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LANDSCHAFT: A CULTIVATION OF ABSENCE Investigative Process into a Restorative Palimpsest

Kimberly Connell

LANDSCHAFT: A CULTIVATION OF ABSENCE Investigative Process into a Restorative Palimpsest

Landschaft: A Cultivation of Absence A Master’s Research Project presented to the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Architecture: Spring 2014 Kimberly Connell Master of Architecture Graduate Advisors Chair of Supervisory Committee: Professor Martin Gundersen Second Chair of Supervisory Committee: Professor Mark McGlothlin Critics: Professor Nina Hofer, Professor Lisa Huang, and Professor Bradley Walters

In memory of my papa...

“It is in this deeper sense that landscape as place and milieu may provide a more substantial image than that of the distance scenic veil, for the structures of place help a community to establish a collective identity and meaning. This is the constructive aspect of landscape, its capacity to enrich the cultural imagination and provide a basis for rootedness and connection, for home and belonging.� -James Corner, Introduction: Recovering Landscape as Critical Cultural Practice

CONTENTS RITUAL AND ABSENCE: THE ASCERTAINMENT OF PLACE 12 Reconnection with Identity and Spatiality An Introduction


Cultivation of Absence The Perception of Landscape The Loss of Husbandry The Growth of Monocultures Loss of Collective Identity


Measures of Landschaft The Remnants of Place Crop Typologies Livestock Typologies The Cultiavtor

sustaining + cultivating identity


A Stewardship of Traces


Fostering A Restorative Palimpsest



Landschaft Reliquary: The Housing of Seeds


Selected Bibliography

Reclaiming of Identity


Image Credits





The landscape, seen through this fashion, is merely observed, not participated in, as there is a distance between the subjective seer and the objective seen. The distance situates the object outside of the viewer’s immediate environment, outside of their range of total perception. Inside the car, one is a rational detached observer, creating their own mental representation of the external landscape being viewed—the landscape is a static image, ordered by aesthetics, devoid of phenomena. It is from this representation an initial reference for meaning in the world is crafted. This fictitious reality is merely assembled within one’s mind by perceptions that are not yet present, or, as Yi-Fu Tuan described it, “a hazy knowledge of the unknown…dyed in phantasms” yet imbedded with a sense of reality.1 Yet, the movement of a patch of clouds suspended just above the trees, moving slowly, brings into realization that the landscape is not static. The play of light across the landscape and the remnants, the shadows they cast, the time they trace, changes steadily, altering the perception of textures and movement.

One is able to see the landscape at this time because they are within the environment, which embodies its own particular history and phenomena that the human body is able to relate to. Moving outside of the car, the ground plane elevates the gaze slightly. One is able to see because they reflect upon the landscape and the ideas it presents forth--the varying phenomena that can be gathered and catalogued through the different senses. As humans, we are embedded within our bodily experiences and within the landscape— exposed to countless pulses of movement and trajectories that unfold in front of us. In this sense, the ground is an emerging world, constantly unfolding over time and evolving at various rates that engages the mind and reshapes the world—it expresses an idea. To view landscape as scenery undermines its material properties that can be utilized to enhance architectural ideas.

…it is a gross reduction to consider landscape simply as a scenic object, a subjugated resource, or a scientific ecosystem. To consider landscape in solely visual, formal, ecological, or economic terms fails to embrace the complex richness of associations and social structures that are inherent to it. From a specifically landscape-architectural point of view, it is crucial to understand how cultural ideas condition construction and how construction, in turn, conditions the play of landscape ideas in a larger cultural imagination. The implications of reciprocity between ways of seeing and ways of acting are immense and point toward the means by which the landscape project may be critically revised and reformulated.2



While driving down the dirt road, as the tree line breaks, one is greeted by what might be considered the archetypal farming landscape—a vast expanse of ever so gently sloping ground methodically tilled, with a myriad of trees in the distance reaching forth to the sky, and the remnants of structures long forgotten dotting the landscape. Naturally, one’s gaze is drawn to the distant horizon, and the landscape adopts the characteristics of an image carefully crafted and put on display. Within the context of being in a car, one is not able to participate with the landscape directly; in fact, it requires that it is viewed from a relatively fixed position. The human body is inside, the landscape is outside—the view out is framed fixedly by a window that influences how one perceives the land, visually, and hinders total perception through the usage of the other senses.



Ultimately, the landscape is a social and cultural product composed by the projection of meaning onto the land—the environment is comprised and fashioned by life forms and energy flows across it, which provides a sense of “rootedness in the soil” each bringing the other into being.3 As humans, we intervene within the environment often times to fit our needs; however, our “actions in the environment are better seen as incorporative rather than [as] inscriptive” as they are enwrapped into the “form of the landscape and its living inhabitants by way of their own processes of growth.”4 By this definition, the form of the landscape is generated by mutually unfolding relationships between humans and non-humans—a collaborative process between beings and being-in-the-world. The landscape bears witness to the passing of time; it contains a living memory of all who have dwelled within it, and to perceive and interact with the landscape is to carry out an act of remembrance.

Landscape was the original dwelling…The origins of architecture lie in making shelter, in creating refuge… Architecture is a powerful tool of adaptation, but it has become an instrument of alienation. Most contemporary architecture, with its sealed windows, emphasis on façade and ignorance of landscape, divorces us both from the intimate processes of living and from nature, our fundamental habitat. Our power to transform the Earth has promoted the illusion that we control nature, that we are somehow separate from it…. Our survival as a species now depends upon whether we can adapt our environment in new ways. The resolution of this fundamental issue of our age will determine our viability as a species. We must adapt both our institutions and our buildings, landscapes and settlements to this end.6

By this definition, the idea of place does not rely solely upon the fact of a place’s physical existence in the world, but on its connectedness with narrative, memory, and ritual—its connection with the establishment of human identity. Cultural identity, inevitably, must be a response to our “place in the world,” as it and place are images of each other, and are thusly, inseparable. The engagement in the practice of architecture organizes past experiences, present actions, and future desires into significance at any given moment. Heidegger suggested the primary function of architecture is to “set truth into work” by bring the “world [into] immediate presence,” where presence “consists [of] what [is] gather[ed].”5 In other words, architecture gathers a world and allows for dwelling. The act defines a place with specific features and bring these features into the view of occupants, effectively, establishing the world with a sense of poetic presence in the built environment; in other words, establishing a sense of place in the world. To participate in the practice of building is not only to make and sustain human identity, but it brings to light a concept that our identity and the physical world are intimately and inseparably connected by the way we create space and the way we exist in it.

Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience, (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), 88. 2 James Corner, “Introduction” to Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture (New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 8. 3 Yi-Fu Tuan, 156. 4 Tim Ingold, The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling, and Skill (London: Routledge, 2000), 87. 5 Christian Norberg-Schulz, “Heidegger’s Thinking on Architecture,” Perspecta, vol. 20 (1983), 67. 6 Anne Whiston Spirn, “Architecture in the Landscape: Toward a Unified Vision,” Landscape Architecture 80 (August 1990): 37-38. 1

RITUAL AND ABSENCE The Ascertainment of Place




The concept of country, homeland, dwelling place becomes simplified as ‘the environment’ -- that is, what surrounds us, we have already made a profound division between it and ourselves. We have given up the understanding -dropped it out of our language and so out of our thought -- that we and our country create one another, depend on one another, are literally part of one another; that our land passes in and out of our bodies just as our bodies pass in and out of our land...1

At its core, perception is a two-fold process, the first part being that of awareness and, the second, a means of establishing our place in the world through a reforming of prevalent orders to mark a specific terrain as being significant. The notion of place is not an abstract framework— it is a tangible and finite unit of space that is tied to being or dwelling. Following Heidegger’s thoughts, the very nature of “existence” requires one to become an interpreter, or “to receive and express the existence of particular things” and to further engage in this process through the reinterpretation of the information initially perceived.2 Through the engagement in this process, the difference between “things” and intentional objects is easily discernable; moreover, it allows for a discerning of greater meaning due to transcendental values instilled within said objects. To understand existence through these means is essential in the ability to understand Heidegger’s definition of dwelling and the means through which it is achieved. According to Heidegger, the notion of dwelling relies upon a system of boundaries with specific characteristics that determine and define a plane of field in which existence is meant to take place. This ultimately implies, man’s “place of being” exists between earth and sky—the domain man predominantly occupies and interacts within. However, it is through our engagement with the earth, or the soil, that we establish ourselves within this plane of field.

The land is almost all flat and smooth. There are no mountains, only a few wooded hills. It is nothing but prairies as far as the eye can see, dotted here and there with small patches of woods, with orchards, and with avenues of trees which it seems as if nature took pleasure in making grow in a straight line equally distant from one another.3

of the world in terms of the basic foundations for scientific and technological production and research; however, it also perpetuated a generalization of the world that does not rely upon our senses. Perez- Gomez described this practice within architecture as “deprived of a legitimate poetic content” due to the fact form had once been a direct expression of man’s lifestyle and beliefs and has since reflected the “statistics” of man rather than his culture.6

People are immersed in their world, while is can be argued this immersion is ineffable, it is through perception we begin to understand the different states around us—that we begin to embed ourselves, to dwell, within a place. Heidegger furthers his notion by stressing “the fundamental character of dwelling is sparing and preserving.”4 Sparing suggests an allowance of given characteristics to retain their own nature, to express them forth enthusiastically, and this only occurs when we dwell in a conscious nature. Plato proposed that the world could be understood through scientific analysis—that nature could be revealed as a mathematical system adhering to the laws as discovered and set forth by humanity.5 Growth of rational logic allowed for questioning and the resulting exponential development,

Maurice Merleau-Ponty has argued that understanding of the world is inextricable from the space around us, as these interactions construct and then shape how we begin to perceive ourselves within the world. The means by which we craft space, how we interact within spaces, is intimately connected with identity and the physical world; however, it is not limited to only these individual interactions, but rather extends through a collection of individuals which crafts a collective experience, a cultural identity. “Cultural identity, a sense of rootedness and belonging is an irreplaceable ground of our very humanity,” as this rootedness is explicitly linked with a participation in a meaningful continuum of enriching experiences.7 The means by which individuals, groups, and even countries begin to draw distinctions between themselves have the potential to become impenetrable boundaries, yet if these distinctions are not drawn to some degree, homogenization results. The notion of ‘identity’ has become a major focus of discussion because of the rapid growth of urban areas, and is equally palpable within rural areas and the perception of landscape, due to the speed at which societies have grown and operate. Thusly, the connections between landscape and identity—memory, thought and comprehension—and the means by which groups differentiate between one another, are fundamental to understanding landscape, the human sense of place, and how this ties to culture.


Our perceptions of landscapes are a result of our shared system of beliefs and ideologies—the meaning we gather and project back onto the land lies in contention to that which we have been taught. In this way, landscape is a cultural construct, a mirror of memories and myths encoded with meanings which can be read and interpreted, and as a result, each culture and sub-culture has different perceptions of landscape and its meanings. Our interactions with the landscape, the constructs and even our movement through it, provides us a sense of rootedness. This notion relies upon what Heidegger termed “the special character” within the “grounding of locality” that provides occupants with an orientation in the physical realm.9 Rootedness implies a temporal aspect—it is more about engaging the perceptual qualities over a long period of time—it recurs indefinitely. Knowledge of the world is gained by moving about in it, exploring it, attending to it, ever alert to the signs by which it is revealed. Learning to see, then, is a matter not of acquiring schemata for mentally constructing the environment but of acquiring the skills for direct perceptual engagement with its constituents, human and non-human, animate and inanimate.10

Simon Schama contends that “before it can ever be the repose for the senses, landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock.”11 From this idea of a stratigraphy of memories and layers of rock composing landscape, as well as a perceptual engagement with the landscape required to engage it, one might start to suggest that the landscape is a plinth that is a part of us as much as we are a part of it. The landscape embodies the whole of a particular


Current entry to farm: Greenville, Illinois. O P P O S I T E Obermark brothers and family’s first tractor, 1944


Landscape is not the environment. The environment is the factual aspect of a milieu: that is: of the relationships that links a society with space and with nature. Landscape is the sensible aspect of that relationship. It thus relies on a collective form of subjectivity….To suppose that every society possesses an awareness of landscape is simply to ascribe to other cultures our own sensibility.8

nexus within it, and yet is different from every other—it allows meaning to be gathered. With the rise of the Transcendentalist movement in North America, the notion of landscape became imbued with nationalistically religious views, which was quickly followed by scientific associations that ultimately positioned landscape, nature, as something apart from people. Essentially, by this definition, the ultimate wilderness experience required one to be in solitude—removed from the world completely. However, even within this framework of thinking, the wilderness, landscape, is still tied to cultural identity as a collective group shared this view.

landscape is a living process that is made by people who engage with it, but also makes those people because they dwell within that place. Movement generates landscape forms, and it is within these forms that a culture is most easily able to declare and establish itself.

