The Idea of Landscape: a Journey through the International Bau-Austelling Emscher Park Part 2 Dissertation 2004 Philip Harvey University of Sheffield Sheffield UK This dissertation investigates the concept of landscape in relation tosociety, or if you will that which surrounds us. That which wehuman beings create as the stage on which we play out our lives. When onefirst thinks of landscape one might imagine Constable or Monet, beautifulviews of nature, but landscape has never been about nature, there is verylittle of this planet that has not been mined, built on or cultivated. Tolook at landscape is to look at what man has created.Traditionally as an area of study this discipline has been viewed simply asthe reflection of what kind of society lives on and uses that landscape. Thelandscape of much of Europe consists of agricultural fields. These tell usmany things from the type of food we eat, to methods of ownership and socialcontrol.This however is a narrow view of the subject. To cultivate derives from theLatin cultura which is also connected to growing. The word culture sharesthis etymological origin and can be defined as the manifestation of humanintellectual and artistic achievement. Landscape is a cultural product, amanifestation of a society's achievements and beliefs.However it is not only the physical nature of the landscape but ourperception of the created landscape that is vitally important. Not only whatit is that we have created as landscape but what we believe it to be, how welook at it. We can expand on our definition of landscape not as an object inand of itself but as something which is perceived by us. Landscape is how welook at our own surroundings and as such must be seen as subjective.Only when we see in a truthful manner and understand the landscapes thatsurround us can we begin to question where society is going. If thislandscape can be criticised in a provocative manner then assumptions insociety can also be questioned. The built (created) environment provides awindow on how to live an ethical life.This project is also a personal journey for me, the journey to becoming anarchitect and functioning ethically is also personally important. Philip Harvey A mature and measured discussion of the author’s response to the IBA Emscher Park. It is personal, but the nature of theconnections does not hinder the adoption of a balanced attitude to one ofthe largest post-industrial reclamation projects.References, both literary and artistic (ranging from C.D.Friedrich toW.G.Sebald) are well chosen and pertinant to the cultural context. It is clearly constructed, following a geographic route back to apoint of origin, and is original in the breadth of its vision. The criticalposition is considered in a delightfully ambivalent way, resulting in athoughtful meander through a physical and a psychic landscape which opens uppossibilities for future research in both the academic and design fields.