Phenomenology of Landscape


Places, like persons, have biographies inasmuch as they are formed, used and transformed in relation to practice. Daily passages through the landscape become biographic encounters for individuals, recalling past activities and previous events. Movement through space constructs ‘spatial stories’; forms of narrative understanding.

It can be argued that stories acquire part of their mythic value and historical relevance if they are rooted in the concrete details of the landscape, acquiring material reference points that can be visited, seen and touched. When a story becomes sedimented into the landscape, the story and the place dialectically help to construct and reproduce each other.

If places are read and experienced in relation to others and through movement along paths it follows that the art of understanding of place, movement and landscape must fundamentally be a narrative understanding involving a presencing of previous experiences in present contexts. Spacial and textual stories are embedded in one another.  Human activities become inscribed within a landscape. Space does not and cannot exist apart from the events and activities within which it is implicated.


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