Over time, as a culture, we have become more removed from the landscape; however, landscapes reflect the everyday way of life, the ideologies that compel the creation of places and allow for the unfolding of the sequences of life. Body and landscape are complementary terms, for each gives an implication of the other and the relationships that occur between them. As a place, the landscape tells the story of a group of people, as events through time are charted, offering a sense of continuity and rootedness—a cultural context to start to understand cultural heritage against. The landscape is a series of interlocking cycles that are embedded within a much larger matrix;

1796, the government was able to sell tracts of land to people in an attempt to encourage movement west due to overpopulation along the East Coast. The measure of the landscape was established based on the rectangular survey, where surveyors crisscrossed any parcel of land with lines to divide into townships six miles square that were then subdivided into thirty-six sections of one square mile, each. These tracts, which were still too large for small pioneering families, were further subdivided by developers into plots that were manageable—with the US landscape being marked according to a rectilinear grid following the lines of latitude and longitude.

THE LOSS OF HUSBANDRY Native American tribes initiated the history of Illinois agriculture about seven thousand years ago—cultivating corn, squash, and many others crops that are still utilized today. Following the Land Act in

with commercial level farming, the German settlers brought with them an agrarian tradition of family farms that were worked intensively at a subsistence level—a much smaller scale farming practice more closely associated with the land sustaining the family. As the amount of land available for settlement in the west diminished, people became more interested in maintaining soil fertility and increasing crop yields on their existing farms. With the start of the Agricultural Revolution, a new wave of farming implements were invented that allowed for farmers to plow, till, cultivate, and harvest larger amounts of crops, which inevitably resulted in a growth of land



The fertile prairie of Illinois attracted many immigrants from its opening in the early to late nineteenth century, including a large inflow of German, English and Irish groups. The large scale German immigration moves were primarily prompted by strict inheritance laws in Germany causing once large farms to be sub-divided until many were too small to support a family, and in other cases, non-heirs being prevented from owning farms. These factors, in conjunction with droughts, overpopulation, and crop failure, forced many families to seek a place that would sustain their livelihoods. Unlike the English immigrants moving into Illinois at the same time, who were more entrepreneurial and concerned



that was utilized for farming practices. In 1914, Congress responded to these needs of farmers by providing funds for state agricultural extension programs that helped farmers in adopting improved farming methods and equipment. However, many reformers of the era did not approve of the machines and uses because it meant more land would be destroyed by over-cultivation, and the long term health of the land, as well as the wealth of future generations of farm families, would be sacrificed in the effort to turn a larger profit immediately.


The Dust Bowl of the 1930s, though it did not affect Illinois directly, brought forth many of the issues of farming methodologies, as it presented the proof that farming practices were harming the environment. In direct response to the urgent need for water and conversation programs to combat farmland destruction, the Soil Conservation Service was established in 1935. Employees of the service demonstrated on test plots methods of contour plowing, terracing, and strip-cropping to retain water on the fields to reduce runoff and prevent erosion. Windbreaks were planted along the edges of farms—linear groups of trees—to break the force of winds, and tillage methods were changed to reduce exposed soils. After the growing season ended, vegetation was retained on the field to provide protective cover and fodder for livestock—encouraging natural fertilization practices.

As agricultural modernization progressed, the linkage between ecology and farming was broken, given the fact natural ecological principles were ignored or overridden. Whereas the present capital and technology-intensive farming systems are extremely productive and competitive, they bring a variety of economic, environmental and social problems to view. Wendell Berry surmised “the exploitative always involves the abuse or the perversion of nurture and ultimately its destruction.”13 The nature of the agricultural structure and its prevailing policies have promoted a uni-sized environment that favors large farm size, specialized production, crop monocultures and mechanization. As an increasing number of farmers are integrated into international economies, integrated into globalization, and rewarded by policies that favor such large scale production, diversity has started to disappear. As a result, the lack of rotations and diversification of crops have eroded key self-regulating mechanisms that early farming practices had initiated, turning the monocultures into highly vulnerable agro-ecosystems that are highly dependent on chemical inputs to sustain their growth and success. Though the intensification of agriculture has increased productivity, it has also propagated severe economic and cultural damage.

U.S. Agriculture productivity increased gradually until World War II when additional demands for food led to rapid changes in farming methods—stimulating the growth of mechanical farming methods rather than animal driven. With the rapid growth of pesticide use, between 1940 and 1944, overall efficiency of crops was increased dramatically, and with it, farmers began to practice in continuous cropping—the act of constantly cultivating the same plot of land each year rather than leaving a fallow year—as well as, devoting large amounts of acreage to a single crop typology. The growth of these agricultural practices set the stage for today’s modern farming practices and a degradation of crop biodiversity.

The composition of their landscape [a working life with family and community] is much more integrated and inclusive with the diurnal course of life’s events--with birth, death, festival, tragedy--all the occurrences that lock together human time and place. For the insider there is no clear separation of self from scene, subject and object.12

Globalization has resulted in a dramatic increase of monocultures worldwide, with large geographic areas devoted to single crop species and year-to-year production of this same species on the same tracts of land. This trend is largely bolstered by political and economic forces that grant government subsidies to

farmers to participate in the growth of a single crop, or to allow their land to lay fallow rather than cultivating a particular crop. Today, the numbers of farms are fewer, larger, more specialized and more concerned with the production of capital than that of nurturing. When focusing at the regional level, increases in monoculture farming have affected the entire agricultural support infrastructure from suppliers [only certain seeds can be purchased to be sold on large scale markets] to storage, transport, and markets. Essentially, this system is in place to contribute to the ability of national agricultures to serve international markets and “along with the rest of society…the established agriculture has shifted its emphasis, and its interest, from quality to quantity, having failed to see that in the long run the two ideas are inseparable.”14

THE LOSS OF COLLECTIVE IDENTITY “Tradition is a matter of much wider significance. It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour. It involves, in the first place, the historical sense… and the historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence; the historical sense compels a man to write [and to design] not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of the literature [architecture]…has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order.” 15 “…a respectful attitude to traditions does not imply regressive traditionalism, but its acknowledgement as a source of meaning, inspiration, and emotional rooting.” 16

