The science and affect of atmosphere in landscape architecture
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Atmosphere carries multi-faceted meaning when considered in the context of spatial design. In an architectural sense, we may speak of atmosphere as a spatial quality or in the way the built or natural environment is capable of moving us emotionally. Yet, when considered in a scientific register, atmosphere may be described as a complex of observable and measurable energies, which give air substance, behavior and force. The practice of landscape architecture entails a heightened awareness of exposure, namely the exposure to meteorological processes that in turn shape much of our perceptual and haptic experience of the ‘outside’ world. The intent of this practicum will be to draw attention to the importance of both designations of atmosphere, particularly within the discipline of landscape architecture, and set within the context of phenomenology. The context of this work begins at the scale of the circumpolar boreal forest and examines a particular biological and chemical phenomenon that occurs between the atmosphere and the boreal forest biome. The scale of focus will be drawn to a site at the southern transition zone between the boreal forest and St. Lawrence mixed forest within the Temagami region of northeast Ontario, Canada. Here, the phenomenon in question is quite palpable.