Topographical Inquiry

Kuo, Jack C.
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Landscape and architecture share a paradoxical relationship, and there exists a disjunction between the two fields. The topics, however closely related, are not regarded nor practiced cohesively. Ordinary design agendas exacerbate the problem by promoting uniqueness over conformity, and ingenuity over hackneyed repetition. This drive for expression, although integral to both professions, can mistakenly neglect proven basic solutions in fear of triteness. On the other hand, the autonomous practice of architecture from landscape results in built environments characterized by haphazard collections of forms and voids, many of which more akin to white noise than organic design solutions. Theories and criticisms of architecture make up the bias towards the built environment. These assessments are often bound by still images, drawings, and documentaries that render the built architectural form as primary and everything else, including landscape, as secondary. In other words, the framework of architecture is often more self-serving than not, and it leaves the relationship between architecture and landscape in ambiguity. The study of emblematic projects provide ground for the analysis of the revealing topography as both the subject and the object of this inquiry. This thesis is an exploration into the concept of topography as the sharedness of landscape and architecture; aiming to ease the disjunction between the two fields as well as ideas towards conflation.
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