According to T.S. Elliot, tradition is a living culture that is inherited from the past, but also has an important function in shaping the present. In this sense, Elliot’s concept of tradition is not linear, but spatial, as the past and present live side by side exerting influence and change over one another. To exemplify this point, Elliot conceives

of literature as a total, all-encompassing order that harbors all works within its bounds and that any new work of literature brings about a readjustment of the previous relationships constructed between old members—that a new member exerts its presence and influence over older members allowing for the construction of new relationships and meanings within the larger body of literature as a whole. This same concept can be applied to the notion of architecture and identity as an evolutionary process if one examines Cicero. Within his works, Cicero reflected on “our ‘need’ to structure and distinguish our own world as a kind of unity or complete entity within the larger world of nature”—that these two worlds exist in dual nature that allows for reflection and self-awareness.17 Cultural memory is not simply related to the traces of the past stored within a collective consciousness of a people, rather, cultural memory is embodied in objectifications which store meanings in a concentrated manner—the meanings and acts shared by a group of people. These ties to identity can be found within texts such as lyric or epic poetry such as the Iliad or Odyssey, for example; they can be monuments, buildings, or statues erected to commemorate certain events that pertain to an important event within a society. However, these linkages to cultural identity are also embodied in practices that are regularly repeated within a particular place or within a specific framework. These subtle reflections of conscious and unconscious efforts to bolster a cultural memory, or a connection to the past, are present within all societies. Thusly, within a culture that has started to allow its long-rooted identity slip away, how is cultural identity to be cultivated and nurtured?

Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1996), 22. 2 David Campbell, “Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Meaning,” Journal of Nietzsche Studies, no. 26 (2003), 41. 3 Antoine Denis Raudot,Letter 56, in Letters from America in 1710, http://www. 4 Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. A. Hofstadter (New York, 1971), 148. 5 Plato, Republic, trans. G. Grube (Indianopolis, 1974), 165. 6 Alberto Perez- Gomez, “Introduction to Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science,” in Architecture Theory since 1968, ed. K. Michael Hays. (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2000), 466. 7 Juhani Pallasmaa, ‘Newness, Tradition and Identity: Existential Content and Meaning in Architecture’ in Architectural Design: Human Experience and Place (June 2012): 15. 8 Augustin Berque, “Beyond the Modern Landscape,” AA Files 25 (summer 1991), 11. 9 Martin Heidegger, “Art and Space,” trans. Charles H. Seibert, 6. 10 Tim Ingold, The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling, and Skill (London: Routledge, 2000), 55. 11 Simon Schama, Landscape and Memory, (London: Harper Collins, 1995), 6-7. 12 Denis Cosgrove, Social Formation and the Symbolic Landscape (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998), 19. 13 Wendell Berry, 8. 14 Ibid, 42. 15 TS Elliot, “Tradition and Individual Talent”, in Selected Essays, new edition, (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1964). 16 Juhani Pallasmaa, 14. 17 Norman Crowe, “Architecture, Memory, and the Idea of Nature,” in OZ, 12 (1990): 13. 1




Agricultural practice requires a continuing commitment to a particular place, and the acts upon the land are associated with a ritual performance of cultivation, growth, and harvesting tied to seasonal phenomena. Embedded within this condition is the linkage between humans, earth, and the larger community. This linkage is embodied within the Old German term landschaft, a term that focuses on landscape as more than a scene, or a snapshot of a given condition. Rather, landschaft, focuses on the environment of a working community that is comprised of dwellings, pastures, meadows, and fields—implying more than just an organization of space as it incorporates the inhabitants of the place and their obligations to one another and to the land. Until approximately six decades ago, crop yields in agricultural systems depend on internal resources for regeneration—a recycling of organic matter such as the use of livestock for fertilization, builtin biological control mechanisms—the rotation of crops, and rainfall patterns. While crop yields within this system were modest, the varying scales and densities of crops and livestock were stable but, more than this, they were part of a larger, more diversified system of scales that were embedded within each farm. These qualities were once easily read on my ancestral family farm, a place that had been “accumulated, tested, preserved, handed down,” and worked by the family in a very deliberate and careful way that was “native



Whereas the scenery of landschaft may be picturable....its deeper, existential aspects circle more socially cognitive, eidetic processes. Spatial, material, and ambient characteristics are still here, but their essence is not necessarily that of Cartesian objecthood; they are present in sometimes foggy and multiplicitous ways, structure but not immediately visible—structured, in fact, more through use and habit in time than through any prior schematization.1



to their own ground.”2 Production of crops were safeguarded by growing more than one crop or crop variety in space and time in a field; fertilization was achieved by rotating major fields crops with legumes and allowing livestock to feed on the stalks of a harvested field. The labor of the farm was done by the family, only occasionally employing hired help or specialized machinery. More than this, however, was the association of the farm with household. The farm operated primarily as a way to sustain the Obermark family’s needs—the soil acted as the provider for their lives in terms of food, as well as their livelihood by providing them a good that could be

sold locally that the money might then pass back to tend the soil. The definition of the good and beautiful, for Plato, “belonged to measure, appropriateness, and harmony…symbolizing an ideal wholeness of relationship between the activities of people on earth while revealing the supreme order and perfection of the divine and universal.” The relationship Plato speaks of within this quote can be directly related to the scale at which the farm and its varying components once operated if paired with the idea that our body is the primary way through which we perceive and measure the world. Once we are no longer able to measure







Apple Orchard


Soybeans Sorghum






Holstein Cattle

Belgian Horses

Gloucestershire Old Spots

Guineas Chickens



THE REMNANTS OF PLACE ...the presence of the past offers a ‘sense of completion, of stability, of permanence’ in resistance to the rapid pace of contemporary life. As such, landscape has assumed increased popular value as a symbolic image, a picture laden with signs that lends cultural uniqueness, stability, and value to a particular place or region.5

Within the site, a series of ruins populate the landscape—the remaining vestiges of a lifestyle long since gone. Ruins, as objects, hold moral and emotional fascination due to their ambiguous nature as half man-made, half natural objects. They possess a unique palimpsest characteristic that allows for a temporal reading of the physical object—a living, recorded history that can be visually observed and interpreted in varying ways. Most of the original buildings were torn down when the new owner started cultivating corn in an effort to gain more land to put to the plough. However, if one examines the landscape closely, the footprints of foundations and a single discernable structure can still be found. More importantly, however, are the weathered marks left within the landscape that denotes the node of the property—the point about which all other functions and happenings echoed from. “The vicissitudes displayed in the ruin’s history are perhaps a truer reflection of the brutal course of events over several generations than numerous portraits of figures in doublets and hose, wigs, top hats and tail coats.”6 The buildings in decay tell an unbelievable story, and what becomes clear is that the ruin is not only a



