Emotional Landscapes

Emotional Landscapes

Emotional Landscapes

Vancouver landscapes captivate a variety of people from all over the world. One of the reasons for this is the intense feelings they evoke in people.

Imagine …

It’s almost noon on a beautiful summer day in the middle of July and you’re en route to a friend’s BBQ. While walking through a neighbourhood, over the sound of light traffic you hear kids playing in the park across the street. Your ‘old factory’ senses are hitting notes of lavender and thyme as you pass tall gardens down the city street. Rich colours from roses and hydrangeas paint the front yard gardens as sunrays beat down on the back of your neck. Your senses are overwhelmed but you are comfortable.

You come to the house. It is tall, narrow and made of brick with dark wood accents. A large spruce tree shades the front yard; it is mostly made up of dark green foliage. Crows are in the tree glaring at you as you walk up the cold stone steps.Assuming people are in the backyard, you walk around the side of the house and down the concrete path. Silence. You push the gate open to a pile of rubble; the side of the fence is littered with garbage and overgrown weeds: a neglected backyard. You are overwhelmed with feelings of disappointment. A wasteland, for no better words; you decide to leave. You contemplate your feelings as you walk to the end of the block, you forget how beautiful is outside.

The aversion you felt manifests into motivation and passion. The pile of rubble that initially repelled you becomes attractive. It is a channel for opportunity – a blank canvas to create art, a pleasure for our senses. By looking at the world differently, your opinion of dumps and sewage has changed.

When you walk into a landscape, right away you notice how it makes you feel. It is important to design your space with the intention of emotional output. Colours, textures and shapes all represent a feeling. It is crucial to plan your landscape design according to the feeling you wish to evoke in your audience; whether it is a city park or in your own backyard.

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