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FAH377 Lecture 2.docx

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Pam Wolff

FAH377 Lecture 2  Last time 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 spiritual benefit 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 national park  Not to transform the landscape into something different, but reveal its inherent qualities  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  Client?  Audience?  When was it designed?  When was it completed?  Where is it?  What are the uses?  Spatial organization?  Iconography?  Drawings? (composition, feel, etc.) (e.g. Yosemite postcards)  Clues to how to read the images?  TODAY: o Niagara Falls Reservation  Coming to terms with the new continent was a way of shaping north American culture  Leftovers from the last ice age  Niagara valley first inhabited by first nations people, and was discovered by th 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 Niagara  1885 created a reserve  Vaux received the commission instead of Olmstead, and eventually shared authorship  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 buildings +crowds)  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
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