Douglas Spencer lectures at the Institute of Urbanism and Landscape, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, 14-10-2010


Both landscape and infrastructure are territorial practices. Each functions as a kind of ‘groundwork‘, shaping, organising and servicing bases upon which forms of social, economic and ecological relations operate. What, though, is their relationship? Landscape design and landscape urbanism have tended, in recent years, to follow an agenda set by infrastructural development, in both its technical and economic senses, or even to identify themselves with, and as, infrastructural practices. Since this development is itself largely driven by processes of neoliberal urban entrepreneurialism, however, greater critical reflection on the position of design, its own agency and its practice in relation to infrastructural matters are required. Exploring the possibility of landscape urbanism as a critically-informed practice, and the design processes by which it might operate, this lecture will draw upon examples of recent work in China by graduates of the Landscape Urbanism programme of the Architectural Association, London.