Carl R. Lounsbury
The major focus of this article happens to be architecture and cultural history. Buildings tell many stories. They are complex material objects wherein we live, work, worship, socialize, and play. They serve basic functions but also embody culture and express the dynamics of its social, economic, and political fortunes. Buildings also communicate their messages by their unusual forms, gigantic scale, or dramatic settings. The vast majority blend together as unconscious backdrops to daily routines. Buildings have life cycles. Most buildings have brief tenures before they are destroyed or fall into ruin. Only a very small number of them survive for long periods to give an historical dimension to the landscape. This article proceeds to explain design sources of architectural structures. From the eighteenth century through the early twentieth century, architects in Europe and America found design precedents in the early buildings of their native lands. Buildings are often seen as embodiments of culture.
This article explores the idea of cultural landscapes. The term ‘cultural landscape’ is widely recognized as a description of a region of the earth that has been transformed by human action. This article explores the history of the idea of cultural landscapes, focusing on two dichotomies. The first is the dichotomy between materiality and symbolism; from highly material beginnings in the early twentieth century, the second is the dichotomy between nature and culture, concepts treated as oppositional for much of this history. It then examines some of the geographic differences, with particular attention to Australian and Scandinavian examples. The next section explores what happens when the cultural landscape idea itself becomes materialized, in the form of land and heritage management frameworks. The final section presents a recent critique of the cultural landscape concept and asks whether it is possible to go beyond the dichotomies, and whether the concept retains any usefulness.
Sarah Whatmore and Steve Hinchliffe
This article sets out to unsettle some of the most taken for granted co-ordinates of landscapes in general and cities in particular that, if nothing else, we are safe in assuming them to be exclusively human achievements. Ecological landscapes are the focus of this article. It begins by exploring recent geographical thinking about ecological landscapes worked through diverse conversations with other disciplines — notably anthropology, and science and technology studies. Here the article highlights developments in the broad areas of phenomenology, affect, and biophilosophy in order to describe some key shifts in cultural geography's handling of materiality. Through this engagement with ecological landscapes and urban natures, the main aim of this article is to demonstrate the importance of reconsidering materials less as the passive stuff of which landscapes are made and more as energetic constituents in their fabrication. The second part explores the implications of such perspectives about new urban ecologies and landscaping practices.
The domestic sphere or ‘home cultures’ as the term is used here is the location of many disciplinary investigations into the home. It is in the domestic sphere that one investigates the key elements of the human condition. This article's essence happens to be households and home cultures. It is where family, gender, and the nature of the individual are understood. It is also where the basic elements of cosmology and religious life and the elemental context for the understanding of political and economic life are lived and perceived. Here public and private realms are forged; nature/culture boundaries are created and negotiated. The home is typically how we know the world and know about people who inhabit the world. It is the key point of orientation for members of a given society as it is to its visitors and outsiders. A study of the gradual change in the domestic realm in the twentieth century concludes this article.
Landscapes or built environments contain distinct lessons about material culture and human life. Land that shows the effects of human activity constitutes material culture, but is often less clearly bounded than other cultural objects and it is also more vividly intertwined with nature. This article explores the landscape garden as material culture. It exists everywhere that the earth and social communities meet: fields opened by deforestation, piles of sludge in the ruins of old manufacturing centres, empty lots in cities, windmills along a ridge, and others. These meeting places of nature and human labour are, like other forms of material culture, created for social purposes and designed to have value. In landscape history, there have been a number of schools of thought, touching on this issue. This article cites examples from gardens across the world especially Europe to elaborate on the importance of landscape gardens as material culture and also draws a similarity between the two which concludes this article.
Ian Cook and Divya P. Tolia‐Kelly
Geographers' engagements with materiality over the past decade have become the topic of widespread and sometimes heated debate. A steady trickle of articles has appeared critiquing the ‘dematerialization’ and advocating the ‘rematerialization’ of social and cultural geography, and claims have been made that wider ‘materialist returns’ are under way across the discipline. In the introduction to his edited collection on materiality, anthropologist Daniel Miller discusses how ethnographers constantly encounter the contradictory juxtaposed and incommensurable in their work. This article elaborates upon the concepts of landscape, commodities, and creativity at length and with special reference to the Napoli wreck. This article also discusses the Napoli event which gives coherence to this article that the literature did not seem to possess, while also providing a vivid sense of its disparate nature. This article very skillfully uses the example of Napoli to explain everything related to culturalism.