Bio-regional patterns and spatial narratives for integrative landscape research and design


  • J. Silbernagel


Land patterns are beautiful, fascinating, dynamic, and significant to so many life processes. Capacity to understand landscape patterns can arise from very different paradigms; i) through the fine arts, an ability to see patterns; ii) from language arts, the gift to read and describe the landscape; iii) from the geographic sciences, the ability to map, measure, and interpret patterns; and iv) from environmental design, the drive to integrate the above capacities. Under many circumstances, landscape studies or conservation could be enhanced using multiple approaches to capture the complex dynamics of people and land in a holistic framework. Long-held paradigms about how knowledge is acquired and applied in the ecological sciences may be trespassed. Linking bioregional patterns and qualitative narratives offers a creative solution. In this paper I discuss how bioregional patterns can be used to form narratives connecting sequences of a landscape story with environmental analysis. More specifically, I suggest a meshing of qualitative knowledge with geographic and ecological sciences to synthesize spatial narratives for conservation design. The spatial narrative is a conceptual framework to bring the qualitative experience of place together with the geoscience analysis of space.