Manufactured Landscapes

Remaking the world for our needs

Humans hack the landscape to be more productive and predictable. Though we have intentionally transformed the landscape since the first farmer put a seed in the ground, in the last century our efforts have become planet-scale. While we manipulate old nature through dams, planned forests and irrigation, we create a next natural landscape of highways, vast cities, and garbage dumps. How do we control these? And is control even possible?

Essay by Bas Haring

Next Nature Services

Intentionality separates culture from nature. A dog is intentional, a fox is not; a park is intentional, a forest is not. Since trash, ruined buildings, and automated computer programs are unintentional, they are also a type of nature. Nature provides human society with valuable ‘ecosystem services’ such as water purification or erosion control.…

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'An old rubbish dump was transformed into an indoor piste, giving new value to something that once had none'

Bas Haring

Pimp My Planet

We live in a time where everything or everyone can be upgraded or ‘pimped’. After the worldwide acceptance of plastic surgery and pimped homes, will eventually everything be pimp-able? Even our own planet.

church forest dots

In Ethiopia, the Bible Grows a Forest

What are those two green dots in the dusty landscape?  Ethiopian Orthodox Christians believe in preserving forests around their churches as living symbols of Eden.  Since 95% of the country’s historical forests have been stripped for farmland and fuel, these ‘church forests’ are the last refuge for native plants, birds and insects.  …

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Aiir force radar installation - Wier, Friesland

21st Century Dutch Landscapes

For centuries the Dutch landscape has been known for its highly cultivated formal structure, however with the introduction of Google Maps a whole new layer of formalization has been added.

Like many other governments the Dutch censor the visibility of political, economic and military locations on the satellite imagery, but while most countries blur, pixelate, and whiten out sites of interest, the Dutch method of censorship is notable for its stylistic intervention of bold, multi-coloured polygons over sites.…

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sandengine

Sand Engine Reinforces Dutch Coastline

Now here is an hands-on example of ‘guided growth‘ as a way to steer complex systems.

Part of the Dutch coastline is currently being reinforced by creating a ‘sand engine’. This involves depositing 21.5 million cubic meters of sand in the shape of a hook extending from the coast near Ter Heijde.…

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