Just as the creation of a garden is not immediate, only coming into full existence through gardening, the construction of landscape is an ongoing cultural practice involving a host of actors and operating at varying scales. Yet despite a long-held infatuation with landscape process, in contemporary professional practice, landscape is often mediated entirely through digital technology, marginalizing the material and experiential qualities of the medium. Sites are discovered under the all seeing eye of GIS and created in 3D; atmosphere is conjured on the delicately composed stage of utopian rendering; the form is sleek, with just the right tangent on the AutoCAD curve– but even if the scheme is finally built, the designer likely abandons their creation as soon as the professional photographer immortalizes the glossy finished product, and it is the lowly landscaper who assumes control as the landscape begins its new life.
The life of a landscape is intrinsically bound to the actors that maintain it, that “enable a condition to continue in being.” Under this definition, maintenance is not conservatively locked into the formaldehyde of preservation, but operates as an assertion, an alliance of actors that together continually recreate an event at the expense of other forces. As an alternative method to engage the medium, lndscpr will investigate the generative capacity of landscape maintenance to determine how it can be utilized as a design instrument through everyday spatial practices and direct mediation with site materials. Through 1:1 experimentation, representational techniques will be developed specific to a maintenance design practice—one that employs design allies and a much maligned industry to operate on landscapes both within and outside of the realm of landscape architecture.