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Technology and the Garden

Michael G. Lee; Kenneth I. Helphand

Dumbarton Oaks Colloquia on the History of Landscape Architecture

Architecture, Landscape Architecture History, Garden and Landscape Studies

Technology is the practice and activity of making, as well as the tools that enable that making. It is also the realm of ideas behind those endeavors, the expanse of technical knowledge and expertise. At once material, intellectual, active, and social, technology is the purposeful organization of human effort to alter and shape the environment. Gardens, like other designed landscapes, are products of a range of technologies; their layout, construction, and maintenance would be unthinkable without technology. What are the technologies of garden making, what are the concepts and ideas behind garden technologies, and what is the meaning and experience of those endeavors?

Technology and the Garden examines the shaping and visualization of the landscape; the development of horticultural technologies; the construction of landscape through hydraulics, labor, and infrastructure; and the effect of emerging technologies on the experience of landscape. These essays demonstrate how the technics of the garden can be hidden or revealed, disguised beneath the earth or celebrated on the surface. How designers have approached technology, in all historical periods and in a diversity of places and cultures, is a central question in landscape studies.

Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture 35

 

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