SYMPOSIUM – DESIGNING NATURE
About the work of Swiss landscape architect Dieter Kienast (1945-1998)
A presentation of the Department of Architecture of ETH Zurich, Institute for Landscape Architecture, in cooperation with the Christoph Merian Stiftung and Schaulager Basel. Schaulager Basel, 5.12.2008, 5.30pm – 9pm (in German)
What does it mean today to design nature – to think of or act in the interests of nature?At this point in time, natural forms and a reflection of our relationship to our environment are omnipresent in contemporary art, architecture, and design. Heated debates on the protection of our landscapes and the design of our cities and their surroundings continue to be held. One can distinguish between two attitudes toward nature: one is marked by romantic and sensual tendencies and celebrates ‘beautiful nature’; the other attempts to find solutions via design to comprehend and react to the currently threatened existence of our natural environment.
In this context, the symposium “Natur entwerfen – Designing Nature” made a contribution to the
current discourse on the basis of the work of the Swiss landscape architect Dieter Kienast (1945-1998). Kienast was a scientist, ecologist, and renowned designer in the offices of Stöckli, Kienast & Koeppel and Kienast Vogt Partners, founder of the landscape architecture curriculum at the Department of Architecture at the ETH Zurich, and a passionate mountain climber in his free time.
The symposium broached the topic what kind of mentality toward nature must be developed by the design disciplines in order to create and maintain an environment that is livable and beautiful in the midst of a rapidly changing world.
As a teacher, designer and theoretician, Dieter Kienast posed many questions circling around this theme, which continue to be topical to this day. This symposium provided a framework showing what kind of reservoir of ideas and solutions Dieter Kienast developed for a designed and controlled but continually changing natural environment.