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The Language of Landscape


The Language of Landscape by Yale University Press at Translate This Website. Hurry! Limited time offer. Offer valid only while supplies last. This book combines poetry and pragmatism to teach the language of landscape. Anne Whiston Spirn argues that the language of landscape exists with its own grammar and metaphors, and that we imperil ourselves by failing to learn to read and speak this language. To understand the meanings of landscape, our habitat, is to see the world differently and to enable ourselves to avoid profound environmental and aesthetic mistakes. Offering examples that range across thousands of years and five


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This book combines poetry and pragmatism to teach the language of landscape. Anne Whiston Spirn argues that the language of landscape exists with its own grammar and metaphors, and that we imperil ourselves by failing to learn to read and speak this language. To understand the meanings of landscape, our habitat, is to see the world differently and to enable ourselves to avoid profound environmental and aesthetic mistakes. Offering examples that range across thousands of years and five continents, Spirn examines urban, rural, and natural landscapes. She discusses the thought of renowned landscape authors - Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Law Olmsted, Frank Lloyd Wright, Lawrence Halprin - and of less well known pioneers, including the Australian architect Glenn Murcutt and the Danish landscape architect C.Th. Sorensen. "The language of landscape," writes ecologist Anne Whiston Spirn, "is our native language." She elaborates: humans lived in natural landscapes well before they knew how to build houses; knew how to read the movements of clouds and birds well before they developed grammars and symbols. Anyone with a keen sensibility can recover that language, she suggests: "A person literate in landscape sees significance where an illiterate person notes nothing. Past and future fires, floods, landslides, welcome or warning are visible to those who can read them in tree and slope, boundary and gate." Spirn goes on to discuss human interactions with the landscape, taking as cases in point such matters as the dolmens of prehistoric Europe, environmentally friendly houses in Denmark and Australia, fountains in Paris, and tree-lined city streets in Philadelphia. Along the way she cites scholars, architects, and artists, learning lessons in how to read place and built form from the likes of Christopher Alexander, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Rachel Carson. She closes with an appeal to landscape architects, builders, and designers to study the natural details of place more closely before they set about changing it: "In landscapes ... the key is to establish a framework that provides overall structure--a structure not arbitrary but congruent with the deep context of a place, to define a vocabulary of forms that expresses the natural and cultural processes of the place." --Gregory McNamee

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Manufacturer:Yale University Press
Publisher:Yale University Press
Studio:Yale University Press
Item Size:6.37 x 0.94 x 0.94 inches
Package Weight:1.9 pounds
Package Size:6.2 x 1.1 x 1.1 inches

The Language of Landscape by Yale University Press

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The Language of Landscape

Brand: Yale University Press
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Condition: New
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