Ramble, linger and gaze

University dissertation from Institutionen för arkitektur

Author: Katja Grillner; Kth.; [2000]

Keywords: ;

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 the1770?s, 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 Heely?s 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.Keywords: architecture, landscape, representation, 18thcentury land­scape garden, 18th century England, ThomasWhately, Joseph Heely, Hagley Park, garden history, gardentheory, garden representation, garden experience, architecturalrepresentation, poetic representation, narrativerepresentation, philosophical dialogue, architectural researchmethodology, hermeneutics.

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