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Editorial piece



Dear readers,


After reading all the articles from our last theme ‘pressure’, I am sitting here again with the privilege to introduce the next theme to you. I always treasure these editorial pieces as they allow me to truly reflect on the big themes playing in our field. This time I introduce the new theme ‘contrast’!


When I started reflecting on the concept of contrast, I realized that it is a result of change and difference. The contrasts in our landscapes reflect changes over the years, our profession is a source of contrasts due to continuous change, and the contrasts in our personal lives are a result of ever-changing perspectives and experiences.


I want to take a minute of your time to reflect on our ever-changing world. I am sure that many of you have heard of the great acceleration, which shows that the world is not just changing, it is changing exponentially; deforestation, population, tourism, climate change. What do we hold on to in a world that is changing so fast? Should we just go with the flow of technology? And what role does the concept of balance play in all of this?


These questions affect us as landscape architects and spatial planners designing the landscapes of the future. Questions and dilemmas are all around us. People with their own experiences, thoughts, and ideas. We are working with unique landscapes with unique characters and identities. I’ve personally always struggled to define what we deem as important and what we do not in a changing world full of contrasts.


But it is not only landscapes that get formed by this ever-changing world, it is also us. We are all living our lives in progressing time. We are formed by experiences and the information we get fed.  We are different and contrasting because we have our own experiences and identities. All the experiences form us as individuals and as professionals. Paradigms, knowledge, and ideas. Expectations get met, get changed, and discarded. Besides our ever-changing world, we are ever-changing, influenced by all around us. 


We can see contrast as something negative. It relates to boundaries, polarisation and disagreement. But I hope I showed you we all stand together in a changing world, and we should not let contrasts divide us. I hope we can find the beauty in social contrasts as much as we like contrasts in landscapes.


Best regards,

Shanna Koppejan

on behalf of the editorial of TOPOS


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