â€œThings are because we see them, and what we see, and how we see it, depends on the Arts that have influenced us. One does not see anything until one sees its beauty.â€ In this way Oscar Wilde explains in The Decay of Lying that the fogs above the Thames were first seen only when Turner painted them. Similarly, a â€œlandâ€ becomes a â€œlandscapeâ€ only through an artistic process. Land can be considered the zero degree state of a landscape that is waiting to be discovered. With a background in civil engineering, architecture and landscape architecture, Bas Smets, Principal of Bureau Bas Smets in Brussels, has developed a specific approach to representation that enables him to reveal an unseen landscape, starting from a very precise reading of the existing land. His projects range from the conception of territorial strategies to the construction of public spaces. In addition to these public missions, he creates one private garden a year.
This Sylvester Baxter Lecture of the Harvard Graduate School of Design will take place in the Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street in Cambridge on Thursday, April 18 from 6:30 – 8 and is free and open to the public.