What is it about?

The six articles in this special issue discuss the didactic landscape as an artefact from broad spatial perspectives with a particular emphasis on the nineteenth century to the present. The collection originated with a group of design historians who have a common interest in exploring meaning in the design of institutional landscapes. The essays examine how the parks or gardens of institutions express and reinforce their function and agendas. By its very definition, an institution has power over the spaces it inhabits and expresses distinct messages to the users of those spaces – it is a didactic space. The six articles define and explore a typology of institutional gardens and designed landscapes, conceived and designed with agendas, explicit or implicit, to advise, educate, or moralise.

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Why is it important?

Scholarship on the designs of institutional spaces is chiefly centred on architecture and has overlooked the role of the garden or landscape in the functioning and experience of the institution.The six case studies from Japan, United Kingdom and the United States, focus on a range of public and private gardens instituted by governments, entrepreneurs, public bodies and community groups, such as a museum, heritage village, public memorial, factories, public houses and community gardens. The articles provide alternative perspectives on the motives and design thinking that underpinned them.


It was a great pleasure to co-edit this journal with Dr. Megha Rajguru from the University of Brighton, and to collaborate with such a professional and stimulating team of contributors.

Helena Chance
Buckinghamshire New University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The didactic landscape, Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes, January 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/14601176.2018.1511175.
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