On-site experimental installations informing BwN methodology
Keywords:Building-with-Nature, landscape architecture, design methodology, hydraulic infrastructures, mapping coastal landscapes, aesthetic experience, co-creation
The multi-dimensionality of BwN calls for the incorporation of ‘designerly ways of knowing and doing’ from other fields involved in this new trans-disciplinary approach. The transition out of a focus on rational design paradigms towards reflective design paradigms such as those employed in the spatial design disciplines may be a first step in this process. By extension, the knowledge base and design methodologies of BwN may be critically expanded by drawing on ways of knowing and doing in spatial design disciplines such as landscape architecture, which elaborates the agency of the term ‘landscape’ as counterpart to the term ‘nature’. Operative perspectives and related methodologies in this discipline such as perception, anamnesis, multi-scalar thinking, and process design resonate with specific themes in the BwN approach such as design of/with natural processes, integration of functions or layers in the territory and the connection of engineering works to human-social contexts. A series of installations realised for the Oerol festival on the island of Terschelling between 2011 and 2018 serve as case studies to elaborate potential transfers and thematic elaborations towards BwN. In these projects inter-disciplinary teams of students, researchers and lecturers developed temporary landscape installations in a coastal landscape setting. Themes emerging from these project include ‘mapping coastal landscapes as complex natures’, ‘mapping as design-generative device’, ‘crowd-mapping’, ‘people-place relationships’, ‘co-creation’, ‘narrating coastal landscapes’, ‘public interaction’ and ‘aesthetic experience’. Specific aspects of these themes relevant to the knowledge base and methodologies of BwN, include integration of sites and their contexts through descriptive and projective mappings, understanding the various spatial and temporal scales of a territory as complex natures, and the integration of collective narratives and aesthetic experiences of coastal infrastructures in the design process, via reflective dialogues.