AUGMENTED LANDSCAPES
Bas Smets
15 December 2017, 18:30-20:30

Over the last centuries, human occupation on the planet has drastically changed. Starting from a seemingly infinite nature dotted by confined settlements, the surface of the planet is being transformed by a limitless urbanization, interrupted only by distinct moments of nature's resistance. Cities seem to be expanding into metropolitan areas, at the cost of the natural 'environment' that surrounds them. Nature is rapidly losing its place and space outside this urbanization, hindering the ecosystem services it has been providing.

With a growing world population in excess of 7.5 billion, urbanization has become a planetary ambition. With the irreversible loss of natural habitats and the uncertain impacts of climate change, it is urgent to redefine the role and the ambition of the landscape project in this process.

As part of the development process, landscape projects seem most adequate to produce part of the complex services that nature has been freely providing, from the purification of water and air to flood regulation and storage of carbon dioxide. Adaptable, evolutive and transformative by nature, landscape projects can be conceived to provide these ecosystem services. Based on the logic rather than the image of nature, these 'Augmented Landscapes' will produce unseen aesthetics.