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Underwater landscape nowadays becoming a field of action for landscape designers: Politicians and natural marine parks are starting to resort to it. Contrary to what we could think, not only do landscape designers set up the land, they also carry out researches seeking to understand how a natural and/or cultural landscape can be seen by an audience, and managed at its best. They “read” the landscape. They can rely on science, but above all, this reading is for them an art; the art of “immersion.” Intuitively, artistically, graphically soaking up the place’s atmosphere bringing a new look upon it, understanding and conveying its emotion and specificity: this is the modern practice used by the French landscape designers of the Versailles school. However, can these methods, usually terrestrial, be applied to the underwater landscape? Do underwater characteristics (which are completely different from the terrestrial ones, starting with the visual water filter that questions an essential part of the definition of landscape itself) impose a change of method? What new tools and practices does the landscape designer have to invent in order to study the underwater landscape, and eventually act on it? The development of this quite new job is allowing new and unseen management perspectives for underwater landscapes. The landscape designer (alongside scientists), beside knowledge and protection, can facilitate coexistence between delicate marine environments and the audience, in terms of sensitization, cultural mediation, underwater museography, adjustments, and communication tools that are attractive and fitted into landscape. “Make understand rather than defend”: The “ecology of perception” is a substitute to the purely protective ecology present in the exotic laboratory of underwater landscape. All of this is, once out of the water, in favor of the terrestrial landscape to which we might have gotten accustomed too easily and not see all the beauty it offers us…
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- Gaze into the Landscape: Can Sensory Immersion, Landscape Reading and Design, and Landscaping Methods be Adapted to the Underwater Landscape?
Fallstudie Überschwemmungskarten/© Thaut Images | Fotolia