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Title: Landscapes from within : architectural engagements and speculations with urban trees
Author: Dantas Ribeiro Bernardes, Inês
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 5452
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis explores trees as a vehicle for discussing and designing urban spaces. Green spaces and trees have been approached in their capacity to help cities cope with the urgent environmental challenges of climate change. Additionally, the unique performative qualities of trees – which include their spatial complexity – allow them to trigger processes of architectural and urban imagination. A multidisciplinary approach to trees, focusing on their roles in the city and in architecture, introduces spatial, ethical, cultural, environmental, and aesthetic modes of engagement. The design projects aim to capture specificities of trees in an array of urban contexts, from dense cityscapes to newly appropriated spaces and park landscapes. The exploratory approach to the spatial, narrative, cultural and aesthetic complexity of these landscapes allows me to ‘design from within’. The design methods, which unfold the spatial and architectural framework of the research, range from architectural drawings and performative exercises to terrestrial three-dimensional scanning technology. Informed by these modes, my heuristic process explores the articulation between natural elements and built structures in urban contexts. Ultimately, the thesis highlights the potential of terrestrial three-dimensional scanning in formulating original design responses that enable a speculative interpretation of trees in the city. The research explores both direct aspects of trees and the speculative potential of the urban landscapes in which they are integrated. Historical, analytical and associative accounts, alongside a fictional narrative, incorporate findings while immersing the reader into the ‘unconscious’ of the landscapes. The design process opens the path to an architecture that establishes spatial and metaphorical relationships with trees and the landscape. The multidimensional perspective on trees and their contexts alongside the original procedures of designing from within a landscape are an argument for a profound integration of the ‘natural’ and the ‘urban’ in the future design of cities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available