A critical look at the value of the visual
St. Denis, Amanda Michelle
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The separation of the senses and intelligence enables the deliberate disregard of conscious (visual) information. This paradigm, a direct result of the Western scientific conceptions of rationalism, creates major problems within the visual and spatial medium of landscape architecture. Recent research explores the relationship between art and architecture and recognizes the consistent skill of fine artists to develop imaginative and sensitive design solutions. Responding to this research, this thesis looks directly at the design process of fine artists and questions current methods within contemporary landscape architecture discourse. In order for landscape architects to claim the art of design it is necessary to understand and cultivate visual skill. Highlighting the values of openness and materiality, the work of two contemporary artists illustrates an intelligent artistic sensibility and provides a noteworthy contrast to narrow approaches within the discipline of landscape architecture. Understanding the landscape in relation to a wider cultural context, this thesis seeks to expand critical discourse about the role of the visual and the value of design expertise.