Critique and creativity

Gustafsson, P., 2004, Critique and creativity, in: ECLAS (Jørgensen, K. & G. Fry), ‘A critical light on landscape architecture’, ,

  • Author : Gustafsson, P.
  • Year : 2004
  • Published in Book : A critical light on landscape architecture
  • Abstract in English : Traditionally, Landscape Architecture Education is concentrated on accumulating basic knowledge, learning facts and developing skills (kunskap och färdigheter). Often, too often, emphasis is only put on functional aspects and technical solutions. Time and resources seldom allow for emphasis to be put on individual personal development, critical thinking, social interaction. Discussions about the meaning of Quality are often pushed aside. When do we discover the Spark of Life In Architecture -and how do we create it? Based mainly on my experiences from Hull School of Architecture and other Schools of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Norway and Sweden, two new courses have been created at our Department of Landscape Planning at SLU Alnarp. Through their pedagogic structures they are offering greater emphasis on personal development and sensitivity. They are : Project 3 - Form, Plan and Implementation. Project 4 - Design - Site and Concept. Project 3 attempting to sum up all the main components in Landscape Planning, Design and Management, discovering and learning individual methods in dealing with Landscape Projects of all scales are forming the basis for the course. From an individual beginning with personally written briefs, the students are gradually becoming members of smaller groups within which the briefs are gradually emerging into one common 'group brief'. 'Group dynamics' has proven to be very efficient tool for individual development. Throughout the course the groups are exchanging information and ideas both between themselves and between their 'real life' clients - a continuous critic session. Project 4 is solely dealing with 'Design' which the course participants quickly discover is a synthesis of a large number of factors. Trying to understand the meaning of 'Spark' and 'Quality' in Design discussions are continuously carried out around alternative design proposals. The students are encouraged to develop their very individual approach to the project. As a whole the course participants are presenting an interpretation, as wide as possible, of the subject. The final presentation, the final 'critic' is planned as a public seminar which hopefully will act as a springboard for further development in finalising the theatre project. Comparisons are sought with other forms of Art, for instance music, painting, acting ... This year's course, the first, is working with proposals for an open air theatre. This has brought the whole group in contact with the world of illusions created through stage design and acting. An attempt to sum it up: Courses should from the very first beginning of a student's academic life encourage the student's individual background experiences as basis for further studies. Students are too often pushed into a mould, which for both teaching staff and students, give a sense of security and confidence - although a false one. Later, often too late too reach their full creative potential.