Site interventions

Rod Barnett, Landscape Architect

Internationally acclaimed landscape architect Rod Barnett is a noted theorist and scholar. Barnett has designed landscapes in New Zealand, Australia, China, the Pacific Islands and the United States. He is the author of Emergence in Landscape Architecture (2013), which utilizes contemporary systems theory to explore how relatively simple interactions, filtered through continual processes of adaptation and evolution, create larger environments of dizzying complexity.


Zones where different conditions come together, abut, overlap, pretend to ignore each other, or in various ways interact, are complicated places. For example, humans have often defined themselves as very different from the nonhuman species with which they share the earth. We have established boundaries not only between the human and the animal, but also between animals and plants, insects and rocks, and so on. And yet the terrains in which these objects interact are everywhere: in any landscape  – gradient or field – we find these liminal conditions.

Rod Barnett will present some landscape architecture projects that explore issues of liminality, involving the boundary conditions between humans and nonhuman species, and the relationships between objects and systems. The projects set up encounters between humans and species such as lizards, coyotes and birds, and investigate the strange relationships between humans and inanimate objects through a study of rocks in constructed landscapes.
He invites students to a two-part encounter. In the first part he will present aspects of his work and develop discussion on issues that arise from it. The second part is a visit to the site of the Liminal Terrain Project on the shore of Manukau Harbour at Mangere. Here students will be invited to develop interventions that respond to the ideas that have been canvassed in the talk and subsequent discussion.

Site intervention: Rod Barnett

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laynewaerea@gmail.comLiminal Terrains: Presentation/Discussion + Site Interventions