Time to break the long ‘radio silence’ on this site with the news that I have finished my doctoral dissertation at the TU Delft.

June 1st, 2018 § Comments Off on Time to break the long ‘radio silence’ on this site with the news that I have finished my doctoral dissertation at the TU Delft. § permalink

Cover PhD Dissertion

PhD Dissertation

My research is entitled Transformation in Composition: Ecdysis of Landscape Architecture through the Brownfield Park Project 1975-2015. It enlarges on the notion of composition in landscape architecture by building on the ‘Delft Method’, which elaborates composition as a methodological framework for landscape design. At the same time it takes a critical stance in respect to this method in response to recent developments in landscape architecture such as the site-specificity and process discourses.


The notion of composition is examined from a historical, theoretical and lexical perspective, before turning to an examination of the brownfield park project realized in the period 1975-2015. These projects emerge as an important laboratory and catalyst for developments in landscape architecture, whereby contextual, process, and formal-aesthetic aspects form central and inter-related themes. The thesis of this research is that a major theoretical and methodological expansion of the notion of composition can be distilled from the brownfield park project, in which seemingly irreconcilable paradigms such as site, process and form are incorporated.

Timeline plan figures of key brownfield parks 1800 2015

By extension, the study propositions a ‘radical maturation’ of the foundations of the discipline in the period 1975 – 2015 via the brownfield park project. A metaphor for this process is offered by the phenomenon of ecdysis in invertebrate animals, whereby the growth from juvenile to adult takes place in stages involving the moulting of an inelastic exoskeleton. Once shed, a larger exoskeleton is formed, whose shape and character is significantly different to its forebears.

Lifecycle of the blue swimmer crab

In the slipstream of these findings, the research sheds new light on the shifts in the form and content of the city itself in this period, and the agency of the urban park in the problematique of urban territories. Finally, in examining the impact of de-industrialization on the contemporary urban realm, it proposes a major revision of abiding definitions of ‘city’ and ‘nature’, and the paradigms of modernity that backdrop them.

Rail harp landschaftspark Duisburg Nord 2017

The public defense ceremony is on the 12th of June 2018 in Delft, after which the dissertation will be available as an open access publication on https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/index.php/abe