Get Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes PDF

By Laurie Olin

"Twenty-eight years in the past I went to England for a three-month stopover at and relaxation. What i discovered replaced my life."

So starts off this memoir through one in every of America's best-known panorama architects, Laurie Olin. Raised in a frontier city in Alaska, informed in Seattle and ny, Olin came across himself disappointed together with his activity as an city architect and permitted a call for participation to England to take a respite from paintings. What he stumbled on, in abundance, was once the serendipity of a human setting equipped over the years to reply to the land's personal personality and to the folks who lived and labored there. For Olin, the English geographical region used to be a palimpsest of the main eloquent and relocating variety, but whose manifestation used to be of standard constructions intended to defend their population and additional their work.

With evocative language and delightful line drawings, the writer takes us again to his creation to the scenes of English state cities, their old universities, meandering waterways, and dramatic cloudscapes racing in from the Atlantic. He limns the geologic histories discovered in the rock, the near-forgotten histories of place-names, and the hot histories of educate traces and car routes. evaluating the expansion of creating within the English nation-state, Olin attracts a few sobering conclusions approximately our sleek way of life and its expanding separation from the landscape.

As a lot a plea for saving the trendy American panorama because it is a passionate exploration of what makes the English panorama so routinely English, Across the Open Field is "an affectionate ramble via actual locations of lasting worth."

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Extra info for Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes

Sample text

In some ways this was directly related to work that was reshaping the field as a result of Ian McHarg at the University of Pennsylvania. Shortly after my first visit to England and just before I left for the next two years of travel and study, McHarg paid a visit to the University of Washington, where I was teaching part-time. In a series of lectures he outlined much of the material that was to appear in his landmark book Design with Nature, which had just been sent off to the printers. In this material he presented a method oflandscape analysis utilizing an overlay method to depict interrelating natural and physical properties of a landscape.

I began to have doubts about the standard history, which argued for the unique character and national invention of the "English" landscape garden while looking with wonder and fascination at gardens and estates of seventeenth-century England and those of Italy of the previous era. In 1973 in Rome I shared my doubts with several garden historians - among them Elisa-: beth MacDougall and Babs Johnson (Georgina Masson)- outlining (what has since been well documented by others) the proposition that so-called "English landscape gardens" could be thought of more accurately as a version of the late humanist garden as executed in a new and different physiographic region (England) by a new generation of artists, and that there were numerous precedents for all of its parts and effects in Italian estates of the previous generation that have subsequently been destroyed or forgotten.

In some ways this was directly related to work that was reshaping the field as a result of Ian McHarg at the University of Pennsylvania. Shortly after my first visit to England and just before I left for the next two years of travel and study, McHarg paid a visit to the University of Washington, where I was teaching part-time. In a series of lectures he outlined much of the material that was to appear in his landmark book Design with Nature, which had just been sent off to the printers. In this material he presented a method oflandscape analysis utilizing an overlay method to depict interrelating natural and physical properties of a landscape.

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