For our landscape issue, designers are looking into natural processes that have been lost or fragmented. There are three perspectives on this.
Dr Yu Kongjian has been the force behind China's sponge city movement. For inspiration, Dr Yu turns to the Chinese countryside and agricultural practices that have had, for hundreds of years, methods and strategies for integrating the human and the natural.
The work of Mohan Rao in India speaks to a more rustic approach in design, in which hydrological patterns seem to dictate what is done where, and the landscape appears to be topographically sculpted to do the job. This overlay of social and ecological creates stunning landscapes that are both understated and powerful.
Philippe Rahm’s approach to the Central Park in Taiwan might be called ‘eco-modernist’. Technology is programmed to the job of nature. This is the first wide-scale engineering of microclimate outdoors. The park is fitted with nozzles and canopies that cool, clean, dehumidify and accelerate the air. This is constructed nature; ecosystem services at the flick of a switch.
One might ask which works best; the answer will always be that it depends on context. Ecological design is first and foremost a response to the local. It’s about where you are and what that place needs.
We hope you are as inspired as we are.