Talk:Ian McHarg

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Untitled[edit]

'stay at home mom'. Would homemaker be a better phrasing? Seems like that would be the term used at that time for that role, not 'stay at home mom.'

No mention of WMRT (now WRT), planning and design firm hq'd in Philadelphia, PA, USA founded by McHarg and David Wallace.

copyvio[edit]

I can't see anyone actually releasing copyright for a load of this text - I've left a few quotes in which should be ok - but the following looks like blatant copyvio and completely POV.

To understand McHarg's work, one must look at what site-design too often means in practice even 30 years after McHarg's efforts began: design means restructuring sites to suit a client’s ego, a designer’s whimsy, a contractor’s convenience, and the dictates of financiers and lawyers. The belief that nothing in nature should constrain what humans do to the land they “own” is the ultimate hubris – which McHarg attempted to change. McHarg was “fierce,” to use his own word, about respecting ecosystems – which made him a star, but sometimes undermined him. His status as one of landscape architecture’s few celebrities, however, warrants neither blind adulation nor blindered attack. McHarg’s contribution encompassed three important values:
1 recognition that geographic and demographic patterns could be mapped in ways that make the designer’s eye a tool for visual analysis
2 advocacy for the land itself, in the face of a culture that insists landscapes are just another consumable commodity
3 and refusal to accept that landscape architecture should be subservient to architecture or engineering.

These concepts permeate today’s design professions – to our great benefit – and are taken for granted. GIS has made overlay analysis standard, often misconstrued as a hyper-rational, mechanistic tool. Critics need to consider how much “lack of holism” comes from the tool, and how much from those who mis-use it. McHarg intended all analysis as a first step – a platform on which to base creative design, not the cold planning algorithm that some of his technical followers occasionally make it. Yes, McHarg often failed to push beyond planning and to achieve the aesthetic, poetic, holistic design he personally most admired. A major reason was that he had to fight our culture’s accumulated hubris to get ecology onto the table at all. In some ways, that only makes his contribution more remarkable. [edited excerpt from Landscape Architecture Magazine, letters page, 2006; submitted by the author and copyright-holder, Kim Sorvig, Contributing Editor, Landscape Architecture.]

--Mcginnly | Natter 16:03, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

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