Friday, March 21, 2008

February 7, 2008 presentation: Sean Michael


Altered vision is the means to many ends. History chronicles humanity’s diverse talents for inventing mechanisms for re-seeing what has seemed obvious to most. In particular, the viewer’s seat and its positioning in relation to the subject being considered has seen countless variations. A pedagogical quest akin to humanity’s longing to understand through viewing has been played out for over a hundred years. The rich array of thinking behind how landscape architects are trained provides an enlightening look at how we see our world, ourselves, and how we find and craft place.

This talk shares key “lenses” in the history of mankind and its landscape studies. The role of perspective, scale, viewpoint, speed, orientation, map and visual literacy are presented. The journey of seeing, discovering, and writing on the land is traced through history and curriculum. How landscape architects are systematically trained in seeing the world differently, and tasked with making space from place, subsequently offers insights into what others do not see.

Sean Michael is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Washington State University. His teaching and scholarship relates to human response to the environment, including the preferences during recreation, and deterrence of criminal offenders. He is assisted in seeing the world by many lenses, including a KLR650.

Roads Less Traveled PowerPoint (32.6M)

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