Seminar on “Revaluating Ecology in Contemporary Landscape Design” by Meltem Erdem Kaya

Ecology, as a field of science, has become one of the integral part of the planning and design disciplines since mid twenties. Growing awareness of local and global environmental decline gave rise to the appreciation of ecology and its implementation in design and planning works. Different channels have been investigating to understand and discover the interface between ecology and design and to find plausible ways to solve environmental defects. Within interdisciplinary design medium, landscape architecture appears to be the most active agent to engage with environment from different pathways. Today, the modes of this engagement is redefined with respect to the changing nature of contemporary city and new demands which further lead a shift in landscape design theory and praxis. This shift underlies an ecological understanding in which ecology is revaluated by designer’s creative mind sets via investigating, managing and manipulating the ecological knowledge to respond current environmental trend. As a part of this revaluating process, this paper aims to discuss the emergence of “representation” of ecology in landscape design and proposes four broad representation modes; approach, technique, analogy and metaphor by reviewing six high profile landscape design cases. With this respect, review of current discourses on design and ecology and examination of case studies are utilized to frame the research method of the study.