European Master in Landscape Architecture Summer Workshop 2011

European Master in Landscape Architecture  Summer Workshop 2011 September 8-18 in The Netherlands was held by the Academy van Bouwkunst, Amsterdam: Living Landscape program at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture.

Jorg Sieweke lead six Uva students to participate as the US guest team in an european workshop of five participating landscape architecture programs. Third year students Alexa Bush, Beth Bailey, and Kurt Marsh and second year students Kate Hays, Michael Geffel and Lingyi Gu traveled to the Netherlands on invitation of the Amsterdam Academy.
“In this year’s 10 day EMILA summer workshop in September 2011, students and teachers work with landscape identity as a basis for a proactive approach of ‘conservation through development’.


The European concept of  “cultural landscape” apperas to be much more inclusive relative to the american conotation of the term and concept. The discourse about the production of landscape relative to its preservation was most instructive. The idea proposed by Marieke Timmermans to collectively produce three canvases to represent the landscapes investigated created an intense workshop of “realtime thick 2D palimpsest making”. The outcome beautifully represent how landscapes represent a layered temporal quality: they reveal something about their past, their presence and some insight into their future. The agency of landscape!

This specifically Dutch approach will help to prepare students for landscape architecture design challenges that will confront cultural landscapes in the future. We work with a methodology to read cultural landscapes from the standpoint of landscape identity, as well that of spatial and cultural characteristics.

The location of the workshop is the remote northeastern part of The Netherlands, a patchwork of man-made landscapes – De Veenkoloniën, de Drentse AA and Noordoost Twente- which are all, in many ways, typical. By working simultaneously on these three different neighbouring cultural landscapes, each with a strong identity and specific issues and policies, this year’s EMILA workshop provides an excellent laboratory for developing skills on landscape identity research as a basis for design in cultural landscapes. Such skills and methods can be meaningfully translated and applied to many other cultural landscapes in  the world.

The EMILA summer workshop will build on the experience of the earlier workshop in ‘Altes Land’ Hamburg, Germany (2009) and the Erasmus workshop on the Orkney Islands, Scotland (2010).

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