Barbara Prezelj

Landscape Architecture

Unfamiliar Territory

Unfamiliar Territory with its alternative take on design methodologies problematizes landscape design intervention as an instrument of control, especially in times and places of tension.  

Project attempts to demonstrate ways in which we could deal with complex landscapes or places of friction around us without reducing their complexity or eliminating their creative potential for the sake of ‘familiarization’. By approaching points of instability as creative sites and uncertainty and a future that is not given in advance as risks worth taking, the project suggests ways in which landscapes could actively meet concerns of our social reality today and explicitly works towards exposing that a certain modern way of life is not a given but requires a lot of effort to create and sustain itself. 

The main aim of the project is not only to approach landscape as a complex system and constant process but to also look at a landscape intervention not as a complete or final thing that prescribes site's future in advance but as a constant action - as creating a set of potentials that can unfold in various directions with various outcomes. It could be seen as an attempt at putting forward a renewed understanding of landscape design that wouldn’t abolish its centuries long tradition of ‘image-making’ but would seriously question and necessarily redefine the taken-for-granted stability of such landscape images and would, instead on mere perception, focus on the aesthetic power of affect. Placing the emphasis on landscape design aesthetics through affect rejects the fallacies of instant ‘solutions’ and puts forward a performative approach to design, where landscape embraces uncertainty and in time strives towards a multitude of affective encounters with ethically and politically enabling potentials.  

More specifically, the project deals with disturbed sites and a specific site of interest - Fort de Vaujours, an abandoned nuclear area near Paris.