Interview with young Danish Landscape Architect Johanna Bendlin!

Interview with young Danish Landscape Architect Johanna Bendlin!

" It is different to fully understand the present. [....] Things may indeed take time in the Danish landscape, but time inevitably also takes things " - Steen Høyer

We are presenting young Danish Landscape Architect Johanna Bendlin who is telling about her thesis, her aspirations for future work life as a landscape architect and her membership in DL.

Johanna Bendlin studied Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at TU Berlin and KADK where she developed her interest in Master’s degree! Her thesis ‘Down to Earth- Growing horizons’ investigates soil beyond the perception. We are presenting part of the interview with her (courtesy of Danske Landskabsarkitekter)

“What is your thesis about?

My thesis Down to Earth- Growing horizonsinvestigates soil beyond the perception of surface as an interface between the four spheres of the Earths system: Atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. In their dynamic interplay, soil, the pedosphere, develops and forms the skin of the Earth. The project introduces concepts relating to pedogenic processes, the composition of Danish ground, and proposes a new landscape connection in southern Jutland, Denmark. The work is supervised by Rikke Munck-Petersen.

Being the central interface of the Earths critical zone – through that all material production has to pass – made soil a valuable strata to explore. Scales of investigation range from geological, to centennial timescales (climate change) and decades (land-use change). Spatial scales ranging from tectonic regions to soil particles.

How can the understanding of soil as an interface support a holistic landscape architectural practice and be used to re-imagine modes of working the land in future earth-human systems?

Todays soils are characterized by human alteration. The productive focus on land (yield) constrains the natural functions, like holding and storing, and leaves the land vulnerable to the effects of changing climatic conditions. The thesis draws attention to the rural landscape. The low lying plains in south-western Denmark are the concrete object of investigation. Today, climate change already expresses itself here as more extreme weather conditions and people fear for their existence due to eroding and flooding lands. The proposal Growing horizonsconnects the local conditions to a greater narrative of planetary survival.

What are your aspirations for your future work life?

Being trained at the intersection of natural science and architecture enabled an expanded understanding and thinking that breaks the divide between nature and culture, building and landscape. I see myself continuing to lay out entanglements and explore the complex spatial systems in order to create spaces of co-habitation and more distributed agency. In light of the current crises, where just now a global pandemic puts expectations on hold, I see myself obliged to contribute. Acknowledging climate change as the current condition of our world, I aspire to a career that advances better social and ecological outcomes through the shaping of the built and natural environments. However, for me, the
landscape architectural practice can play out its capacities to design beyond the physical.

Why did you choose to be a member of Danske Landskabsarkitekter?
I became a member of DL shortly after I moved to Copenhagen. The association has been really supportive to settle into a professional community. Newsletter, magazine, and events facilitate exchange of knowledge and promote collaboration. As a student member, I could benefit from DLs travel grant that supported our study trip to Rome in 2019. Now I am looking forward to having a platform to stay connected.”

Explore Johanna’s booklet of ‘Growing Horizons’ at

You can find the full interview here:

IFLA Europe
Hunter Industries

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