Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects › Forums › GENERAL DISCUSSION › PLAN VIEW VERSUS REALITY
- This topic has 1 reply, 6 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 1 month ago by Trace One.
February 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm #165092Thomas J. JohnsonParticipant
As we design it is important to think in plan view as well as in section and perspective. However, there is a heavy emphasis placed on a designs beauty in plan view, as if the plan view is a painting or work of art. Is it possible to have a plan view that is striking as a composition but a poor scheme from the users perspective? And vice-versa, is it possible to have an unattractive layout in plan view yet have it be a wonderful space on foot? Or to put it another way, what is the connection between visual harmony in plan view and experiential harmony in the constructed landscape?February 9, 2011 at 9:04 pm #165098Trace OneParticipant
Sorry, me again, like a bad penny, but I think this is a no-brainer – there is NO relationship between harmony in plan and in reality..None at all..Similarly, there is no relationship between visual beauty in reality and in plan..That’s why they have books like “How to lie with maps.”February 9, 2011 at 9:53 pm #165097Theodore TegenParticipant
I tend to agree, you can have a great plan that is wonderfully rendered, and is a great design when experienced. You can also have a terrible plan that is wonderfully rendered, and is ineffective when experienced. You can also have a good plan that is poorly rendered or presented, yet have it be a great design when implemented. Therefore, as Trace said, no relationship.February 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm #165096mark fosterParticipant
“Is it possible to have a plan view that is striking as a composition but a poor scheme?” Yes–any new urbanist project on hilly ground
“is it possible to have an unattractive layout in plan view yet have it be a wonderful space on foot?” Yes– historic Greece, Italy, London, my back yard.February 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm #165095Bill DelaneyParticipant
I would agree, no relationship. There is a design-build firm in my area that uses a graphic artist with a great rendering hand to put the final pass on site plans. The result is a pretty picture but no substance as far as I can tell. Unfortunately sales is sales and this firm is probably doing just fine.February 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm #165094mark fosterParticipant
We used to call that a “visual swindle” in college. Beautiful 2D, didn’t work in 3.February 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm #165093Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
There is a connection. It is based on familiarity of a fairly constant diagramming of the space around us in plan view through our entire lives whether you are an average Joe on the street or a landscape architect. While some people are more in tune than others in interpretting a plan view into a space, all of us in the modern world understand it to a large degree. We move through most spaces using the two dimensions that are represented in plan view.The missing dimension is the one we are looking at it from (top to bottom) giving us perhaps the most critical understanding of the space it represents. As humans, we generally experience our surroundings visuallywhich is more often than brought to us through our eyes that act more or less like a beacon in reverse. We seldom look upward or downward very much. The plan view therefore has the most critical information in it of any two dimensional representation. … mostly because the missing dimension is the least critical to how we move around, but also because it is the easiest to adlib in our minds.
The question may be more about whether we fall into the trap of drawing a 2D graphic composition and then trying to convert it into a landscape or whether the plan is drawn to represent a conceived landscape. They are clearly two entirely different processes. The author of the latter is always going to see it as what it represents and not see too many flaws in how it looks purely as a flat 2d object. A like minded person will do the same. The original question was whether a nice on the ground landscape can make a not so nice 2d plan. The answer to that is going to depend on whether you see the landscape it represents or just a 2d graphic.
If you really think about it, a perspective is much weaker because it represents only a view of something or just one part of the perifery of a space. It leaves far too many unanswered questions as to what is next to you to the right or left, and what is behind you.
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