• Landscape Fieldwork
    Gareth Doherty
    University of Virginia Press, 2022
    Gareth Doherty

Wenger and Àkànjí, “The Arch of the Flying Tortoise,” ca. 1968, Osogbo, Nigeria. Photo: Adolphus Opara

Landscape Fieldwork demonstrates how people-centered fieldwork inspires landscape architectural innovations. Challenging landscape architects to engage with social relationships as much as with the physical environment, the book demonstrates that landscape fieldwork is more than a method: it generates new knowledge and theories of site, unearths novel design challenges, and illuminates robust design solutions. Centered on case studies that utilize site-specific forms of fieldwork, the book illustrates multiple—and yet, particular—understandings of landscape worldwide, diversifying design knowledge. Experiential knowledge—gained from the embodied engagement of landscape fieldwork—provides new perspective on the canons of landscape knowledge and offers new possibilities for the design imagination. Landscape Fieldwork equips landscape architects with the tools to understand, and design, diverse landscapes.

Gareth Doherty is associate professor of landscape architecture and director of the Master in Landscape Architecture Program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. Through landscape fieldwork, Doherty explores diverse forms of knowledge in landscape architecture. Asking how people-centered fieldwork can inform design innovations, Doherty is reviving and creating a much-needed discourse in landscape architecture, expanding the limits and scope of landscape architectural theory and practice. Doherty bases his work on two questions: How can landscape architecture theory, education, and practice benefit from working with societies where there is no formal landscape architecture discipline? And, how does understanding landscapes of diverse societies better inform landscape architects' sensitivity to the values that shape others' attitudes towards the landscapes they inhabit? Doherty addresses these questions in research across the postcolonial and Islamic worlds, primarily in the Arabian Peninsula, West Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean.