WHAT IS THIS PLACE
Program Knowlton School.
“Genius Loci”, “Sense of Place”, “Place Making”(or as Colbert might say:…”Placiness?”) When reading about landscapes, we often encounter these phrases. But are they possibly meaningless? Is “placemaking” marketing shorthand for good intentions and aesthetic integration with existing conditions? A stand against the encroachment of generic approaches to site design? An attempt to reify nostalgia?
How does one go about teasing out the “genius” of the place, exactly? And who is the arbiter of place: the client? The community? The designer? The critic?
When given the task of site design and development, planners and landscape architects have only a short period of time to divine the genius loci. How do they get to know a place before planning interventions and changes to it? How do they do this very subjective but analytical work in parallel with objective and quantitative tasks?
In this semester, students will create a series of projects that represent, analyze, and interpret a single site in the Columbus area. We will begin with a series of short representation exercises derived and developed from on-site exploration. In your projects, you will integrate historic and contemporary site data from sources such as
GIS in addition to your field research and site impressions. We will review these projects during class time. These short projects build will familiarization with the physical site and allow participants to test new skills, and critically advance existing skills. We will visit the Ohio Historical Society and the OSU libraries to access archives and gather historical site data.
The final project will center on an interpretation of the site, focusing on a particular technique or hybrid of techniques.