Intentional flaw

by paulroncken

tumblr_lq87euGLEa1qztueno1_1280In landscape design you should be aware of flaws and struggling rarities, they are proof of the living system you are dealing with. Even if it appears that every phase in a landscape development can be categorized by the abundant presence of dominant plants, colors, textures and species; it is by flaws and rarities that resilience is made visible to enable adaptation to different circumstances. By gaining a peripheral view on the many diverse flaws that inhabit every landscape, resilience can be studied. Vice versa, by focussing on the dominant aspects in a designed landscape, the impression could rise that everything will remain the same, no matter what change of circumstance.

While designing landscapes most of us are taught that a concept with clear and dominant aspects is the marker of quality. Yet this is only the marker of temporary transfixed designs and not the essence of living system design. We should therefore reconsider the education of landscape design and perhaps even adhere to intentional flaws to invite the living aspects that make landscape design endlessly more attractive than any other design field. Flaws could for example be strangely formed trees that manage to survive, or moss that seems to be very happy on a spot that would otherwise be rinsed thoroughly twice a year. Or the patina on materials while they are weathered, the silhouettes of dried plant stems during winter. But these are just romantic clichés that are already present in many contemporary projects. So we can already consider far more provocative flaws and struggling rarities. Such as urban extensions that are not so regular that they seem to be made to fit one overruling concept or tree lanes with many varieties and planting distances. Or protected nature areas that contain exotic species (as are prohibited by the Dutch sustainable legislation) and green houses that are partly made by walls of lively beehives. Even these suggestions can be imagined by the contemporary standards of (bio)technology. What would really be demanding, would be to consider human society with all their flaws as proof of their dormant resilience in favor of change. To intentionally hire a person with a psychological profile, to belief in apparent losers and love them for their unstoppable capacity to be where most are not. To design the most prestigious environments for ill people and to educate our youngest by university trained teachers so that all their curious questions can be answered seriously and so they are taught that differences are what make systems living.