Christophe Girot, “Topology: On Sensing and Conceiving Landscape”

The invention of landscape has always oscillated between a history of beliefs in nature, with its many representations, and a history of terrain measurements through various techniques of appropriation. In his talk, Christophe Girot will consider the longstanding balance between culture and its instruments for sensing and conceiving a landscape, noting that the particular representation of landscape that we hold true today has roots in the dialogue between ars and techne that has characterized every epoch. The aim of this talk and discussion is to open a window on topology’s shifting point of view with regard to this form of interdependence that will considerably affect our ability to act and perform effectively on landscape’s reality. Girot is chair of Landscape Architecture at the Institute of Landscape Architecture, ETH Zürich.

Christophe Girot is professor and chair of landscape architecture in the architecture department of the ETH in Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), and from 2005 to 2014 he directed the Institute of Landscape Architecture at the same institution. In his current role as principal investigator in the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, he leads a team of ten doctoral and postdoctoral researchers on a flood control project in the coastal metropolis of Jakarta, Indonesia. His three principal research topics are topological methods in landscape architecture; new media in landscape analysis and perception; and the history and theory of landscape architecture. Before coming to the ETH, Girot was professor and chair of landscape architecture at the Versailles School of Landscape Architecture (Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Paysage) from 1990 to 2000. He has lectured and been guest professor in many renowned academic institutions around the world; he has also published extensively in key reference books and contributed significant articles to the landscape architecture literature. He current book, entitled The Course of Landscape Architecture, will be published by Thames and Hudson at the end of this year.

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