“Is it time for a new imagination—a hydrologic one—that says that we do not inhabit a surface but rather a ubiquitous wetness?” 

– Anuradha Mathur & Dilip da Cunha1

Welcome to Water in the Landscape.  The mission of this blog is to act as a starting point for understanding the vital role that water plays in landscape architecture, urban design, and architecture (hereafter referred to as “environmental design”) while conveying the importance of water-focused analysis and decision making across project scales.  Gathered here is a compendium of relevant topics to consider when designing with water, and while not exhaustive, aims to set a foundational knowledge while provoking thoughtful, project-specific questions.   

Each topic includes a concise written summary with accompanying visuals and diagrams, followed by a series of question prompts to consider when engaging a design project.  Each page closes with a short literature review of current research in the topic area, along with some innovative precedents: this is a springboard for further reading on these topics, or for examples of how professionals are engaging with water in their work today.  To make this research more accessible, important words and topics are underlined and linked to a glossary.   

Finally, a site analysis tool is being developed to organize critical questions for understanding the specific water conditions of any site.  The tool will be accessible through this blog and will be trialed by undergraduate and graduate students at the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) before undergoing revision.  Upon using this tool, please reach out to us through our contact page and provide feedback. 

1. Mathur and da Cunha, “Wetness Is Everywhere.”

Cover Image courtesy of USGS via Unsplash. “Meandering wadis combine to form dense, branching networks across the stark, arid landscape of southeastern Jordan. The Arabic word “wadi” means a gulley or streambed that typically remains dry except after drenching, seasonal rains.” https://unsplash.com/photos/an-aerial-view-of-a-large-body-of-water-AQ9-jKmebjM

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