Professor of landscape architecture at Ecole d'Ingénieurs de Lullier and in charge of the course in the history and theory of landscape architecture at Geneva University and at l'École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
Imaginary describes what does not exist at all or only in the imagination, with no reality. Applied to landscape, the concept of imaginary landscape can however have two very different meanings: 1, the one radical, internal and dreamy, in the sense of a phenomenon existing only by courtesy of the imagination (an instance well defined by the German Einbildungskraft, the strength or power to carry or concentrate an internal image), without any intervention by the outside world; 2, the other, of equally strong interest, is concerned in the end simply with the landscape, knowing that – as a phenomenon – it only exists in someone's awareness
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Results of the International Seminar on Landscape Indicators. Challenges and Perspectives
The International Seminar on Landscape Indicators. Challenges and Perspectives, held on 29 and 30 November in Barcelona, at the Cartographic Institute of Catalonia, welcomed experts from all around Europe who discussed, from the perspectives of their different disciplines, various views of landscape indicators and set out their specific experiences on landscape indicators applicable to landscape policies.
Over 200 people, from all parts of Catalonia, the rest of the Spanish state, various European countries and even Canada and Latin America attended these days in Barcelona. In response to the great interest aroused by the Seminar the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia decided to record the papers delivered on video and distribute them subsequently through the web.
The results of the Seminar will also be collected together into a book for publication, with the collaboration of the Fundació Territori i Paisatge of Caixa de Catalunya. The book, which will form part of the Observatory's "Plecs de Paisatge" collection, will be published in 2008.
Inaguration of the Institut del Territori
On 23 January next the Octubre Centre de Cultura Contemporània (OCCC) in Valencia will be the venue for the presentation of the Institut del Territori (IDT), with some working days devoted to a study of the situation of the Valencia Region in matters of water construction, infrastructures and mobility.
The Institut del Territori seeks to encourage and promote a new land culture among the public, in the professional field and for local authorities, through reflecting on the policies which govern the land and landscapes in Valencia, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. On this theme, the Institute will be offering a line of activities of an instructive nature, a research area in collaboration with the universities and a series of proposals directed to local and district administration experts and engineers.
The advisory committee is formed of Joan Romero (Valencia University), Joan Nogué (Girona University and director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia), Ivan Murray (Balearic Islands University), Joan Olmos (Valencia Polytechnic University), Martí Domínguez (biologist, editor of the Valencia University's magazine Mètode), Ramon Folch (social ecologist, director of the Ramon Folch Study) and journalists Maria Josep Picó (editor of the magazine Nat) and Jordi Bigues.
'On one side. Landscapes we don't see'
"On one side. Landscapes we don't see" is the title of the cycle of talks organised by the Mercè Cultural Centre of Girona City Hall in collaboration with the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia. This seminar is intended to target, precisely, those hidden and marginal landscapes; that is to say, the landscapes which normally we do not see, or do not look at: invisible, intangible and ephemeral landscapes, landscapes of the body and landscapes of imagination, while paying special attention to their limits.
The cycle will consist of four talks, free of charge, which will take place at the Mercè Cultural Centre on Tuesdays, on 19 and 26 February and 4 and 11 March. The speakers are Joan Nogué, Professor of Human Geography of the UdG and director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia, María Ángeles Durán, Professor of Sociology of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Daniela Colafranceschi, Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Reggio Calabria Mediterranean University and Michael Jakob, Professor of Landscape Theory and History at Geneva University.
You can consult the programme here.
The Landscape Observatory creates a digital dossier on dry stone landscapes
The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia has just created a digital dossier entitled Dry stone landscapes, which is intended to become a point of reference in Internet on this subject. The purpose of the dossier, which can be consulted in Catalan, Spanish, English and French, is to provide information on the existence of dry stone landscapes, their diversity and importance, and to collect, classify, arrange and make available to the public, in a simple way, general information on the entities, centres, initiatives, news and books on the subject of dry stone in Catalonia and on the international scale. The new dossier is intended to provide contacts with specialised people in the subject and the public in general, and the digital format will allow it to grow and be updated from time to time. The Landscape Observatory is now also preparing other dossiers on various subjects which will be brought out in the coming months.
