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The phenomenological experience of the visual landscape

Ana Moya Pellitero

Abstract


Any environment, natural, rural or urban, cannot be only reduced to a physical object that is measured, analysed, monitored, or captured through mapping, human beings also relate to their environment through their beliefs, emotions and senses. This existential relation brings together the objective and the subjective, the physical qualities of the space and its perceptual and sensorial experience, the tangible (quantitative) geographic values and the intangible (qualitative) emotional connotations.

This article addresses how we can map and monitor, the quantitative and the qualitative, the tangible and the intangible aspects of landscape. It argues that we should include phenomenological information that is constantly expanding and actualising in the Internet. This information is outside the subject, and inside a digital environment that can be always consulted, as an external memory. If we consider a new social participative methodology, we should see the potentials of a digital society that did not lose the physical and phenomenological contact with the environment, on the contrary, this sensorial and corporeal contact has been intensified.

The Information Age does not create isolated individuals in front of a computer, but collectives and groups eager for communication in infinite social networks. Landscape is not only appreciated by the ‘look’ but also by the rest of the body senses. Landscape becomes a somatic space where individuals are not outside, taking distance, and ‘looking at’ the view, but inside of it, creating it by the same corporeal action and body awareness. In the mapping of the qualitative and intangible values of the landscape, a new social participative methodology should take into consideration, together with the way society perceives and appreciates the landscape by the look, also the degrees of social interaction with it, and the layers of exchange of information and communication that the landscape contains.


Keywords


landscape phenomenology; visual landscape research; landscape perception; urban planning; research methodology; multidisciplinary approach; humanistic geography; mapping; visual perception; philosophy of space; participative methodology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7480/rius.2.207

Copyright (c) 2013 Ana Moya Pellitero

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