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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Power of place : linking people, history, and nature visions for an interpretive trail on Mission Flats Middleton, Colette

Abstract

It has long been demonstrated that increased appreciation of place initiates stewardship and responsible management of the land. Interpretative design possesses the potential to generate this stewardship through recovering the connections between place and the people that inhabit it. It is essential that interpretation be integrated into the everyday landscape to deepen one's respect of the past and one's commitment to its future. This vision of an interpretive trail in Mission, British Columbia, explores techniques of illuminating place history to inspire and challenge cognitive participation with the landscape. The format of this project begins with a discussion of the values and limits of interpretative methods. Secondly, the study area is introduced through site reconnaissance with special emphasis on historical morphology and social history. Next, interpretive design strategies are explored in conjunction with significant landscape precedents, culminating in a design approach for an interpretive trail on Mission Flats. Six nodes along the trail serve as keystones for this approach, with individual nodes revealing historical processes, both natural and cultural, through design. Akin to Mission Flats, every place is intimately bound to the people and events that have shaped it. Illumination of this connection is the goal of interpretive design. The planning and design phases of development are incomplete without the inclusion of this holistic vision of place. It is therefore imperative that we further explore interpretive design, so that it may be integrated into the oft-impersonal contemporary landscape, for the generation of authentic place identity.

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