Ramble, linger and gaze
Abstract: Ramble, linger, and gaze explores a method of architecturalresearch based on narrative dialogue and examines the gardentheories and literary garden representations of ThomasWhately (Observations on Modern gardening 1770) and JosephHeely (Letters on the Beauties of Hagley, Envil, and theLeasowes 1777). The thesis has the form of a narrated dialoguebetween these two writers and the narrator, and it is situatedat Hagley Park, Worchestershire, England. The work does nothave a strictly art-historical aim, but wishes to provide newinsights in the field of architectural research on both amethodological and an historical level. While the dialogicalmode of writing is explored as an hermeneutical research methodfor the field of architectural history and theory, thetext in itself discloses a world of reflections and ideasthat surrounded the English landscape garden in the1770s, and engages, from our present-dayposition, in a dialogue with that world. The beginnings of diverse and opposing phenomena of our timecan be traced to the culture of the 18th century. Asconstructions of the 18th century, Hagley Park, as wellas Whately and Heelys texts, lead us closer to thehorizons of the individuals and the society that producedit. But the landscape garden and the texts, as they standtoday, are also sites for alternativeepistemological models. Through its fictional character, thelandscape garden provides a possibility to move withininterpretative layers and spiralling horizons. It celebrates apoint of view on the move, both literally (physically) andimaginatively. The dissertation demonstrates thepossibilities of articulating this spatio-temporalphenomenon within the field of architectural research.
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