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CRITIC'S CHOICE

REVIEW

One purpose behind the AJ's recent features on the Thames Gateway (AJ 02.03.06) and the latest German IBA (AJ 27.10.05) was to prompt a subtler assessment of what should be valued in these scarred industrial landscapes - to consider what should be left alone as well as what should be changed.

'A fresh look at our inherited surroundings' is the title of one of the main sessions at the 2nd European Landscape Conference, organised by the European Foundation for Landscape Architecture, which takes place in Lille from 31 May to 2 June.

Under the title Protéger La Planète: The Landscape Vision, the conference includes specialist workshops and field trips to contrasting sites in the region - Lille is close to both the coast and former coal-mining territory on the FrancoBelgian border - as well as plenary sessions on such global themes as 'Nature and biodiversity' and 'Blending large infrastructure into the landscape'. But gardens get a look-in to, so there's something for everyone ( www. efla. org).

A more remote landscape, less obviously touched by man, features in Simon Faithfull's Ice Blink at Stills, 23 Cockburn St, Edinburgh, until 14 May. Faithfull travelled to Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey last year as part of an Arts Council project; Rachel Whiteread was on the same trip, which proved a prime source for her striking installation, Embankment, at Tate Modern, now in its last days (it closes 1 May). Drawings, films and photographs by Faithfull are on show at Stills (see picture), and later this month Book Works will publish Ice Blink: An Antarctic Essay ( www. bookworks. org. uk).

The Thames Gateway reappears in the next exhibition at London's Architectural Association (AA) from 29 April-26 May. Titled The Thames Gateway Assembly, it looks at proposals by the GLA Architecture and Urbanism Unit and supplements architects' projects with student work from members of the AA's Diploma Unit 14. There's a debate on 10 May. Other London events include lectures at Tate Modern by David Chipperfield (18 April), balos and Herreros (3 May), and FAT (9 May) ( www. tate. org. uk).

For forthcoming events visit www. ajplus. co. uk/diary

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