Sylvester Baxter Lecture: Joan Nogué, “A Journey through Landscape: From Theory to Practice”

Event Description:

Drawing from experience accumulated over 40 years of academic and professional trajectory on the question of landscape, as a university professor, director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and ‘militant’ for landscape, Joan Nogué will reflect on the theory and practice of landscape today and into the future. Professor Nogué defends an integral conception of landscape that considers both the tangible and intangible elements. Such conception highlights the geohistorical singularity of landscape –every landscape belongs to a specific space and time– while acknowledging the plurality of views and interpretations that it is subject to. Nowadays, landscape discourses and practices flourish with extraordinary potency, although sometimes they fall into the purely formal and aesthetic dimension. The global ecological crisis is ushering a cultural paradigm change that speaks directly to landscape studies. In order to respond to these changes, contemporary landscape scholarship and practice must engage with the broad-range issues of climate change, the multi-scalar formation of territorial identity, the articulation of common good-based notions of public space, the deepening of people’s desire to reconnect with everyday places and landscapes or the increasing citizen involvement in the processes of landscape patrimonialization. The emergence of these new realities is fueling a growing interest in the cultural, social and political aspects of landscape. The landscape professionals capable of grasping the field’s evolving reality will exercise undisputed leadership in the years to come.


Joan Nogué is a professor of Human Geography at the University of Girona (Catalonia) and founder and director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia during the period 2005-2017. His two lines of research are geographic thought and landscape theory and practice. His last two books on these topics are Paesaggio, territorio, società civile. Il senso del luogo nel contemporaneo (Melfi: Libria, 2017), published in Italy, and Yi-Fu Tuan. El arte de la geografia (Barcelona: Icaria, 2018). Some of his books have been translated into languages such as Brazilian Portuguese (2004, Geopolitics, Identity, and Globalization, with Joan Vicente), Chinese (2009, Nationalism and Territory) or Italian (2009, Altri Paesaggi). He has coordinated and edited the translation into Spanish of John B. Jackson’s book Discovering the Vernacular Landscape (2010), as well as Eric Dardel’s L’Homme et la terre. Nature de la réalité géographique (2013) and Yi-Fu Tuan’s Romantic Geography: In Search of the Sublime Landscape (2015). He was awarded the Jaume I Prize for “Urbanism, Landscape and Sustainability” in 2009. Member of the Institute of Catalan Studies and of the Scientific Commitee of the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche (Italy). Trustee of the BUNKA Foundation, promoted by RCR Architects (2017 Pritzker Prize Laureates).

0:00 Introduction by Anita Berrizbeitia
7:24 Lecture by Joan Nogué
55:05 Discussion and Q+A



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