Connecting theory, practice and place in today’s landscape : an education initiative
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AbstractSince the establishment of Australia’s earliest formal studies in landscape architecture, landscape planning has been a traditional focus within post-graduate studies at QUT. Study in this area has evolved from an earlier emphasis on applied physical geography through to traditional techniques and processes in visual assessment and management. The emphasis on these techniques has shifted again to a more complex exploration of natural, economic, social and cultural landscapes. Recently, the School has explored more innovative and complex dimensions of human and natural landscapes. This has involved a focus on particular regions under pressure from local social and economic change. These have included the under-threat ‘picturesque’ landscapes of the Blackall Range and the Tweed Valley. Attempts to bridge the institution and the landscape have unearthed, through a studio focus, strong connections with notions of sustainable villages, roadside interpretation, way finding, local economic initiatives, special area creation, cultural heritage brokering and ecological enhancements. These initiatives have spanned both local practice interests and academic pursuits. Central to this exploration is the concept of problem solving through the investigation of the concept of ‘multiple scales’. An open, yet intensive program is being developed with a team of ‘futurist’ practitioners offering a range of experiences and perspectives to students. The program is being increasingly linked to design studios so that landscape planning and landscape design form a fabric of inquiry that works towards reclaiming complex landscapes.