“Measure is intrinsic to the design, habitation, and representation of land. It underlies the variety of ways land is traversed and negotiated; it enables the spacing, marking, delineation and occupation of a given terrain; and it reflects the values and judgments of the society that live upon the land.”4 The scale of the farm’s operation was once very much about the scale of the human and the human hand, and, inevitably, was entwined with the important aspect of nurturing —strengthening and articulating human connection to landscape..

remnant of the past, but that within the fragments is a history of the future, as well —it is tied to memory. Through their perceived past function, the ruins become a role model in the fashioning of local identity through their material, spatial, and programmatic functions that has the fertility to be mined for future possibilities. LANDSCHAFT: A CULTIVATION OF ABSENCE


One can gain a sense of place only from taking the time to become intimately immersed in its particular natural characteristics—the very qualities that make it unique at a broad range of scales; by taking the time to get to know the human culture of a specific place with its rituals, memories, and meaning; and by taking the time to look closely at the wisdom of the established building culture, before either exactitude or tectonic eloquence can occur.7

These structures are thus able to show us the layers and histories that exist between its concrete form and the landscape beyond. They are charged with other readings that offer an additional context for the site as they hint at what was and what could be; hence, significance is lent to these structures as they are the point of intersection between past, present, and future. Juhani Palasmaa describes built structures as “significant memory devices in three different ways: first, they materialize and preserve the course of time and make it visible; second, they concretize remembrance by containing and projecting memories; and third, they stimulate and inspire us to reminisce and imagine.”8 Ruins on the site, however, are not just limited to architectural constructs and impressions. The tree located in the center of the homestead had great significance, as it occupied a center-point within the everyday life of the Obermark family. As a marker, the tree helped foster the establishment of place, for it was tied directly to the notion of gathering. “The warmth it emits and its temperament offer the privileges of nearness. Viewing material in the dimension of time, the masonry wall belongs to history; the tree is transient and belongs to eternity.”9 Within these contrasting existences—one of an extreme concrete form, one of an invisible infrastructure, an intensely charged essence of the site which serves to measure the border between inside and outside, known and unknown is crafted.


As already suggested, the Obermark farm operated at a scale of the human, but this was not just limited to the means by which buildings or even crops were constructed and worked. The notion of scale, and the scale of farming, extended to the implements utilized to cultivate and mark the landscape. The marks left within the landscape spoke to varying patterns and finer scales, while also attesting to an association to stewardship of land, household, community, and place. The notion of “soil scratching” is as old as agricultural practices; however, the means by which this is accomplished has drastically changed. Cultiavtors were originally drawn by draft animals on the Obermark farm, in line with the agricultural practices of the time, through the fields. Within the smaller family gardens, smaller scale cultivators could be pushed or pulled by people, or even hand tools were used to achieve weed control. However, in modern practices, weed control is accomplished primarily through herbicides. The cultivator is an implement used for secondary tillage that is dragged through the soil linearly. Prior to planting, the cultivator is used to aerate the soil and prepare a loose seedbed, after the crop has started to germinate and grow—the cultivator allows for a controlled disturbance of the topsoil to turn soil onto surrounding weeds, disrupting their growth and allowing the crop to continue to flourish. The cultivator is specifically designed to disturb the soil in very careful patterns and it works at a much finer scale than ploughs or harrows and was initially pulled behind a team of horses through the fields. Essentially, the cultivator establishes a finer scale of marks within a field that has already been appropriated by larger

scale markings. However, the markings of the shovels, the portion of the cultivator that meets the soil, were not only limited to operating with the x-y axis, but the depth at which the cultivator marked the surface could also be controlled. Thusly, on the Obermark farm, the marks and the depth at which the shovels pierced the landscape varied from crop to crop and from person to person—firmly establishing the implement as part of place. In other words, the cultivator acted as an index of the field and the people from which meaningful marks can be extracted.

1 James Corner, “Eidetic Operations and New Landscapes,” in Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture (New York, NY:

Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 154. 2 Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1996), 45. 3 James Corner, Taking Measures Across the American Landscape (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996), 27. 4 Ibid, 41. 5 James Corner, “Introduction” to Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture (New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 13. 6 M. W. Thompson, Ruins: Their Preservation and Display (London: British Museum Publications Limited, 1981), 74. 7 Rick joy, “Identity Through the Ground of Experience in Place” in Architectural Design: Human Experience and Place (June 2012): 39. 8 Marc Treib, ed, “Remembering Ruins, Ruins Remembering” in Spatial Recall: Memory in Architecture and Landscape ( New York: Routledge, 2009), 18. 9 Olaf Fjeld, Sverre Fehn: The Pattern of Thoughts (New York: Monacelli Press, 2009), 191. 10 Ian Hodder, Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things (Malden, Massachusetts, 2012), 33.



After all such work it can no longer be argued that self and society can be separated from things, studied independently of materials and the object world….Humans and things emerge contextually in relation to each other. Since humans and things are dialectically and rationally construed, so in different context different types of materials, things and humans are produced.10



‌there was yet in the old some life, some mysterious suggestion of what it had been, and of what it had lost; some sweetness in the gentle lines which rain and sun had wrought. There can be none in the brute hardness of the new carving. -John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture



O P P O S I T E Cultivator’s measured markings analysis drawing 1920s Riding Cultivator, Kentucky



TERRITORY RECLAMATION The Interpretating of Marks




...landscape is not given but made and remade, it is an inheritance that demands to be recovered, cultivated, and projected toward new ends. 1 Every new work of architecture intervenes in a specific historical situation. It is essential to the quality of the intervention that the new building should embrace qualities that can enter into a meaningful dialogue with the existing situation. For if the intervention is to find its place, it must make us see what already exists in a new light. We throw a stone into the water. Sand swirls up and settles again. The stir was necessary. The stone has founds its place. But the pond is no longer the same.2

Ever evolving societies require strong, place-specific constructs that can help in the sustaining or reinterpreting of a local identity— to foster a sense of belonging in a globalized world. While a reversion to traditionalism may seem to be suggested by this or even to constantly recreate what has been used in the past, such is not the case. Rather, the intent is to increase the value of the evolutionary process of maturing local identities—to reinterpret and project forward new uses through the analysis of place and all of its components; to once again foster stewardship of self, land, and community. Essentially, the intent is to foster the stewardship of the measures of landschaft—the working community.

