A 50-year Journey to Discover a Fun, Comfortable Way to Learn Landscape Architectural Design (18/38)

As lines move through space they inscribe planes: ground planes, vertical planes, overhead planes. Together they confine, enclose, and direct views and movement. As words collect on a page they produce a two dimensional feature called a paragraph which, in increasing detail, expresses sequential messages leading to a story or narrative. In Basic Design the planes interrelate a sense of depth or perspective and a design’s theme. You can carry these thoughts further as to how these features appear, are applied in their respective settings, and what they express or direct a person’s thinking, vision, or behaviors to.

And then as planes move through space they inscribe volumes; as paragraphs collect page after page they too give form to a volume, a book. The interplay of volumes in Language (three-dimensional), volumes in Basic Design (a two-dimensional area on a canvas, page, or screen) brings into question the potential of explicit and implicit features. The implied sense of a three-dimensional volume on a page, canvas, or computer screen is just that, implied. In actuality it is a two-dimensional area. In Landscape Design, volumes give rise to sequential volumes or volumetric spaces. Do look at Gordon Cullen’s “serial vision” as linked, sequential spaces for what they tell you as you walk the street he shows. Most of the 253 patterns in Alexander’s A Pattern Language deal directly or indirectly with volumetric space or spaces.

Alexander, C. 1977. A Pattern Language: Towns, Building, and Construction. New York: Oxford.

Cullen, G. 1961. Townscape. New York: Reinhold.

Kandinsky, W. 1979. Point and Line to Plane. New York: Dover.

Scarfo, B. 2022. Landscape Architecture as Storytelling: learning design through analogy. New York: Routledge.

Wong, W. 1972. Principles of Two-Dimensional Design. New York: John Wiley and Sons.