Design Criteria for Regenerative Systems Landscapes

Daniel Bergquist, Per Hedfors


In this paper we explore General Systems Theory (GST) as a conceptual support in landscape architecture (LA). The point of departure is the complexities and embeddedness of landscapes in multiple scales of society and environment – systems landscapes – a conceptualisation to which we add regenerative, to stress the need for design that restores and enhances environmental and human resources and their capacity to regenerate over time. Through the lens of regenerative systems landscapes, we engaged in an interdisciplinary method we call landscape dialography; the combination of reflective discussion, visual representation, sketching and systems diagramming of systems landscapes throughout and across multiple temporal and spatial scales. This allowed us to highlight significant systemic relations and make them concrete as visionary hypotheses in a physical context. Through this iterative learning process, specific representations were selected out of the sequence to illustrate emergent criteria for design. The paper is concluded by proposing a set of design criteria for regenerative systems landscapes, to be incorporated in landscape architecture and applied in management, planning and design.

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