Monday, 17 December 2007

How do you look at landscapes ?

We each look at a landscape in a particular way.
A geographer will have a particular view, a geologist another, a botanist another, a developer another, a hydrologist another, a walker another... etc...

Part of the study of landscapes should be an attempt to explain to students that this particular issue is one that they need to appreciate: that we all have our own internal landscapes which inform our views on the external landscapes that we encounter.

Sometimes landscapes are what we imagine.

Robert MacFarlane in "Mountains of the Mind" talks about how our cultural perceptions, emotional baggage, thoughts and ideas create a landscape as surely as geology has shaped it."

When conservationists bring imagination to landscapes they call it 'opportunity mapping': looking at landscapes not in terms of what is there, but what MIGHT be.

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