PREFERRED ICONOGRAPHY FOR
THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW
GARDEN IDENTITY
PhD candidate:
Mina Kaboudarahangi
Supervisory Committee:
Associate Professor LAr. Osman Mohd Tahir, PhD (Chairman)
Professor LAr. Mustafa Kamal M.S, PhD
LAr. Suhardi Maulan, PhD
Faculty Design and Architecture
Universiti Putra Malaysia
16 February 2011
Content of Presentation
Why I have done this study?
Problem
Statement
Research
questions
Aim &
Objectives
How I carried out the study?
Study Methods
Data
Collection
Data
Analysis
What are my findings?
Results
Triangulation
Achieve
Objectives
Why my findings are important?
Aim
Knowledge
contribution
Recommendation
for further study
Problem Statement
• Globalization provided conditions for which ideas,
knowledge, customs, values and cultures are
transferred worldwide
• Connections between people and places creates the
circumstances for the development of localization
• The development of a new garden identity could
be one of the important aspects of identity
development for nations
Problem
Statement
Malaysia in Search of Garden
Identity
• Malaysia has great potential and interest to
develop a distinct garden identity of its own
• This is a multiracial, multicultural, country
Challenges
Economic
Social
Cultural
Political
• It can be presumed that people’s opinions on a
distinctively Malaysian garden will be different
too
Problem
Statement
Primary Findings
Garden
identity
People’s
lifestyles
People’s
needs
people’s
identity
People’s
preferences
Garden
• Gardens are artistic phenomena
with a long lasting
development
relation with the other branches of artAesthetic
values
• The study focused on visual and aesthetic quality of
Different
gardens
activities
Primary
Data
Primary Findings &
Definitions
• Study defined iconography as the image or images
that describe symbolic meaning, and traditional
heritage of a place
• It discussed that well established gardens could
present their unique iconographies
• The iconographies should display the content and
• It concluded
that of
garden
iconography
should
spatial
organization
gardens,
hence they
can
be understood
affect
preferences as a
, interpretation, and
judgment
Primary
Data
Research Questions
The main question posed in this study is what the
iconography of new developing gardens should
be?
How can we recognize a garden’s identity through its
iconography?
What are the preferred iconographies of established
gardens?
Why do people prefer these selected gardens’
iconographies?
What can we conclude to be the preferred iconography
of new developing gardens?
Research
questions
Aim and Objectives
“To identify a preferred iconography for new
developing gardens”
To determine the identity of well-established gardens
using the iconographic method
To explore preferences of well-established garden
iconographies for the case study, Malaysia
To determine the factors that affect the preferences of
garden iconographies
To recommend the factors that can contribute to the
formation of a Malaysian garden identity
Aim &
Objectives
Introduction
Literature Review
Identify iconographic method in relation
to gardens & preferences
Identify the process, issues and elements
of garden identity development
Conceptual framework for the development of garden identity
through an iconographic approach
Methodology
Preferred garden types, elements & scenes in
addition to the factors that affect preferences of
garden iconographies
Experts’ opinions of the garden
identity development, iconographies &
preferred scenes
Specific qualities of garden iconographies,
issues & challenges for the development of
gardens in Malaysia
Stage 4
Discovering Malaysian preferences of
garden iconography through photo
surveys
Stage 3
Recognition of a methodology to identify
preferred garden iconography
Stage 2
Conceptual Framework
Study on selected gardens (Persian-Islamic,
English, Chinese & Japanese)
Stage 1
Study on identity, iconography, preferences and
their corporation with garden development
Research Framework
Result & Discussion
Preferred iconography for the case study & the factors that can
contribute to the formation of Malaysian gardens
Study
Methods
Stage 5
Conclusion
Preferred garden iconography for the development of a Malaysian
garden identity
Iconography & Garden
Iconography
Iconography
As a
tool
Art
Philosophy
History
Collection of
garden images
Garden
elements
Project garden’s
identity
International visual
language
Reflecting various
ideas
Data from
Literature
Results from
Literature
Iconographic Method
• An
investigates levels of
meaning and interprets historical and cultural
contexts behind works of art
Pre-iconographical
description
The iconographic
method
Iconographical description
Iconographical interpretation
Data from
Literature
Results from
Literature
Key Issues Affecting Garden
Development
community
identity
• sense of
history
• sense of
belonging
architectural
features
philosophy
• myth
• stories
• meanings
• memories
• spirituality
• belief
• religion
• vegetation
• climate
nature
• symbolic
ideology
• sense of place
