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Gardens for the Future: Gestures Against the Wind
     

Gardens for the Future: Gestures Against the Wind

by Gordon Taylor
 
The subtitle of this oversized ode to garden design is fascinating. Despite the fact that industrial aesthetics (plastics, AstroTurf, chain-link) are explored along with high-tech ideas like artificial fog and fiber-optics, the authors, well-known British designers, still see the garden in the context of its potential wildness, its site-specific possibilities.

Overview

The subtitle of this oversized ode to garden design is fascinating. Despite the fact that industrial aesthetics (plastics, AstroTurf, chain-link) are explored along with high-tech ideas like artificial fog and fiber-optics, the authors, well-known British designers, still see the garden in the context of its potential wildness, its site-specific possibilities. Flamboyantly photographed, international in scope, Gardens for the Future enlarges our mind's eye to include gardens of theory made manifest, such as the Garden of Cosmic Speculation in southwestern Scotland. Designer Charles Jencks explains, "Nature is basically curved, warped, undulating, jagged, zigzagged, and sometimes beautifully crinkly," all of which he has captured in stainless steel, concrete, and giant earthworks. Contrast this with the classic redesign, by Belgian Jacques Wirtz, of the 16th-century Tuileries gardens at the Louvre in Paris, or the perspective-skewered red garden made by Jack Lenor Larsen at his house on Long Island, and the reader gets an idea of the breadth, the exoticism, the sheer artistry of contemporary garden design. Not only do Cooper and Taylor take us on a tour of 20 exciting public and private gardens, they also help us make the leap into understanding them by starting out with a discussion of the influence of three great contemporary designers; Barragan, Noguchi, and Roberto Burle Marx.

One of the most startling gardens in the book is Robert Irwin's Lower Central Garden at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. His mantra for the design, inscribed in stone in the garden, may be the only words that could be spoken of all the unusual gardens depicted in this elegant book. Irwin describes his work as "A sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art." --Valerie Easton

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Professional landscape designers Cooper and Taylor offer 20 case studies of private and public landscapes to show the diversity of garden design at the end of the 20th century. What results is essentially a coffee-table book most valuable for its illustrations, especially of recent projects such as Bill Irwin s garden for the Getty Center. Even so, it is frustrating to use because some of the excellent color illustrations have no captions, and the reader must consult the credits to ascertain the designer of the garden illustrated on a particular page. The authors do not offer much insight (excusing themselves by noting, We are not cultural commentators or pundits ) and often fall back on jargon. In addition, they fail to back up their claim that most important gardens and landscapes of the past 20 years have been site-generated, i.e., inspired by the intrinsic nature of the site. Finally, the alphabetical list of brief entries for major architects and garden designers, art movements, materials, and techniques makes no attempt to relate them to one another or to analyze their significance. Still, the illustrations, the coverage of contemporary developments, and the statistics on each garden provided in sidebars make this a useful addition until a more serious study is produced. For large public and academic libraries. Daniel Starr, Museum of Modern Art, New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580930635
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/2000
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
10.08(w) x 12.49(h) x 0.94(d)

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