The Landscape Guide

2.1 Design and planning methods

Contents list

Design results from methods of working. A sculpture of welded steel differs from one chipped from granite or modelled with clay. Rodin was a modeller, Brancusi a carver, Picasso a constructor. Look at their work: different methods produce different results. A modern planned town is not like an organic town. A garden that is made by using a drawing to fix every detail before starting work will differ, markedly, from one that is made by choosing the plants and stones one at a time, year after year. Means influence ends.

Rough hands and smooth hands can both produce good design. The rough-hands method is practised in workshops and out of doors. It is the craftsman's way, the peasant's way, the ancient way. The smooth-hands method is to sit in an office working at measured drawings for implementation by others at remote sites. This is the modern way: the way of the engineer, the architect, the town planner and the landscape architect. Both methods have their strengths. In medieval times, the rough-hands method was universal. Today, it is the other way about. The change took place as part of a broad cultural trend, with the rise of modernism a significant factor. Planners can learn from designers.


Clean hands design

Dirty hands design