Having once put his hand into the ground, seeding there what he hopes will outlast him, a man has made a marriage with his place, and if he leaves it his esh will ache to go back. His hand has given up its birdlife in the air. It has reached into the dark like a root and begun to wake, quick and mortal, in timelessness. -Wendell Berry, “The Currentâ€?

Field Marks Analysis and Patterning



Embossing a new ground- section study

Systems, ultimately, must be extracted, identified, and categorized into their own respective layers: the network of fields, the marks of the cultivator, the homestead, the tree, etc. From this establishment of stratigraphy, a new territory of operation is constructed and laid out within which to intervene. This stratigraphy suggests a means of organization and a character of the space that cannot be denied due to the phenomena of place. Though agricultural practices can be seen as a ritual, the temporal nature of crops and seasons, suggests a transient body of occupation. While the practice itself is a stewardship bound to a specific region, a specific place at a specific time, the modern body that occupies the site is merely concerned with managing it—to use it and enjoy it. Here, the distinction is clearly drawn between a simple “call for a return to the past” and a “projection forward” of the site. To situate the site firmly within the evolving identity of place, reciprocity between current, past, and future conditions must occur simultaneously. Each set of marks on the paper provide an augmented view of the same stratigraphy, as they begin to build upon one another and record varying conditions. From this, certain tendencies and dispositions are made explicit within the set with the end result of a speculative assembly that utilizes the build-up of layers as a guide to assembly: a suggestion of the tectonic nature of marks within the site. 1

Peter Zumthor, Thinking Architecture (Basel, Switzerland: Birkhauser, 2012), 17.



While the ruins clearly delineate the boundaries of the original homestead, their size speaking to the intimacy of scales once firmly established on the site, it becomes necessary to understand the system of measure once utilized to then project forward. The landscape is an essential part of the architectural programme. Each mark made upon the landscape of the farm had intention, a specific purpose it was meant to serve. Ultimately, as a collective, the elements of landschaft articulate a harmonious life cycle—a return to the soil. It is within this cycle the potential for participation through presentation of interpretative material might start to be cultivated.


vestige e x c a v a t i o n

i m m e r s i o n






restorative [palimpsest]

harrowed [plane] A STEWARDSHIP OF TRACES




l i n

[void] d



t e





e x c a v a t i o n





[staccato] r h y t h m

harrowed [plane] cultivate





extract + cultivate





identify + categorize



Not only is it [the hand] supreme among the organs of touch, the hand can also tell the stories of the world in its gestures and in the written or drawn traces they yield, or in the manipulation of threads as in weaving , lacemaking and embroidery. Indeed, the more gesturally animate the hand, the more it feels. ..Thus right down to the fingertips, and indeed beyond, the hand is an extension of the brain, not a separate device that is controlled by it.1

The representation of the varying scales of marks analyzed was initially pursued through traditional modeling techniques; however, the results became too rigid and did not allow for a questioning of certain moves to persist—every move was carefully thought out and almost too prescribed. To break free from the restraints of methodologies used that were highly familiar, a new medium was selected to receive the marks that allowed for further excavation of hidden relationships and happenings. Initially, there was merely a question of the material, plaster, and what potentials it might hold. The consistency of the material lends itself to being easily discolored and stained, as it is highly absorbent, and allows for the casting of other materials into the overall matrix. Thusly, plaster casts occupy a suspended position between an original work and reproductions of that which is being cast —a reconfiguration of what one thought was there.






O P P O S I T E Reinterpretive marks analysis used for casting Casting of plaster plates

What initially began as a controlled experiment of pouring plaster into a pre-conceived plexi-glass mold that had prescribed marks and territories, the resulting study came about through happen-chance and “playful tinkering” as Josef Albers expressed when discussing how one began to understand the importance of form within the Bauhaus’ framework of teaching. A series of questions were posed to the material and how it might start to react and allow for certain nuances to come into being. The new process was not as subjective as the initial casting process, as there was no room for attempts to alter or control to a high degree what might transfer to the plaster. This playfulness within the design process, and the subsequent failed trials and detours it propagated along the way, allowed for a different type of productivity and questioning to take place. This process of thinking through making perpetuates a relationship between practitioner and material that seeks to initiate a correspondence between the two through the generation of form. Thusly, rather than looking to establish a new matrix of marks to generate a field of operation and context, the question became how to reinterpret the information that had already been gathered within the analysis—how to transfer it from an accumulation of silent markings from the past into a new matrix to operate within for future usage. Simply put, it resulted in a subsequent questioning and re-questioning of conditions and relationships that was not necessarily encumbered with trying to answer a single question of how to represent ground, but to foster a medium upon which



Inventive construction and an attentiveness that leads to discoveries are developed—at least initially—through experimentation that is undisturbed, independent, and thus without preconceptions. This experimentation is (initially) a playful tinkering with the material for its own sake. That is to say, through experimentation that is amateurish (i.e. not burdened by training).2



Every act of design is first an act of disturbance. Whether the preexisting field is natural or contrived, construction must necessarily disturb that which has been. The disturbance should not be regarded negatively, however, since in its broader sense disturbance can actually improve the existing state or provide an equally appropriate alternative.3

O P P O S I T E Resulting plate from casting of relief model into plaster. Pressing of paper into plaster

First iterations in the process involved casting relief models into the plaster that produced a negative of the prescribed and controlled marks—the overly thought out moves of how to control and where to start to shift ground moves. However, what had not been accounted for was the transfer of markings that had been printed onto the watercolor sheets and the embedding of paper into the plaster casts. What could be called “small mistakes� or eventualities that were not accounted for became the spring board to continue questioning the marks and what eventualities they could lead to. The process of making, itself, allowed for a series of reflections on the perception and meaning of design, but, more than this, also assisted in the initiation of a systematic approach on how the landscape of intervention might be perceived.



more thought processes and investigations could be conducted. This approach allowed for new discoveries and methodologies to emerge naturally through the act of physically engaging a material which sometimes broke or acted in unexpected ways, but was ultimately not a one to one representation of landscape form.



