Landscape architecture in Western Australia: mapping the core narratives of landscape architecture in Western Australia

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Landscape architecture, a design profession, is primarily concerned with place making. To understand, and reflect on landscape architectural practice, it is therefore, appropriate to research the ideas and approaches to the design of public places. The design of public place in Western Australia occurred in two distinct but overlapping phases. In the first phase from settlement in 1829 through to the early 1960s, individuals from a range of professional and amateur backgrounds conducted public place design. The second phase is defined in this thesis as commencing in 1956, with the appointment of John Oldham as State Government Landscape Architect. Although landscape architects have now been involved with public place design for over five decades, to date, there has been no critical discourse on the nature of this practice, leading to a perception that landscape architecture in Western Australia is non-reflective. The objective of this thesis is to establish the core narratives of landscape architecture in Western Australia through reviewing the ideas and approaches to public place design of a selection of Western Australias key public landscapes. The research is presented in two sections: the first, a general review of the first phase of public place design, and the second, a more detailed review of public place design between the 1960s and 2003. The research reveals that in the first phase of public space design, five core design narratives evolved. Using these narratives as a framework a case study methodology is then used to determine how public place design ideas and approaches, such as a predilection for a picturesque aesthetic or the use of horticulture to reinforce a sense of national identity, were changed or reinforced as core narratives after the introduction of landscape architecture to the state. In so doing, it is possible to provide a qualified response to the perception that landscape architecture in Western Australia is non-reflective.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010

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