Strategies for the design of new wilderness in the peri­urban landscape

Strategies for the design of new wilderness in the peri-urban landscape must address the specific conditions there. For this reason, design methods with a minimum of expenditure and costs are most useful.

Some of these methods can be found in the design of models of wild­ness in garden history, landscape architecture and the arts. The design strategies of these models can not only help to develop design methods but ensure that wilderness elements will be accepted as part of a cultivated landscape.

Wilderness design as a contrast to regular pattern

A basic way to design new wilderness is to work with the visual perception of complex systems (see above). Therefore wilderness can be designed by establishing a visual contrast to a regular pattern or to an object with a regular form. This regular object or pattern, together with the wild vegeta­tion, forms an aesthetic object. Another similar design method works by using the symbolic contrast of wilderness to cultural objects.

Contrast as a design principle for informal vegetation has a long tradi­tion in garden history. Early examples can be found in the informal vege­tation of the bosco of the Italian Renaissance gardens contrasting with their sculptures or regular forms (Comito 1993).

This principle is also used for the design of modern industrial brown­fields, e. g. the design strategy for the Skulpturenwald Rheinelbe, in Gel­senkirchen, which uses modern sculptures by the artist H. Prigann as a contrast to the industrial woodland (Keil 2002).


Fig. 4. (left) Design by contrasting wild vegetation to a man-made object, Skulp – turenwald Rheinelbe, Gelsenkirchen

Fig. 5. (right) Design by contrasting wild vegetation to linear edges, Natur-Park Schoneberger Sudgelande, Berlin