Monday, January 24, 2011

Learning Journal 7

The more I'm researching the more fascinating it is to see there is research concerning landscape development in third world countries going on. While it only seems to be a sliver, I've come across several great resources that explores the human relationship with a landscape. Looking at my project with that perspective makes it seem just a bit more feasible. In researching its been daunting to try and find some evidence of landscaping in Polynesia, but as I initially anticipated, there is next to nothing. While that may seem depressing, it helped me realize that my project can deal with coming to understand what the Tongan interaction is with landscapes. As the creative aspect of it, I can allocate some portion of my research to drawing simple designs either for public areas, homes, and whatever other interactions I may discover.
According to the article by Swanwick, few attitudes or perceptions on landscape and nature are applicable when applied across large areas. Culture, economics, population density and other factors all influence a particular group's opinion on landscape. I've realized that plants are used for many medicinal, food, and practical uses such as art and clothing. But understanding how Tongans interact with the rain forest, crops, and landscapes in general will lead to interesting observations. I feel like I'm expected to have my project better defined already with the bibliography assignments, but they've helped me further understand what I can actually study in a third world country.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that there's a big connection between humans and their landscape. Whether or not the landscape is man-made or natural, I think it has a bigger effect on our moods, cultural perceptions, and self-perceptions than we think.

    I wonder what the Tongans think of our suburban American ways of landscaping front- and backyards. I recently went to Hawaii and could tell a big difference between the homes which were owned by native islanders and the one which were owned by foreigners. There was much more cement in foreigners' yards--for driveways, walkways, or surrounding garden patches--and the yard was usually organized and well-kept. I wonder if a Tongan would think this was nice-looking and beautiful, or if they would think it was foreign and fake.

    By the way, there's a great little play by Tom Stoppard called "Arcadia," which is about landscaping and mathematics and genealogy and a little bit of everything else, and I think you might like it.