abstract :

Landscape architecture is unique as a design practice in its engagement with living nonhumans as instrumental media. However, contemporary landscape architecture theory has struggled to integrate fauna as components of the designed landscape beyond calls to provide and preserve habitat and address the philosophical implications of such a gesture. Animals and other mobile entities, when recognized as integral components of landscapes rather than occasional inhabitants, challenge static notions of landscapes as passive spaces and instead invigorate them as lively events. Some early writings on landscape practice and theory, dating back to the picturesque movement, acknowledge the presence of animals in the landscape. More recently, some landscape designers have imagined new roles for animals. No longer are they passive objects or visitors or inhabitants, blindly providing ecosystem services. Increasingly, these designers have explored the role of animals as active agents shaping the landscape, in ways that reimagine interspecies relationships and subjectivities. Provocations for "animal-aided design" are emblematic of this novel take on the animal in the landscape. Using animacy as a tool for revealing various relational qualities of landscapes, this article joins with calls to attend to the liveliness of other beings as productive and creative agents.