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    2014.05 Micro—landform in Landscape Design

    The summer heat is fading away and autumn is coming. Soon it will be the perfect time for visiting the mountains and appreciating the landscapes. Various plants will provide us with a dramatic perform. Actually, plants are the protagonists of the four seasons, while in autumn, plants play the most important part. This issue’s special subject is “Micro-landform in Landscape Design”. Actually, most landscapes are within the scope of “micro-landform”. Undulant mountains and glorious rivers are the masterwork of the nature and the pure plain landforms are rarely seen in the real world. While from the practical level, it needs a serious discussion when it comes to the “mirco-landform”. For example, an offshore company designed a plan for a park project with some parameter in it. The original landform of the project is re-designed as a new diagram, well, stylish, cool, and futuristic. However, this “drawing on the ground” activity is soon questioned because it cost too much on the reshaping of the landform and added too many artificial things into it. The old designer use the old but also cool old saying from Ji Cheng (Chinese gardener, Ming Dynasty) to respond the activity—the essense of a design work is that it is designed according to the orginial form of the landform and mixes with the nature harmoniously. You know, all landscapes are formed by the cooperation of multiple forces. But what are these mutiple forces? They are nature, design conditions and us. We cooperate with the nature and design conditions. There is no landscape without design field or design conditions. We can not design things without taking the other factors into consideration. Therefore, “according to the original form” and “mixes with the nature harmoniously” need to be weighed and considered. The abused preparation works of a construction in our country are summarized as “three supplies (water, electricity and roads) and one leveling (the ground)”. To level the ground will destroy the natural environment including micro-landforms and turn the site into a dull flat ground with no trees, grass and slopes. At the beginning of a design, the most important thing is supposed to be the on-the-spot survey, which becomes meaningless under this circumstance, because the site has become a characterless barren place. Therefore, the design will be flat, too. When the vitality of the site is taken out, the designers will lose the basis and something to utilize. So what they can do is to play with patterns to deal with the flat ground without considering landforms and using them. The autumn wind is cool, but the moist heat still remains in and out the heart. The old desinger, handing a book over, laughed and said, “It seems that you still need spend more time studying Ji Cheng’s Art of Garden-Building!”