• aesthetic
beauty
• materials
• activity
technology
culture
•They are classified in terms of visual and tacit
qualities; philosophy, culture and community identity
are not visual and they affect and embody the design
and creation of visual qualities, the visual qualities
are recognized as architectural features, nature and
technology
Data from
Literature
Results from
Literature
The Elements Presenting
Garden Identity
•This study
defined the
garden as an
artistically
designed place,
which contains
specific elements
that emerge from
culture and that
are influenced by
particular social
relationships
Data from
Literature
Results from
Literature
More About Garden…
The Garden should be (Miller, 1993)
• Face the sky
• Include natural elements
• Present a form with significance and meaning
Function, aesthetic value and people’s needs
should be considered too (Waymark, 2003)
should answer the
questions of ‘what, where, why, how, when and
who’ during the creation process/ aesthetic values
that should be considered too (Turner, 2005)
Data from
Literature
Results from
Literature
Suggest a Method for Garden
Identity Development
Conceptual
Framework
Garden
iconography
(what)
Garden
identity
(why)
People
(who)
Culture
(how)
Development of
Garden Identity
with Iconographical
Approach in Relation
to the Theory of
Garden Design
The Process of Garden
Identity Development
Conceptual
Framework
Determining Garden Identity Using the
Iconographic
Method
Iconographic
Recognizing:
visual qualities:
Displayed iconography
Present images
Garden elements
Identify
people:
Results from
Literature
(create identity)
Identity
Established gardens
(have identity)
Data from
Literature
New gardens
Suggest image
method
•Culture
•Philosophy
Conceptual
Framework
Preferred iconography
The Process of Creating an Identity for
Via iconography
New
Developing Gardens
both tacit
& visual
Established gardens
qualities are
recognizable
Have
Identity
Displayed
iconography
Visual qualities
Technology
People
preferences
Architecture
Nature
Tacit qualities
Community
identity
Culture
Philosophy
Suggested
iconography
Suggested iconography
recognizes preferred
visual qualities
Triangulation
Create
Identity
New developing
gardens
Tacit qualities could
be recognized by
study of people’s
cultural backgrounds
Garden is a visual
phenomenon
Tacit & visual qualities of
gardens were identified
Triangulation
Achieve
Objective 1
It can be studied with an
a model for the development
of garden identity with an
iconographic method was
suggested
Preferred Garden
Iconography
Garden types
Survey
Iconographies of selected
gardens (English, Persian
Islamic, Japanese &
Chinese) were presented to
the respondents
Helpful
elements
Scenes that like to
see in Malaysia
Elements that like to
see in Malaysia
Results from
Surveys
• There were significant differences among the
ethnic groups in their preferences for the Chinese
and Persian Islamic gardens
• There was a broad agreement among ethnic
groups of respondents on Japanese gardens as the
most preferred garden type
• Architectural features, plants and water features
were identified as the most helpful garden
elements in recognizing garden types
• They were also selected and preferred for
Malaysian gardens
Results from
Surveys
The most preferred type
Artistic setting, designed to be
appreciated, manifestation of
culture & philosophy , harmony
with nature
Large areas of clear, clean and
reflective water (lake & basin)
The most preferred scenes
Local plants combined with water
and architectural features
Architectural features reflecting
identity &combined with nature
Sense of
mystery/legibility/tranquility &
relaxation
The least preferred scenes
Triangulation
Achieve
Objective 2
Many architectural features/a few
plant and water features
Preference Dimension
Analysis
• Different categories for the classification of garden
scenes were recognized
• Dimensions were qualitatively analyzed in terms
of their contents and spatial organizations
Results from
Surveys
Factors Affecting Preferences
Both positive
& negative
affects
Positive affect
Negative affect
Clear, clean &
reflective water
with soft edges
Messy plants
with dark colours
axes, directions
and focal points
Light green
domesticated
plants
Plants combined
with many
architectural
features
sense of curiosity
Plants combined
with water or few
architectural
features
Triangulation
leading to an
uncertain place
with a sense of
fear
Spatial
Organizations
Legible settings
were preferred
Mysterious scenes that
led to a certain place
Complex and mysterious scenes
reinforced fear are not preferred
Triangulation
Achieve
Objective 3
Formation of Malaysian
Gardens
• It concluded that cultural differences caused
differences in preferences and philosophical
matters
• Study recommended to consider cross-cultural
differences alongside physical appearance of
garden
• Preferred elements and their spatial organizations
could be considered in the formation of Malaysian
gardens
Results from
Surveys
A Proposed Model for the Development
of a Malaysian Garden Identity
