Contextualism and the popular landscape : towards defining the genius loci of Indiana

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Jensen, Susan M.
Vernon, Noel Dorsey
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Thesis (M.L.A.)
Department of Landscape Architecture
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There is an increasing awareness among landscape architects and other designers that although it is axiomatic that environmental concerns play a major role in design, it is also necessary to identify and address the issues of place that form a vital part of the well-being of the whole person. One major issue is that of genius loci. the spirit of place. The object of this project is to describe some of the elements that go to make up the spirit of place that is unique to Indiana. "The stage we're at in Indiana, I don't think we have a real 'Indiana' landscape that has sifted out, I think we're still stretching our wings and discovering what we have here." (Eric Ernstberger, Indiana Landscape Architect.)The project consists of four sections:1. Investigation into the history of and writings on contextualism and regionalism both in general and in relation to the Midwest of the USA in particular.2. A. Preference survey of Indiana residents taken from an opportunity sample of 180 residents in three areas of the State, administered by interview. B.Interviews with two practising Indiana Landscape Architects, expressing their thoughts on designing for Indiana.3. Visual catalog of artworks, photographs and excerpts from the writings of Christian Norburg-Schulz on Genius Loci and Rachel Peden on Indiana.4. Color slide presentation to class of students on the above.