Public Nature: Scenery, History, and Park Design
"Public Nature: Scenery, History, and Park Design" to be published Spring 2013.
Edited by: Ethan Carr, Shaun Eyring, Richard G Wilson
The University of Virginia Press will publish "Public Nature: Scenery, History, and Park Design" in the spring of 2013. Public Nature is a collection of scholarly essays that expores the history of public park design.
Well-known and beloved as public amenities, regional, state, and national parks have less often been considered or appreciated as historic works of art. The great icons of municipal park design—Central Park and others—were only the beginning of over a century of park making at larger scales by regional, state, and federal park agencies. This public art combined many disciplines—architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, science, history—and applied them to the social purposes of preserving nature and history while making them available for meaningful public enjoyment. The essays in Public Nature feature new research into the history of regional, state, and national parks as works of public art. Many aspects of park design are considered, including buildings, designed landscapes, park roads, interpretive design, or any other aspect of how parks have preserved and presented nature and history to the public. The emphasis in the essays is on the inherent meaning, ideology, and intent of public parks as works of design.
Public Nature takes advantage of the gathering of eminent art historians, environmental historians, landscape architects, and others that took place at Designing the Parks, a conference co-sponsored by the University of Virginia and the National Park Service in May, 2008. This volume is not a conference proceedings, but most of the authors attended and presented papers at the conference, which was an ideal opportunity to hear dozens of presentations on the history of park design. The co-editors of Public Nature have been able to select from this very large group of scholars and ask them to contribute to the volume. The editors have organized their proposed essays into thematic groups. The thematic organization, introductions, and conclusions, while inspired in part by the conference experience, are independent from it, and together make a strong and coherent statement about the importance of the history of park design, both to American design history and environmental history.
Art historians, environmental historians, landscape architects, and park managers (all represented in the volume) have never before been brought together in a group in this manner. The cross disciplinary approach is necessary and appropriate, considering the essential nature and significance of the primary subject of the book: public parks, and their history as cultural expressions. The book will be of general interest—as are public parks themselves—to those interested in public landscapes, design, and history.
Refined Design Principles
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- Respect Place
- Engage All
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- Communicate Clearly
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