Tacit qualities (how)
People (who)
Preferences
- Cultural
differences of
ethnic groups
Identity:
Culture:
Philosophy:
-History (differs
-Myth (differs)
-Spirituality
-Story (differs)
-Belief
-Meaning (differs)
-Religion (all are
different for
ethnics)
between ethnics)
-Belonging (can
be shared
between ethnics
during time)
-Memory (can be
shared)
Malaysian
Garden identity
(where/why/when)
Iconography (what)
-Water : clear,clean, reflective,
sense of purification/tranquility
-Plant
:symbolism/domesticated/ well
arranged
-Architecture (posing identity,
combined with nature, few
elements)
-spatial organization
(mysterious, legible, sense of
tranquility)
Triangulation
Achieve
Objective 4
Visual qualities (how)
Nature:
Architecture:
Technology:
-climate
(tropical)
-local
-materials
-vegetation
(local/tropical)
Achieve
Aim
forms (old
patterns/
motifs/rural
areas/stilts/ventil
ation/roofs/local
materials)
(new/light)
-activities
(maintenance/
traditions)
Contributions of the Findings
Garden types, elements & iconography
Preferences of
Differences between preferences of ethnics
Pinpoint the exact nature and total interest in gardens for Malaysia
Conceptualized an iconography that could be
publicly accepted for Malaysian gardens, and
project the nation’s identity
Knowledge
contribution
• Study determined affecting factors on preferences
of garden iconographies
• Recommended factors that could contribute to the
formation of a Malaysian garden identity
• Findings of the study add to the basic knowledge
of Malaysian garden
• Help to open new horizons for landscape
architects and garden enthusiasts in the creation
of Malaysian gardens
Knowledge
contribution
• Findings clarified the importance of garden
identity development and its process in the
traditional world of gardens
Key issues influence garden identity development
Process of garden
identity development
Specific garden elements reflecting garden identity
any community interested in the development of a
garden identity could benefit
Knowledge
contribution
• Iconographic method (generally employed in the
study of paintings) engaged to identify and
recognizing gardens identity with their specific
elements and spatial organizations
• This method, not only contribute to other studies
of gardens, but the iconographic method can also
aid the process of garden identification
• Suggested model can contribute to the historical
knowledge and theory of garden design, and to the
development of new preferred gardens
Knowledge
contribution
• This approach can be the starting point to suggest
a set of guidelines for the creation of new garden
identities
• Study determined factors affecting preferences of
garden iconographies/they can be considered by
other nations to develop a garden identity that
coincides with the preferences of their public
Knowledge
contribution
Recommendations for Further
Studies
visual appearance
Garden
Functional values & Human needs
Delight different senses emotions & minds
• Further research can focus on the specific moods,
colours, smells, textures and other senses offered
by gardens
Sustainability
Recommend
further study
Maintenance
New technology
& materials
• For Malaysia, prospective studies can be
narrowed down to cross-cultural differences and
similarities in the preferences of gardens
Water
features
Plants
Architectural
features
Survey &
Observation
shape, quality & appearance of
these elements
Recommend
further study
symbolism
&
locality
• Researchers could also examine the spatial
organizations in terms of mystery and legibility
• Tacit qualities; identify traditions, philosophy,
culture and potentials in the creation of a Malaysian
garden (based on historical evidence & people attitudes
towards landscape development in rural areas)
Recommend
further study
Publications
• The Potential of Iconography as a Method in the
Development of a New Garden Identity-Australian journal
of basic and Applied Sciences(ISI journal; ISSN 1991-8178),
published 5(12): 2239-2245, 2011
• Preferred Iconography in Developing Garden Identity for
Malaysia, Elixir Journal, Published 2011; 36:3353-3360
• Visual Preferences for the Development of a Malaysian
Garden Identity, Australian Journal of Basic and Applied
Sciences (ISI journal; ISSN 1991-8178), published 5(11): 22462253, 2011
• Iconographic Method and the Development of Emerging
Garden’s Identity, Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific
Search (ISI journal; ISSN 2090-4290)-Accepted for publication
Publications
• Factors Influencing Preferences of Garden Iconographies,
Pertanika, Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
(JSSH). (Manuscript ID:JSSH-0425-2011) -In review
• A Framework for Development of New Garden Identities,
Journal of Environment and Planning(ISI journal; ISSN 02658135). (Manuscript ID: EPB 139-022) -In review
• The Challenges and Potentials of Developing a Malaysian
Garden Identity, Kajian Malaysia (ISI journal; ISSN 01274082), (Manuscript ID: KM-OA-01-12-0002)- In review
Publications
Thank You
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