New themed sessions

The call for abstracts for ECLAS 2017 is now closed. However there has been a late call for two specific themed sessions which we would like to support and thus ONLY for these sessions the call for abstracts is open until Friday 17th March. Please will you note the session when you upload your abstract on EasyChair.

The link to EasyChair is:


The sessions are as follows:


Session Title 1:


Landscapes as reactions to the creation of post-war infrastructures (1945-1975)

Richard Brook

Luca Csepely-Knorr

Laura Coucill

on behalf of the Manchester School of Architecture



Infrastructures of power, water and transportation designed after World War 2 were fundamental in supporting the modernising social ideals of the post-war period and also exemplified the alternative socio-economic and technological and cultural contexts across Europe. These physically engineered landscapes symbolised the varied political structures of different countries and regions during the heyday of internationally adopted modernism. The technological advances and political conditions facilitated a completely new scale of development and new collaborative approaches in the design professions. The creation of these new infrastructures changed rural, peripheral and urban landscapes of Europe enormously; this session invites discussions on the reaction of various professions to this change.


In Britain, this reaction was materialised in the “official adoption of landscape architects to work on new towns, highways, industrial sites, reservoirs, university campuses and power stations”.[1] The professional interest in these new challenges can be traced through the wide discussion of different aspects in professional journals,[2] publications and exhibitions, such as the 1964 touring exhibition Industry & Landscape, and conferences such as the Landscaping of Motorways Conference (1962), and in decisive theoretical and practical guides such as Sylvia Crowe’s major publications, The Landscape of Power and The Landscape of Roads. These changes came in tandem with the formation of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (1948), which created a formal platform for international professional discourse, this allowed landscape architects from countries with very different historical and political backgrounds to share their experience, ideas and theories.


The application of the term modernism in the historicisation of landscape architecture in Europe is contested. Modernism has popularly expanded to encompass waves of practice across the twentieth century and multiple-modernisms are described in a range of cultural fields. What does this mean to a pan-European comparison in the definition of the modern, modernising and modernist landscapes of infrastructure?


We invite papers that reflect on the key ideas of the creation of post-war infrastructures and the reaction of the various professions to infrastructures, their architecture and landscapes in different social, political and historical circumstances.


[1] Powers, A., ‘Landscape in Britain’, in Trieb, M (ed.) (2002) The Architecture of Landscape (University of Pennsylvania Press) p.79.

[2] The Landscape Journal of the Institute of  Landscape Architects regularly published articles about the various aspects of infrastructures and landscapes. For example: Crowe, S., ‘Power in the Landscape’, Journal of the Institute of Landscape Architects, 1960, No. 52; Bernard, J., ‘Landscape of Motor Roads’, 1960, No. 52; Jackson, J.B. & Hackett, B., ‘Engineering in the landscape’, 1958, No. 42; Shepheard, M. & Goulty, G., ‘Landscape of Power Stations’, 1963, No. 62.



Session Title 2:


Sustaining Beauty and Beyond: Discussing the role of aesthetic experience in sustainable landscape design


Kamni Gill

Bruno Notteboom

Imke van Hellemondt

on behalf of the JoLA editorial team­­­


This session aims to further discussion on the role of aesthetics in sustainable landscape design, sparked by landscape design scholar and practitioner Elizabeth Meyer. In ‘Sustaining Beauty. The Performance of Appearance’, a manifesto published both in Journal of Landscape Architecture and Landscape Architecture Magazine in 2008, she advocated for the insertion of aesthetics in the discussion on sustainability– generally understood in relation to the principles of ecology, social justice and economic prosperity. Her argument is that contemporary theory and practice of sustainable landscape design have little regard for the performance of appearance, and particularly beauty. In her 11-point manifesto, Meyer argues that consideration of beauty is crucial to landscape design, which is not only technical and scientific, but also a critical social and cultural act. An understanding of aesthetic experience in landscape design enables the production of hybrids between the human-made and biophysical, overcoming the conception of ecological design as natural mimicry. It allows for the construction of nature through new forms, it reconnects man to the biophysical world through experience. Landscape design fosters new modes of sustainability and beauty that are able to deal with the fact that resilience, adaptation and disturbance have replaced harmony, equilibrium and balance as the operative words in ecosystem studies.

As a response to the many and strong reactions to ‘Sustaining Beauty’, Meyer revisited the premises of her original paper in ‘Beyond “Sustaining Beauty”. Musings on a Manifesto’, published in Elen Deming’s Values in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design (2015). Here, Meyer elaborates on what constitutes beauty and related concepts in landscape architecture. She links aesthetic experiences to the theory of affect, arguing that designing for the practice of everyday life in the landscape can contribute to a new social aesthetics and ethos, unhinged from morality and the seeming certainty of ecosystem service or social science metrics.


This session aims to extend the questions and claims arising from Meyer’s papers. As discussions on climate change created a sense of urgency for the design of ecological infrastructure, the aesthetic and cultural dimensions of landscape architecture have been increasingly sidelined from debates on sustainability, ecology and resilience which tend to rely on a techno-scientific rationale. Current ‘metabolic’ approaches to urban and landscape design seem to focus on flows and processes rather than on form and space, let alone aesthetics. We invite contributions that substantiate, contradict, nuance or build further on Meyer’s observations through both theory-based papers and through the critical interpretation of concrete projects and practices.

We especially welcome reflections on the roles aesthetics and affect play in the social and cultural agency of (sustainable) landscape design, on how a context of change and disturbance demand a re-positioning of design in terms of shaping materials, form and process, and on how richer conceptions of beauty and the uncertainty of aesthetic experimentation may allow for the formation of new types of nature-culture hybrids; of landscapes that matter spatially and culturally as well as ecologically.