Minutes November 29 2011

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Lecture by Professor Simon Bell on 'Reading the Landscape'

The lecture by Simon Bell included some revision of the layer theme but also gave an introduction into scope, objectives and methods of landscape character assessment, which is quite established in the U.K. The discussion concentrated on how to transfer this methods to the case of everyday landscapes in an urban/peri-urban context.

The recording is available here:

Parallel Session

The parallel breakout rooms where used to present the findings of the layer analysis within the small groups. Time was very limited which is why part of this may need to be considered by studying the wiki pages. The next parallel sessions will be on the 13rd of December.

Tasks for the next session

Landscape Layers

  • Please finish the layer exercise until 6th of December in case you have not done so yet
  • Write a comment on your group members' discussion pages until 5th of December. In this comment you may explain what you think is a relevant character feature of this area. This judgement should be based in what you have learned from the wiki page and the discussions so far.

Behaviour Patterns

The second part of the seminar will be dedicated to observing and reflecting people's behaviour in the everyday landscape you have chosen.

There are different ways of how you can gather this information. This list is not complete, but it should help you to identify approaches that are suitable for your area. You may pick out 2-3 of them and develop your personal approach to this theme:

  • observe people and identify repeating aspects, these can be clustered to form patterns
  • ask people about what they frequently do in your area. This may give you additional information on summer activities which you may not find at the moment (at least not in Europe). You may also get some valuable information about people's attachment to the place.
  • identify the patterns on a map (all this can be hand drawn if you wish)
  • identify the most frequent paths/directions/circuits on a map
  • sketch/draw/design pictograms of the behaviour patterns
  • make a small movie with your mobile or any other device, add it to youtube and add the link to this wiki
  • collect photos illustrating behaviour patterns (but be careful with this: you are not allowed to publish images of people who have not explicitly agreed on being published)

Time Frame

  • Results need to be uploaded by Monday, 12th of December
  • Please add short explanations
  • Again, your findings will be discussed in parallel small groups on 13th of December and eventually also on the 20th of December


A valuable resource for this part is Christopher Alexander's book 'A Pattern Language' (it should be available in any library)