Groundworks: Lecture at AHO’s Institute of Urbanism and Landscape, Oslo
I’m speaking at Oslo’s School of Architecture and Design, AHO, on 14th October at a symposium titled ‘Landscapes and Infrastructures’. For now I’m just posting the abstract – and two images from the fantastic projects by Nicola Saladino and Carlos Umana Gambassi that I’ll be discussing – but I’ll post a more extensive summary of its contents when I return.
Both landscape and infrastructure are territorial practices. Each functions as a kind of ‘groundwork‘, shaping, organising and servicing bases upon which forms of social, economic and ecological relations operate. What, though, is their relationship? Landscape design and landscape urbanism have tended, in recent years, to follow an agenda set by infrastructural development, in both its technical and economic senses, or even to identify themselves with, and as, infrastructural practices. Since this development is itself largely driven by processes of neoliberal urban entrepreneurialism, however, greater critical reflection on the position of design, its own agency and its practice in relation to infrastructural matters are required. Exploring the possibility of landscape urbanism as a critically-informed practice, and the design processes by which it might operate, this lecture will draw upon examples of recent work in China by graduates of the Landscape Urbanism programme of the Architectural Association, London.