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Information technology in landscape architecture

development of tools, methods and professional role

Eckerberg, Klas (1999). Information technology in landscape architecture. Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv. ; 6
ISBN 91-576-5955-9
[Licentiate thesis]

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Abstract

This paper discusses the impact of information technology on the tools, methods, and professional role of the landscape architect. This profession is presently expanding into new fields, resulting in an increased specialization. The new tools made available through information technology adds to the difficulties – and possibilities – facing the individual landscape architect. The landscape architect is active in a system aimed at information processing. The study starts off in this system, focusing on the following elements: information, technology, data structure, role, communication, and result. As a foundation for the discussion, the general history of the computer is described. With the start in mainframe computing in the 1960s, the computer today provides personal computing power, as well as access to a worldwide network for communication and information retrieval. The historical description also covers the tools of the landscape architect – mainly maps, drawings, and images. The emphasis lies on presentation techniques, showing their evolution from the Egyptian multi-view tradition to the Renaissance single-point perspective, still dominating today. However, computer use has inspired a new form of presentation technique with several views and projections, thereby closing the circle. One of the problems facing the digital landscape architect is access to data and information. The processing itself is also complicated by the fact that many architectural problems fall outside the range of the software, especially in conceptual design. Knowledge engineering and expert systems are only giving rudimentary support to the process. Still, the computer is used in many fields of the profession, to a rapidly increasing extent. Computer aided drafting is today standard software in landscape architectural practices. Two areas of special interest in the future are geographic information systems, and three dimensional modeling in design and presentation as well as in construction. Data structure is of utmost importance for the further development of computer tools. As communication and digital information retrieval increases, standards must be agreed upon. This is a complex and slow process. Digital product modeling will be equally slow in acceptance. The range of software today covers much of the information processing that takes place in planning and design. Up till today, they have had its largest impact on communication and presentation. As a design tool, the computer has yet to prove its use to most landscape architects. Still, it use can in some respects strengthen the professional role, and give opportunities to new fields of expertise. Acquiring the ability to evaluate computer support, and to use it in a professional situation, is largely up to the individual. The parties surrounding the landscape architect provide the framework in terms of possibilities and expectations. Customers demands for the use of digital methods are rising. All these changes show the importance of IT strategies. First of all, the organizations employing the landcape architects need dynamic and up-to-date documents. However, since the choices of methods and tools have a large bearing on how individuals can and will function in planning and design systems, the choices must in the end be made individually. If the decisions are based on knowledge and insight, they can increase the possibilities for the profession to adapt to a changing society, and enhance its role as an active and creative part of this development.

Authors/Creators:Eckerberg, Klas
Title:Information technology in landscape architecture
Subtitle:development of tools, methods and professional role
Year of publishing :February 1999
Volume:6
Number of Pages:220
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-5955-9
ISSN:1403-1361
Language:English
Publication Type:Licentiate thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
C Education, extension, and advisory work > C30 Documentation and information
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:landscaping, design, information technology, computers, working conditions
Keywords:information technology, landscape architecture, cad, professional role, computer history
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-267
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-267
ID Code:472
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Institutionen för landskapsplanering, Ultuna (940701-051231)
Deposited By: Klas Eckerberg
Deposited On:25 Feb 2004 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:05

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