations which occur at a regional level and the process of capitalist accretion. A relation taking place in a context of immense elasticity and mobility of capital, a relation that characterizes the process of globalisation of markets, finance, production and employment. Nevertheless, if the relevant fact actually seems to be that of a growing interest on the part of territorial disciplines, of geography and sociology on the themes of diffused settlements and of social fragmentation that are related, they cannot not be considered like they have been for a long time, marginalized or misunderstood by the urban planning culture, in particular the European one.

Author 4: Majeda Khatun

  • Woodcraft, Saffron, et al.: Design for Social Sustainability: A Framework for Creating Thriving New Communities: ‘Where are the PEOPLE?’ social sustainability can be defined as a ‘connectivity’ between people with its different human parameters. It is different from environmental sustainability. Social sustainability has many folds. Along with the infrastructural support for the community, it also enhance and engage the people of the community, providing support for social and cultural life. Sometimes often, spaces and services for people which evolves along with the people. To make it work, specialists from different pedagogies require to engage for the development framework. In this write up relationship between different elements of social sustainability were well explained and also a brief and clear list of the amenities for society is provided
  • Crafting Westwood how a small community shaped it’s future: Another example for participatory design process. This article is about design process for community development of Westport of California. What is interesting to me, is applying theoretical methodology in real scenario. The framework for community development from ‘Planning neighborhood space for people (1982)’ and ‘community design primer (1990)’ was being followed.

To establish the goals of the project ‘Nominal group technique’, or ‘NGT’ had been used. IT was consisted one simple question to the users, community members, ‘what do you feel the most important action to take for the future of Westport?’ Along with the community members, alternative design was produced by the master’s student of University of Berkeley under the guidance of Randy Hester. And some interesting design intervention came up. In the conclusion, one of the most important thing noted, ‘the view from the inside’, ‘we noticed that participants words never changed, but our understanding of their meaning evolved’. I think this is the one of the most important thing about design and planning to understand the meaning of ‘needs’ because it varies and should be understood from its contexts.

  • 'A toolkit for transforming abandoned spaces through the arts': Can art transform public scape? What social impact does it has and how it is to be done? Mahatat is a Cairo-based initiative which creates exposure of contemporary art. But unlike many others they have their own philosophy and methodology to engage community or site specific scenarios. As for methodology they have derived their ‘toolkit’ system which they applied in different initiatives and projects and monitor the outcome of it.

Using the toolkit methodology, the team, revitalized some unconventional spaces like abandoned spaces, heritage sites etc. their success stories prove that unused sometimes can be the best use for the people if you know how it motivate.

Step 5: Reflection

The landscape surrounds us, we humans shape it and the landscape shapes us. The uses and needs of the people living in it shape the landscape decisively. Only when these needs are taken into account and involved a good environment can emerge. Solutions to problems need to be found and developed individually and in collaboration with the people concerned. Because not only the opinions of the experts are important in these processes, but also the experiences of the people. The current interests of society, developments and tendencies must also be taken into account. This makes sustainability more and more important for people. Both ecological and social sustainability. A resource-efficient approach is very important - we have to make our cities more sustainable!

Step 6: Revised manifestoes

  • please look again at your initial manifestoes and update them with any new aspects/prespectives you have taken up during this seminar

Assignment 2 - Your Landscape Symbols

  • You can read more details about this assignment here

Landscape Symbols Author 1: Zasim Uddin Tuhin

Landscape Symbols Author 2: Raphaela Roming

Landscape Symbols Author 3: Michela Madiotto


Landscape Symbols Author 4: Majeda Khatun

Assignment 3 - Role Play on Landscape Democracy "movers and shakers"

  • You can read more details about this assignment here

Assignment 4 - Your Landscape Democracy Challenge

  • You can read more details about this assignment here
  • Each group member will specify a landscape democracy challenge in his/her environment

Landscape Democracy Challenge 1

Your references:

Landscape Democracy Challenge 2 - Raphaela Roming

Your references:

Landscape Democracy Challenge 3 - Michela Madiotto

Your references:

Landscape Democracy Challenge 4-Majeda Khatun

Your references:

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Your Democratic Change Process


  • Sustainability is an important topic and driver for future developments
  • Empirical values are necessary to estimate effects of interventions
  • Entanglements and correlations between various different levels - there are no simple hierarchies and therefore no simple solutions
  • Participation of the affected - the key for a sustainable environment for the current and future society

Conclusion: The case of the refugee crisis in Bangladesh that we have chosen and discussed under different issues, it was a vast topic and politically sensitive. But sometimes, topic like these should be more often discussed in different forums or course or seminars where different opinions and issues can be focused which may lead to better sustainable solutions which might not solve all problems, but might have potential to solve some of it. Sometimes small steps can bring bigger and better changes in terms of protecting land and humanity. We consider this topic as a case study where we can see the impact on people and on environment because of political disruption. But it has every possibility to improve the situation if right methods and steps will be taken. Under our discussion on this topic in this course, as a team, both with group mates and our mentors, we have come up with some solutions, some of those solutions have direct impact in short term periods which is a strong point of this discussion and also working in a international team we have got different potential view and openings which are encouraging. From 'Landscape Democracy' point of view, all are interconnected for the betterment of people and nature and working together for a solution, small scale or large, it will continue its spirit.

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Your references

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