Laboratory Oerol: Designerly Ways of Knowing in the TU Delft Landscape Architecture elective project On Site, 2018

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Discussion on the synergies between scientific and artistic endeavour is a recurring topic in academia, but has gathered a new momentum since the turn of the millennium in response to among other things the urgency of global challenges such as climate change. Aside from some incidental experiments however, a more fundamental and structural synergy between the realms of science and art has to date not emerged. Synergies have been hampered by reservations about the compromising of scientific integrity on the one hand, and artistic creativity and autonomy on the other, but have also been hampered by the fundamental differences between both realms. By extension, viable methodologies to bring both realms together, which might uphold disciplinary independence and integrity, have to date been lacking. Design and design thinking has been mooted as an area which might offer a way forward in this debate. The role of spatial design disciplines forms a small but critical chapter in this discussion. A potential complement to this discussion are approaches from the discipline of landscape architecture, which distinguishes itself by the critical role of site and context in the design process, a working through various scales of design, the development of narratives, and the attention to phenomenology and experience. The chair of landscape architecture has received structural funding from the Delta Infrastructures and Mobility Initiative (DIMI) in 2012, 2016 and 2018 to participate in the Oerol Festival on the island of Terschelling in the Netherlands. In terms of discussion of design vs engineering (from the perspective of landscape architecture), there has been a critical impact of site and island context on the design concept. Site readings - particularly the morphological development of the island over a long period - has inputted to the development of an historically-informed scheme. The scale of the installation is also derivative of its context, and the intention to create a form which has the scale of the island and its dune system. The stitching concept moreover, also offered the opportunity to test the effect of different angles of hessian panelling on sand movement and accretion. In relation to the broader discussion of the synergy of science and art, the project can be seen as an example of ‘designerly ways of knowing’ which breach both realms. These include the incorporation of characteristics of the site and its (island) context, and the spatial and experiential aspects of a landscape installation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAeolis_Gap the Border
Subtitle of host publicationLandscape architecture ON site - being part of Oerol Festival 2018
EditorsRené van der Velde, Janneke van Bergen, Michiel Pouderoijen
PublisherTU Delft, Urban Landscape Architecture
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventOerol Festival 2018 - Terschelling, Netherlands
Duration: 15 Jun 201824 Jun 2018


ExhibitionOerol Festival 2018


  • Design Thinking
  • curation
  • Landscape Architecture


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