The multifunctionality of MFFD solutions results in the convergence of different disciplines, experts and stakeholders. Landscape architects aim to gather, combine and synthesize this variety of knowledge through participatory (co)design processes. One of the primary means of communication during a design process are visual representations of spatial interventions, technical solutions, aesthetic ideas etc. Despite this reliance on the visual, there is no visual research approach available that allows a critical reflection on how these representations function within planning and design processes; how they facilitate the sharing of knowledge that is so important for a just, transparent design process.
Within this PhD project, such an approach is developed by combining theory and methods from disciplines such as communication science, art history, and political geography. Concepts such as semiotics (Peirce), simulacra (Baudrillard), and power/knowledge (Foucault) are combined to describe how the visual communication (i.e. creation and interpretation) of landscape designs by a variety of stakeholders influences the design process. These insights are used in order to suggest visualization strategies that enable more effective and knowledgeable communication between stakeholders, this could in turn result in more novel design solutions as well as an increase in public support for these solutions.
This research projects seeks intensive collaboration with knowledge institute Deltares. The main case study of this PhD is the Rebuild by Design project, which Deltares experts are involved in. Deltares is thus very interested in this project and its results, is willing to cooperate in this and invested financially in this cooperation.