For architect and educator Leon van Schaik, the way we understand our world is not an abstract consideration, but deeply rooted in physical experience. Our family houses and places of work, the gardens we have played and rested in, the landscapes we have travelled through and those we have come to call home – all of these inflect what van Schaik describes as our spatial intelligence. For better or worse, this understanding informs our interpretation of the world, and any attempts we might make to reshape it.
In Doing, Seeing; Seeing, Doing, van Schaik unearths the lineage of landscape and garden ideas that have influenced his thinking over many decades spent practicing and teaching architecture. Partly auto-biographical, partly essayistic, the book unfolds as a series of journeys with friends and colleagues through their shared histories in architecture, landscape and gardening.
From Persian paradise gardens to the mosaic burning that maintained pre-colonial Australia’s ‘parkland’ landscape, the nested arches of Edwin Lutyens to Renaissance axiality, Doing, Seeing; Seeing, Doing explores how every line drawn in our world brings a system along with it. It also demonstrates why an awareness of our own spatial histories is crucial if we are to avoid visiting those systems onto others, unexamined.
176 pages, 24 x 17 cm, softcover, Uro Publications (Melbourne).