Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Thompson, Julia URN etd-05102006-164933 Title A Sense of Time, A Sense of Self: The 'Lived Perspective' of the Walk Degree Master of Landscape Architecture Department Landscape Architecture Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Katen, Brian F. Committee Chair Emmons, Paul F. Committee Member Yglesias, Caren L. Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 2006-03-21 Availability unrestricted AbstractMuch of the walking that we do in our daily lives is dull, but sometimes, unexpectedly, it can be revelatory. During these moments, through what phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty calls the “lived perspective” of walking, we experience a merging of our inner and outer worlds and achieve greater self-awareness.
Although most of our experience in the landscape is through movement, we rarely design for such spaces. Using the hypothesis that terrorist threats and an aging infrastructure may lead to the rerouting of the CSX Railway south of Washington, D.C., shutting down the existing line, I propose to convert the CSX Railway bridge that crosses the Anacostia River in Southeast Washington to an open public space. While other portions of the track may be demolished and returned to the wide avenues envisioned by L’Enfant or renovated as trolley tracks, the CSX bridge could be renovated to provide a link between the neighborhood of Capitol Hill and the Anacostia River through a pedestrian walkway.
The methodology I use to explore this thesis is two-fold. I study several environments, from site-specific artworks to monuments to large urban parks. I also study fields that explore the experiential nature of perception such as art and philosophy, and use the freedom of expression that drawing allows as a tool to inform the design of spaces that can enable us to experience a state in which our mind, body, and vision are intertwined.
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