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On the Nature of Things: Contemporary American Landscape Architecture

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by Gavin Keeney. Birkhauser, 2000. 184pp. £42.95. (Available from Triangle bookshop 020 7631 1381)

John Dixon Hunt supplies a guarded foreword to this survey of current American landscape practice. He welcomes the designers' attempts to resist run-of-the-mill solutions, whether formalist, ecological or quasi-Olmsted, and seek significance, even poetry, in engaging with the specifics of a site, but implies that the jury is still out on their success; only 'repeated experiences of those who visit' will prove if claims for them are grounded. Schemes by 13 practices are included, illustrations are indifferent - and Dixon Hunt's wariness seems justified.

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