FAH377 Lecture 2
o 3 dilemmas central to the course
Nature vs. Culture (Human vs. non-Human)
Within landscape architecture: Landscape architects are always making plans in
a medium that is never truly within their control (pool with spring water,
shading system with trees)
3 dilemma: source of precious resources vs. source of psychological and
o Carlton Watkins, Frederick Olmstead
Associated with the political and social elite of the time
Both men worked in both places (Sierra foothills + Yosemite)
Turned Yosemite into a national icon
Watkins’s photographs were used to advocate the transformation into a
Not to transform the landscape into something different, but reveal its inherent
Affects how they were described, perceived and eventually experienced
Choreography of the experiment by Olmstead
Shape our expectations of what we’ll find and confirms them of what we see
Public discussion generated and propagated Olmstead and Watkins’ ideas
Postcards contain scenes from Watkins’s photographs (done by Olmstead)
o We will talk about these broad ideas within specific case studies
Make broad arguments through specific cases and images etc.
As we develop our knowledge
When was it designed?
When was it completed?
Where is it?
What are the uses?
Drawings? (composition, feel, etc.) (e.g. Yosemite postcards)
Clues to how to read the images?
o Niagara Falls Reservation
Coming to terms with the new continent was a way of shaping north American
Leftovers from the last ice age Niagara valley first inhabited by first nations people, and was discovered by
European explorers in the 17 century
Regarded as a monument of the culture (sublime)
Dilemma of exploitation vs valor
Olmstead became an advocate of the preservation of the sublime character of
1885 created a reserve
Vaux received the commission instead of Olmstead, and eventually shared
10k people a day visiting in the 19 C
Crowding made for a difficult design problem
How do you create an illusion of remoteness in such a crowded area? (utilitarian
Used planting and circulation to create an illusion of solitude (narrow strip of
forest along the river’s edge)
Pathway in goat island winds around the edge, which is densely planted and
only opens up when facing away from development
Painting vs aerial photo
Painting is mor