The Landscape Guide

Design as a craft

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Every craftsperson has a way of working, partly learned, partly invented. In a life drawing studio one is advised to: "Position the head above the standing foot'; "Look for the spaces'; "Look for the relationships'; "Start with the head'; "Start with spine' 'Do not start with the head' (Figure 1). Comparable advice is given in design studios - and ways of working influence the end product. One cannot proceed without a method, but different methods produce different results. These notes derive from my time working at the University of Greenwich. They were written in response to points raised by students' work and office practice. They are reproduced here partly in case they are useful to other students and partly to record the craft of landscape design as it was conceived during the period in question. Sturt's notes on the wheelwright's craft were written as machine production began to replace handcraft. I see these notes as being about the craft of landscape design at a time when computer screens were taking over from drawing-boards. How far they will succeed remains uncertain. Already, it is perfectly clear that the process of computer-aided design (CAD) will influence the product. The machine is not a neutral design aid.

'Look for the relationships'