O P P O S I T E Resulting transfer of ink to plaster plate Precision matrix overlay to plaser

Through a cataloguing of the marks and their translation into varying scales and densities, a new landscape of intervention emerged that was of the site and its character—a composition of both precise measured marks and the traces of drawings from paper. The plates posed a question of landscape construction and meaning with no specific emphasis placed on boundary and separation, or, to borrow from James Corner, they became eidetic in nature. They represented a “mental conception that may be picturable but may equally be acoustic, tactile, cognitive, or intuitive. Thus, unlike the purely retinal impression of pictures, eidetic images contain a broad range of ideas that lie at the core of human creativity.”4 These devices assist in a fostering of the recovery of landscape through the removal of impartial depictions, and focuses, instead, on the generated of devices that provoke and contribute to what could potentially be a developing condition. Rather than adding more information to the site, the consideration instead affords a detachment from a static scene and allows for a rearranging of hybrid conditions.

The act of construction is an act of covering, each addition overlays an existing formal condition and grants it a new configuration…Memory, too, plays a role in creating the presence of absence, for we must know or remember what has been before we can fully comprehend what is now.5

Tim Ingold, Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, and Architecture (New York: Routledge, 2013), 112. 2 Josef Albers, “Teaching Form Through Practice,” 
Bauhaus, 2, no. 3 (1928), http:// (August 20, 2013 ). 3 Marc Treib, “The Presence of Absence: Places by Extraction,” in Places, 4, no.3 (1987): 8. 4 James Corner, “Eidetic Operations and New Landscapes,” Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture (New York: NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 153. 5 Marc Treib, 18. 1



excavate + inscribe





materialize + preserve




The Cultivation of Collective Experience


With stratigraphic information harvested, combined with the transferring and cultivating of marks, a tectonic and programmatic suggestion was cultivated that was process oriented. Rather than relying on a pre-determined notion to implement onto the site, this suggestion grew from the site and the harvesting of knowledge. Essentially, the solution reflects upon the specific phenomena of the site and allows for the reinterpreting of these phenomena. If the restorative palimpsest is analyzed once more, the land is seen as the “receiver of seed, bearer, and nurturer,” and occupants as “planter and gatherer”—nurturer—the importance is placed on the seed.2 With the seed “a preexisting place might be found, disturbed, awakened, and brought to presence”—it can be brought back to the locale in which the site is located rather than looking to sustain a global community.3 To identify with the community, the construct must also give back to the community; rather, the construct must become a catalyst for the community. Through its function, which is tied to growing seasons and harvests, the seed library, fosters an evolving local identity. It is in a state of flux. A library suggests a transient nature to that which is harbored, yet, there is always a return to the source—a bringing together of varying systems. A celebration and preparation of the food which has been wrought by the ground ties the people together—the site once again has a sense of household. The table has transformed into hearth.



A culture is not a collection of relics or ornaments, but a practical necessity, and its corruption invokes calamity. A healthy culture is a communal order of memory, insight, value, work, conviviality, reverence, aspiration. It reveals the human necessities and the human limits. It clarifies our inescapable bonds to the earth and to each other....A healthy farm culture can be based only upon familiarity and can grow only among a people soundly established upon the land; it nourishes and safe guards a human intelligence of the earth...1

Here, it [the meaning of locale] entails a much broader sense of the conditions, lifestyle, belief systems, values and materiality of a place. It is the essence of a place: the unique qualities that sustain a neighborhood. To identify this particularity of a community is of primary importance in contemporary practice. It is this that enables architecture to play a broader role in the nourishment of a community.1



Cultivated Cross Investigation

reclaiming + inventing



Cultivated Transversal Investigation

grounding + nurturing






Cultivated Programmatic Ground [First] 1 Garden Entry 2 Seed Vessels 3 Seed Dispensary 4 Seed Nursery



Cultivated Programmatic Ground [Second] 5 Reliquary 6 Communnity Table 7 Seed Dispensary






To study architecture is to study the spatial dimension of human existence. As architects, we are charged with the cultivation of our cultural heritage, to aid in the fostering and maintenance of local cultures, for cultural linkages to place expose our inescapable bonds to the earth and to each other. In essence, we are charged with a stewardship of place. The ultimate task of architecture is to “defend and strengthen the wholeness and dignity of human life, and to provide us with an existential foothold in the world. The first responsibility of the architect is always to the inherited landscape…[it] has to enhance its wider context and give it new meanings and aesthetic qualities. Buildings meditate deep narratives of culture, place and time.”1 Time is the driver of change—resulting in constantly shifting everyday local conditions and adding new layers of social and environmental complexity that must be mined in an effort to cultivate local identity. To borrow from James Corner once more, the landscape is a horizontal surface capable of accumulating diverse cultural contents, and it is these contents or the presence of the past which offers a “sense of completion, of stability, of permanence in resistance to” a unisized environment.2 Whereas responsible buildings are deeply rooted in the historicity of their place and they contribute to a sense of time and cultural continuum, today’s monuments of selfishness and novelty flatten the sense of history and time. This experience of flattened reality leaves us as outsiders in our own domicile…we have become…increasingly homeless.3

The exploration of regional conditions, and the understanding of the specificity of a place, ultimately constructs a methodology for approaching development. This method should not be understood only as a tool to develop a single project, but as the



core stratigraphic matrix that runs transversal to many projects and can thusly be cultivated. Through this methodology, key qualities of the site are appropriated into systems that are intrinsic to the very nature of the environment, its inhabitants, and the local economy. Essentially, the conceptual background of a project has the ability to be embodied in the specific spatial structure of the construct and can therefore be perceived and understood by those who inhabit it. This methodology requires “understanding the role of nuanced observation and vivid awareness…moments of calm and pause during which…sensory attunement can occur, moments for a receptive rather than controlling mind.”4 The places that we have been to and that remain with us in our memory and imagination commune with the context, culture and nature of place. Their ground does not imply that the building and its inhabitants will also inhabit a place. It rather inhabits them, stokes their awareness and soul and creates lasting sensational depth to live by getting beyond the surface and into the spirit where place and experience can identify with one another and coexist for a little while.4

LANDSCHAFT RELIQUARY: THE HOUSING OF SEEDS Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1996), 43. 2 Ibid, 8. 3 Georges Descombes, “ Shifting Sites: The Swiss Way, Geneva” in Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture (New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 79. 4 Li Xiaodong, “A Reflexive Conversation Bridge School and Liyuan Library” in Architectural Design: Human Experience and Place (June 2012): 39. 1


1 Juhani Pallasmaa,”Newness, Tradition and Identity: Existential Content and Meaning in Architecture,” in Architectural Design: Human Experience and Place (June 2012): 21. 2 James Corner, “Introduction” to Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture (New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 13. 3 Juhani Pallasmaa, 21. 4 Rick Joy, “Identity Through the Grounding of Experience in Place,” in Architectural Design: Human Experience and Place (June 2012): 41.


