Controlling the Landscape – Washington, DC

Washington and the Potomac in balance

We perceive the ability to control the landscape…When we are close to it and the irregular shapes of the river appear as straight lines and gracefully curving boundaries in our oblique perspective. We fill the spaces they create as if to occupy them were to fulfill some spatial destiny and we imprint our sense of order by overlaying grids, diagonals, ovals, and polygons…as we rise above the cityscape of Washington we get a new perspective and we realize that while we order and artfully shape our world, we cannot match the beauty of a meandering muddy river that naturally shapes the world as it wanders to the sea. Perhaps the real dream of design is simply to be the river.

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