The Sitio Roberto Burle Marx: A Case Study in the Garden as Scientific Laboratory or Vegetal Studio for a Moving Work of Art?
The garden is a place of experimentation, where gardeners try out plants and both see how they grow and explore how to use them to eff ect, but does that make the garden a ‘laboratory’?
Roberio Dias (2008) has described the Sitio Roberto Burle Marx (Roberto Burle
Marx personal garden and nursery outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) as a ‘landscape
laboratory’. Using the Sitio as a case study and Dias’s 2008 essay as a point of
departure, this paper asks, if a laboratory is ‘a room or building equipped for
scientific experiments, research or teaching’, does the phrase ‘garden as laboratory’ accurately describe how the garden operates as a creative space? If it does not, what would be a more appropriate description?
Considering the garden as an artist’s studio recognises that, even while science is involved in the process of growing plants, its aim is to cultivate plants for aesthetic purposes. If each plant is a test, and the tests interact ecologically, then the art produced in the garden as studio is of a radically diff erent type: a moving work of art. In reconceiving the garden as studio and its art as alive, I aim to help enrich theories of planting design to engage them with growth.
How to Cite
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).