chapter  4
HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE— FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN TO THE NEW YORK HIGH LINE AND SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
Pages 20

The study of history has many useful benefits that, among other possibilities, help us better understand and perhaps better appreciate who we are in the present and imagine our trajectory into the future. The history of landscape architecture does not require us to look too far back in time, as the profession is a recent one, compared to our allied design professions such as engineering and architecture. We can see the profession in the context of a continuum that is not so much a direct line but rather a legacy from those who created gardens and cultural landscapes before us but were not known as landscape architects. On this legacy and body of experience and knowledge

practitioners today base much of their work and can draw inspiration. For instance, the cultural artifact of Stonehenge, England, was not the creation of a landscape architect. We can assume the civilization that constructed Stonehenge carefully analyzed information about the site, its physical features, and ultimately decided the placement and arrangements of the stone elements in the same way that landscape architects would analyze a site today in advance of creating a design. We can today study the forms and the arrangement of the stone pieces as a source of inspiration for a fountain, plaza, or other design feature. The study of history, when learning about art, music, and natural sciences, is useful in helping us to realize the potential of a work of art or piece of music that could inform our designs. The sources of design inspiration rarely are found in a vacuum but are based on our experiences.