Related Staff : Hana Huang, Jielu Lu, Matthew Pryor
In this studio students looked at the concept of ‘Landscape as Framework’: how natural landscape systems can determine and order human settlement and activity (and in turn be determined by them); and how we might develop meaningful strategies and proposals to achieve and sustain a balance between the two. In particular, we examined the impact of modernization and development on high value natural landscapes and traditional culture, and the roles that Landscape Architects might play in managing these processes to achieve the most relevant and resilient outcomes possible. We took as our study area the BanyuWangi Regency, at the eastern tip of East Java, a territory that encompasses a volcanic landscape rich in ecological biodiversity, scenic landscape beauty, agricultural productivity and mineral resource, but is also home to a culturally diverse community of some 1.6 million people, with a society built from old kingdoms and founded on Hindu and Islamic traditions and values, scattered across it in a complex ‘desakota’ system of urban-rural sprawl. As with much of Indonesia, it is a territory that is undergoing sudden and dramatic (post-Suharto) changes, modernization, commercialization and internationalization, brought on through urbanization, trade, resource exploitation and tourism. Drawing on current landscape planning and urbanism theory, including core concepts such as sustainability, ecological urbanism, landscape topology, we looked first to understand and document this landscape through its physical components, its systems, flows, assets (and liabilities), actors, patterns, trends, etc., then to develop a strategic landscape framework / guide plan for possible intervention, and finally to find specific projects through which portions of the strategy might be realized. Core to this studio was a 10-day study visit, during which we toured the territory with local communities and government representatives to increase our understanding of the region and its landscape systems, and to identify specific points of intervention.