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LA, Journal of Landscape ArchitectureLA, Journal of Landscape Architecture

LA, Journal of Landscape Architecture No.55

The only Indian publication exploring the practice of landscape architecture and its allied fields in India. The publication provides a forum for information flow, exchange of ideas and viewpoints, and showcases breadth and variety of works and research in the field of landscape architecture in context of Indian region. Since its inception in February 2001, it has been attempting to widen the visibility of landscape design, and bring the profession of landscape architecture closer to public realm.

LA, Journal of Landscape Architecture
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4 Issues


access_time3 min.

A virtuous attribute of hope for the future, faith allows us to look at adverse changes and transforming contexts in a more patient and peaceful manner. In these times of great flux, there are drastic fast-paced changes, which at times have led to a breakdown in the economic, social and political framework of societies. We are grappling to find sustainable ways to engage with our natural resources for human consumption and address the crucial environmental and social issues. In these times, it might be a good idea to revisit the idea of faith in the context of development and nature conservation. In the multicultural society of India with diverse value systems, now in existence for more than many millennia, the idea of faith has generated a sacred, living and survival relationship…

access_time3 min.
faith and nature

The coupling of faith with nature is not a mainstream idea in the design profession, which includes landscape architecture. Nature is a prime concern of landscape design, but the understanding and expression of nature is subject to interpretation. In contemporary design practice the concerns related to the norms of a consumer society and associated aspirations overwhelm the fundamentals of a natural way of life. Social systems, earlier driven by agriculture as the primary productive activity of humans, have been transformed by machine production and an industrial urban ethos, which champions technology without a concomitant ethical basis. The twentieth century had witnessed a proliferation of new technologies but this had been accompanied by a rise in levels of violence and a breakdown of human values. In the second half of the twentieth…

access_time9 min.

It happens in music, it happens with voice, it happens with persons, it happens with the self, but it happens most naturally with nature. A walk in the forest, a walk by the sea, a walk in the mountains and the pores of the spirit and the body open to a oneness in which our niggling preoccupations dissolve as we walk. Before you fall into a loping stride, the body first groans and grunts; but then there is a larger instinct to gain, and for that you need to make the long march. Gradually, you make more distance and gradually the lungs expand, the muscles come alive, first with pain then with health—eager to move. You have to go some distance before you can find a rhythm. Once the body is…

access_time6 min.
'to belong' is faith in the nature of things

‘Can you think of an image for an essay on Nature and Faith?’ ‘Banyan tree’, said Reya. This tree evokes reverence — such is its magnificence. Folks say that its shade and shadow evoke faith love, compassion, and commitment. Trees contour a sheltering landscape, for this they are worthy of reverence and veneration. People who live or attempt to live along side landscape rhythms recognize the presence of sentient being in all its elements. The seamless in every element-stones, dust, hills, water, plants, animals and whatever else there is-is an expression of life. From each everything acquires its ‘presence’. Each therefore belongs to the every, partakes of the every and, absorbs the every. It’s being alive makes it a living space. There is no ‘other’. This differentiates it from a landmass. These…

access_time7 min.
buddhism and nature transforming landscapes

Natural Wisdom Dhamma refers to the teachings of the Buddha. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, a famous Thai scholar and forest monk, writes: ‘Everything arising out of Dhamma, everything born from Dhamma, is what we mean by “nature.” This is what is absolute and has the highest power in itself. Nature has at least four aspects: nature itself; the law of nature; the duty that human beings must carry out toward nature; and the result that comes with performing this duty according to the law of nature.’ Bhikkhu Bodi elaborates on the mutual relevance of Buddhism and nature: ‘With its philosophical insight into the interconnectedness and thoroughgoing interdependence of all conditioned things, with its thesis that happiness is to be found through the restraint of desire in a life of contentment rather than through the…

access_time12 min.
the performative landscape of dashashwamedh ghat, varanasi

The Uttar Pradesh Government recently revived a project to build a 400 meters corridor between Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Dashashwamedh Ghat to provide direct access to the Ganga Riverfront from the holiest temple in Varanasi. The project entails demolishing 160 houses and a few shrines, causing consternation among the residents. This is a significant section of Varanasi with the most important temple and the very popular ghat. Their context should be carefully studied before any urban renewal measures are taken. While admittedly the urban space between the two major landmarks is very cluttered, large scale demolition is not the answer. Instead, urban spaces should be organized so that activities are consolidated, and flexible structures should be designed for multi-purpose spaces. The design language of the ghat and spatial practices that…