A Condition of the Spirit
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The way we express and describe landscapes is not something that exists in an isolated place; it is an integral part of our cultural consciousness, so profoundly ingrained in our collective consciousness that we may not even be readily able to define it. But, if we are unable to define and contemplate our own native culture’s concept of landscape, how can we possibly comprehend that of others? Following from this, it is clear that a deep understanding of the differences in concepts and perceptions of landscape from one culture to another is an essential professional asset. Sensitivity to these variations is crucial for working successfully in an international context. In the 2012/2013 winter term, we began teaching the course Cultural and Linguistic Concepts in Landscape Architecture as part of the IMLA (International Master’s in Landscape Architecture) programme. As our main learning tool, we use concept maps to explore, analyse and discuss the linguistic and cultural aspects of landscape. Concept maps are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge and they offer opportunities for expression that other graphic forms or written essays do not provide. The international nature of the programme means that many cultures from around the world are represented in the course discussions, which offers students an opportunity to examine ideas connected to landscape, urban planning and other topics through a completely fresh lens.
KeywordsUrban Agriculture Landscape Architecture Intangible Cultural Heritage Linguistic Landscape Student Group Work
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