Some Thoughts on Modern Landscape Architecture

  • offcial website of Beijing Expo 2019  2017-Sep-14 15:33:56

In recent years, along with urban development, ecological problems facing us are growing more and more serious and thus more ecological elements have been introduced into modern landscape architecture.

1. On Modern Landscape Gardens

1.1 Concepts and Features of Modern Landscape Architecture

In fact, landscape architecture performs an essential role in the overall garden landscape. Unlike common civil constructions, gardens are built for landscaping and to be appreciated. Their design demands concerted efforts from different disciplines, such as praxeology, architecture and aesthetics. Besides, we should make good use of latest techniques and materials and bring the world some brand-new modern gardens with enriched, distinctive features to satisfy their ornamental nature. Features of modern landscape architecture include: the design of modern landscape architecture requires an effective combination of its functions as a garden and its role as a societal element; in its design we must take into consideration the ecological factors of the gardens and its surroundings; elements of a modern landscape garden can be nourished from other constructions and even different types of art; in its design, a modern landscape garden should give full consideration to local conditions, features of local plants and types of plants adaptable to local conditions. Meanwhile we should ensure that modern landscape gardens meet all their requirements for social functions such as leisure, entertainment and ornament.

1.2 On the Importance of Modern Landscape Architecture

Gardens carry a significant weight in human life. Gardens in China reflect the economic and cultural development of the country’s history. Different gardens represent not only the arts of landscaping in different eras but spiritual pursuits of its people: Gardens is not where you live or have fun, but an art to be polished beyond. The thousand-year-long history of Chinese gardens is distinctively unmatched. Uniqueness and craftsmanship are not enough to describe the art of Chinese gardens for designers are not just decorating their gardens with flowers, grasses, trees, birds, beasts, insects, fishes and stones, but trying to create a half-real half-false world in a literary way. And that is exactly where the beauty of Chinese gardens lies and foreigners cannot but look at them and sigh at their incapability. Therefore, we need to inherit and develop the art of Chinese gardens—improve people’s life by building gardens and provide a convenient and first-hand access to the great nature, improving their life thereby, when they are not working. In a word, gardens may play an effective role in improving the environment where we live and make cities more colorful.

2. On Features of Modern Landscape Architecture

2.1 On the Law of Order for Layout Design in Modern Landscape Architecture

In the layout design of gardens, it is important to substantiate designers’ abstract two-dimension painting in a brief and simple manner with the tool of linear combination of elements while conforming to certain laws of order. The establishment of laws of order has helped designers of modern landscape garden get rid of monotonous designs where gardens are always enclosed by walls, and provide designers with more geometrical freedom in their design. Such a turn enriches the variety of modern landscape gardens and reflects the nature of arts in their designs.

2.2 On Dynamic Elements for Layout Design in Modern Landscape Architecture

As people’s getting more and more appreciative, to make their designs more dynamic and vivid, designers tend to rely more on technology to get rid of the static two-dimension composition used by designers of traditional classic gardens. Such a measure provides designers with more freedom to express their artistic pursuit. Besides, influenced by certain methods of modern arts, modern designers will use more shapes and dynamic lines in their designs for the best result of a dynamic design, though straight lines are still their most essential tools.

2.3 On Rhythm and Melody for Space Design in Modern Landscape Architecture

The aesthetics of modern landscape architecture design is mainly embodied in its space design, so in the modern landscape architecture, we should pay attention to the rhythm and melody of gardens. First of all, designers should decide on the requirements and the space design for their gardens according to some rules from the human visual art. Different contrasts and combinations of space elements and arrangements of landscape elements should highlight the rhythm and melody of gardens. In general, the contrasts and combinations of space elements help reflect the three-dimensional effect of gardens best, and space elements of different sizes and shapes in the modern landscape architecture can make complimentary contrasts, so that the art of aesthetics can be reflected vividly in the design.

2.4 On Layers and Truth/Falsity for Space Design in Modern Landscape Architecture

The space design in modern landscape architecture is divided into three levels: the landscape nearby, the landscape in a middle distance and the landscape far away. The landscape in a middle distance is the focus of the whole landscape design, for most of the designs for main landscapes have been devoted to this level, while the other two levels, most of the time, play a complementary role. Therefore, three levels of design help enrich the layers of design in space and push it further in depth. In addition, to make landscapes more expressive, designers tend to create a half-real half-false effect in their design to effectively eliminate feelings of monotonousness in modern landscape architecture.

3. Analysis of the Problems in the Development of Modern Landscape Architecture

3.1 Poor Integration Between Landscape Gardens and Their Surroundings

If a landscape designer does not carefully analyze the local environment, his or her design cannot blend into the surroundings in harmony. In China, the construction of traditional garden has long boasted the harmonious integration of nature and gardens, but, in recent years, with the development of market economy, many landscape designers have started paying more attention to the social benefit the construction of gardens may bring and neglecting its ecological benefits, which may be the biggest reason for the loss of the harmony between gardens and nature. In addition, we still face the following problems in landscape architecture: some gardens suffer from a lack of cultural details, and there is a phenomenon where designers tend to just duplicate what has been built mechanically; designs are lacking artistic beauty; some problems aroused in the construction quality. The existence of these problems is worthy of people’s reconsideration about the modern management system of landscape gardens.

3.2 Poor Management and Maintenance before and after Construction

What’s more, there are still loopholes in the modern management system of landscape gardens. And it is exactly these loopholes that make the management far from perfect. The lack of supervision before and after construction is one of the common problems in management. A failure in monitoring efforts may lead to a delayed construction timetable. And insufficient protection and maintenance will render the quality of gardens far less reliable. We need management administrations to come up with some effective measures to solve these problems.

4. Analysis of Solutions to Problems Facing Modern Landscape Architecture

The application of cutting edge technologies is one of the effective progresses in strengthening the modern management of landscape gardens. In the modern management system, cutting edge technologies are mainly used in the following ways: a) species cultivation technologies have been used in a reasonable manner for new plant species; b) advanced irrigation technologies have been introduced and transformed. These high-tech tools not only improve the efficiency of garden management, but also lay a good foundation for the later management and maintenance. Innovation is an inexhaustible force for the prosperity of a nation, so people in any field should pay attention to innovation. For gardens, innovation mainly manifests itself in the cooperation between men and machineries. Only with a sufficient man-machinery management system, can we have a better work to be displayed in front of the public. In the development of gardens, innovation is easier, which requires people first to realize the meaning of innovation for the landscape architecture, so as to better carry on the research of innovative garden management. Secondly, in the design of landscape gardens, incentive policies for innovation can be introduced to encourage innovation in a more practical manner and prompt modern designs for the modern landscape architecture.