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Palmquist, Beatrice, 2023. The realistic idea to be a dreamer : using utopias in landscape architecture to enable hope for a different future. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)



This paper investigates whether utopia can be a lens in landscape architecture to open the
imagination toward possible outcomes of the future. The springboard for the subject is a
call for hope as it is the main ingredient driving change in our society. While hope is a vital
resource for progression, it also demands certain conditions to thrive. This paper is an explo-
ration of how utopia in landscape architecture can be a way to understand these conditions.
It is made through three separate chapters: first exploring landscape architecture’s correla-
tion with utopian hope. Then moving onto the utopian narrative and whether storytelling in
landscape architecture can spark hope. Ending with turning to speculative, utopian, scenario
building as a means to discover new possibilities in landscape architecture.
Each chapter is a puzzle piece gathering literature review, reference projects and re-
flections that as a whole strive to explore what a utopian approach in landscape architecture
can be. This is combined with experimenting with parts of the gathered theory on chosen
site: the Southern Boulevard Périphérique in Paris.
Part of the profession as a landscape architect is to propose future alterations. The
act of proposing is an act of hoping, since what you propose is a hope that your suggestion
will result in something better. Hence, there are common grounds between utopias, who are
dreams of something better, and landscape architecture. The utopian perspective can be used
to achieve heighten knowledge about what landscape architecture can provide in terms of
sparking hope in society. The utopian hope is reliant on landscape architecture not being fully
fixed or rigid in its form. For hope to exist it needs space to expand, for transformation to be
possible. This means that utopian landscape architecture can never fully be, just become. The
way the proposal is narrated can also affect whether it is utopian, in the sense that it opens
up the future, or closes it off. The lens provided by utopia can reveal new layers in landscape
architecture hence also heightening our ability to understand its complexity. These layers can
in turn be made into speculative scenarios, that highlight a current aspect of a site. The spe-
culation allows for imaginative prototyping. A playful approach to further expand the notion
of what is possible. The power of the utopia lies in its character of being imaginative and
provide possibilities. By being a landscape architect that turns to utopia - you are a dreamer.
By being a dreamer you are also the highest degree of a realist.

Main title:The realistic idea to be a dreamer
Subtitle:using utopias in landscape architecture to enable hope for a different future
Authors:Palmquist, Beatrice
Supervisor:Wirdelöv, Johan and Alfengård, Matilda
Examiner:Kylin, Maria and Stålhammar, Sanna
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LY002 Landscape Architecture Programme, Alnarp 300 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)
Keywords:utopian landscape architecture, hope, speculation, future, utopia, storytelling
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Deposited On:08 May 2023 10:07
Metadata Last Modified:09 May 2023 01:01

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