Round table 'Art faced with transformations of landscape: looking and commitment'
The Girona Art Museum and the Girona Culture and Communication Media Territorial Services have organised a round table on the occasion of the exhibitions "Vent de grafit" by Arcadi Artís, "La despulla de la natura" by Josep Beulas and "Els paisatgistes del Montgrí" by Francesc Gimeno, where landscape is the common theme. The round table, moderated by Joan Nogué, director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia, will be entitled "Art faced with transformations of landscape: looking and commitment". The speaker will be the professor of Human Geography of Valencia University, Joan Romero, and the commentaries will be by Arcadi Artís, artist and architect, Jordi Balló, professor of Audiovisual Communication at the Pompeu Fabra University, and Jordi Pigem, philosopher specialising in the nature-culture relationship. The round table will take place in the Girona Culture and Communication Media Territorial Services at 19.30 hr on 20 February.
The Spanish State ratifies the European Landscape Convention
Last 26 November 2007 the Spanish State ratified the European Landscape Convention (ELC) adopted in Florence in 2000. With this ratification, which comes into force in March 2008, there are now 29 countries which have adopted the resolutions of a international convention for the purpose of promoting the protection, management and planning of European landscapes and organising European cooperation in landscape matters.
This adherence means a commitment to the full defence of landscape, which must be carried out by both the Central Administration and the Autonomous Communities. For this reason, the Ministry of the Environment has commissioned Seville University to undertake a study to define the current situation of landscape in the Spanish State, the priority lines of action in implementing the Convention and to identify the basic strategies and instruments for the protection and ordering of the landscape.
'Whose is the landscape?' Cycle of talks
In the context of the SETLAND research project on the sustainable evolution of landscape and territory, the geography department of Padua University, Italy, organised a cycle of six talks on participation in the processes of landscape identification, evaluation and planning. The cycle was entitled "Whose is the landscape?" and was based on the directives of the European Landscape Convention which give a fundamental role to participative processes in landscape identification and evaluation and in the definition of landscape quality objectives. The talks were held in October, November and December and after they were finished, the full text was inserted into the project web page.
A forum created in 2006 by researchers and specialists from various Swiss research institutions, associations and higher schools, addressed to everyone interested in landscape. The Forum is a platform for exchange, communication and coordination between professionals, institutions and active organisations related with landscape.
PANORAMAS: the North American Landscape in Art
Exhibition on the artistic treatment of landscapes in North America organised by the Canadian Heritage Information Network, Canadian Museum of Civilization, National Institute of Fine Arts, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, and backed by the governments of Canada, United States and Mexico
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST
Anuari territorial de Catalunya T2006
Barcelona: Societat Catalana d'Ordenació del Territori, 2007. ISBN: 978-84-7283-949-6.
The yearbook systematically collects summaries of the main projects, conflicts and debates arising during 2006 in the context of the transformation of the Catalan territory. It is presented in a teaching edition accessible to everyone.
'Estudiar entre cultivos de arroz'
In Paisajismo. Sitges: Asflor, 2007, núm. 15, pàgs. 8-15.
Article published in the magazine Paisajismo which presents the work done by the landscape artist Kongjian Yu in China, consisting in the construction of the Faculty of Architecture of Shenyang in some rice paddies.
Full text here.
Paesaggi a molte velocità. Infrastrutture e progetto del territorio in Piemonte
Ambrosini, G.; Berta, M. Roma: Meltemi, 2004. ISBN: 88-8353-389-5.
The book offers a plural reading of the Piedmont landscape and demonstrates the rapidity with which landscape is transformed, giving ideas on the new geography of mobility and housing.
Publications can be found in the documentation centre of the Landscape Observatory.
LANDSCAPE IN THE PRESS
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