The Last Marks




Albers, Josef. ”Teaching form through practice,” Bauhaus,2, no. 3, 1928, texts/ (August 20, 2013. Brislin, Paul. Architectural Design: Human Experience and Place, June 2012. Corner, James. Recovering landscape: essays in contemporary landscape architecture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999. Corner, James, and Alex S. MacLean. Taking measures across the American landscape. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996. Crinson, Mark. “Urban Memory: An Introduction”, in Urban Memory: History and Amnesia in the Modern City. London: Routledge, 2005. Crowe, Norman. “Architecture, Memory and the Idea of Nature,” OZ Journal, 1990, 12-15. De Sola-Morales, Ignasi. “Weak Architecture,” ed. Sarah Whiting, trans. Graham Thompson, in Architecture Theory since 1968, ed. K. Michael Hays. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 2000. Findley, Lisa R. “The Architecture We Remember: The Real and the Mediated,” OZ Journal, 1990, 36-39. Fjeld, Per Olaf, and Sverre Fehn. Sverre Fehn: the pattern of thoughts. New York: Monacelli Press, 2009. Foucault, Michel, Jay Miskowiec. “Of Other Spaces,” Diacritics, vol. 16, no.1, 1986, 22-27 Harries, Karsten. The ethical function of architecture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997. Heidegger, Martin. “The Age of the World View,” trans. Marjorie Greene, Boundary 2, vol. 4, no. 2 , 1976. Heller, Agnes. “Cultural Memory, Identity and Civil Society.”Social Research. no. 4, 2001: 1031-1040. Hodder, Ian. Entangled: an archaeoloty of the relationships between humans and things, Massachusetts, 2012. Ingold, Tim. Making: anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Megill, Allan. Prophets of Extremity: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida. London, England: University of California Press, 1987. Norberg-Schulz, Christian. “Heidegger’s Thinking on Architecture,” Perspecta, vol. 20, 1983. Palasmaa, Juhani. “Newness, Tradition, and Identity,” Architectural Design, no. 220, 2012, 14-21. Perez-Gomez, Alberto. Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science. Cambridge, Mass.: MID Press, 1983. Ponty, Merleau. Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Colin Smith, New York: Humanities Press, 1962. Roesling, Ralph J. “Connections,” OZ Journal, 1990, 44-45. Thompson, M.W. Ruins their preservation and display, London: British Museum Publications, 1984. Treib, Marc, “The presence of absence,” Places, 4, no. 3, 1987. Treib, Marc, ed. “Remembering Ruins, Ruings Remembering” Spatial Recall: Memory in Architecture and Landscape, New York: Routledge, 2009. Tuan, Yi-Fu, Space and place: the perspective of experience. Minneaplois: University of Minnesota Press, 2001. Whiston Spirn, Anne. “Architecture in the landscape: toward a unified vision,” Landscape architecture 80, August 1990, 37-38. Woods, Lebbeus. “Present Tense,” Oz Journal, 1990, 52-55. Zumthor, Peter, and Maureen Turner. Thinking architecture. 2nd, expanded ed. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2006.



Ingold, Tim. The perception of the environment: essays on livelihood, dwelling & skill. London: Routledge, 2000. Lyons, Brian, and Peter Buchanan. Ghost building an architectural vision. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.




1 Danae Cardenas, 74 2 Kristjan Cocev, 16, 34, 48, Available from: Flickr: (accessed February 3, 2014). 3 Melissa Cortes, 70, 72 4 Sarah Lawver, Horses, 36 5 Marek Samojeden, 18, 50, 80, 82, 98, 104, 106, 116, Available from: Marek http://mareksamojeden. com/agriculture-in-poland-aerial-photography/ (accessed April 4, 2014). 6 Sugarmountain Farm, Guineas, 37 7 Mike Zacchino, 106 Available from: Oregon Live, of_portland_metro.html (accessed February 3, 2014).



All images belong to Kim Connell or are from the Obermark family archive unless otherwise noted below.




To My Thesis Committee:

To My Family:

Professor Gundersen, who has inspired and supported me throughout my architectural academic career, thank you for your irreplaceable guidance throughout this entire process and for always encouraging me to challenge myself. You have had a lasting impression on my perception of architecture and the means through which it is conveyed that will continue to shape the way I design and think. I owe much of my success to your wisdom.

Mom and Dad, thank you for your patience and support over the last six years. You helped to start me on the right path and to instill in me the qualities needed for success from a young age. Thank you for helping me to follow my dreams and accomplish the goals I set for myself.

Professor McGlothlin, thank you for always asking the right challenging questions, for playing devil’s advocate just for fun, and for looming in the background during presentations. The conversations you helped to initiate and the considerations it brought to light, the readings you suggested, all of it truly helped.

To My Friends:

Professor Hofer, Professor Huang, and Professor Walters, for the encouragement and suggestions provided along the way, I am so thankful I got to work with all of you in the many different capacities this past year allowed for. You have all had a great impact on my architectural and pedagogical views, and inspired some of the most insightful discussions of my academic career.

The ARC415 Morning MRP Group, thank you for the help and the incredible conversations-they will never be forgotten.

Johnny, thank you for giving me my first book on architecture

Melissa, Zilsalina, and Danae thank you for helping me to continue to challenge myself, for the unforgettable memories, and for the unconditional support you have shown through everything.



A project of this nature owes its existence to many individuals that have contributed over an extended period of time, in many different ways. I have been most fortunate in the opportunities and help I have been afforded, and the insight that has been shared with me over the last six years while studying at the University of Florida. I am forever grateful to all those who have taken the time to have a discussion with me, to teach me, even when I was supposed to be the one teaching--as it has all found its way into these pages.

I am wholly willing to be here between the bright silent thousands of stars and the life of the grass pouring out of the ground. The hill has grown to me like a foot. Until I lift the earth I cannot move. Wendell Berry, “On the Hill Late At Night�

Landschaft: A Cultivation of Absence  

Masters Research Project at University of Florida Graduate School of Architecture

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