Starting with an array of discourses on cultural landscape, this project attempts to establish a theoretic framework about landscape, and adopts the concept of 'landscape narrative' to integrate a great diversity of discourses from academic landscape studies, landscape writing, and landscape interpretation; then further explores the feasibility of linking it with the conceptualizing process of landscape planning and design. Landscape narrative is a cross-disciplinary proposal based largely on landscape studies and narrative theory, and inevitably involving the fields of human geography, cultural studies, and literary theory; therefore, plotting an effective narrative structure to connect different 'stories' and 'discourses' and to represent the landscape subject is itself an embodiment of theoretic praxis.
The first part of the thesis is focused on theoretic researches, which structuralize the relationship between landscape theory and narrative theory on one hand; while on the other hand, apply the method of content analysis to decode landscape meaning and narrative structure of various media and forms of representation, and further probe into the studies of 'intertextuality,' 'deconstruction,' and 'meta-narrative' as experimental concepts for structuring landscape narratives. On such grounding, the theoretic dimension of general landscape studies can be expanded, and the interaction between landscape content and conceptualization of landscape planning and design is also reinforced.
The second half of the thesis employs spatial practices of a physical landscape to evaluate the established theory of landscape narrative as well as to re-interpret the landscape meaning of the site according to such a perspective. The Treasure Hill settlement, located at the edge of Taipei city, is chosen due to her isolated status and particular landscape form and context – especially her marginal condition of mixing various periods of rural immigrants and social underclass attracts many associated imaginations from cinema directors and artists. The Treasure Hill narrative has been re-written by different authors in recent years under the struggle between landscape conservation and squatter demolition policies. Her spatial processes are high-strung with narrative tension. And in the experimental GAPP (Global Artivists Participation Project) of 2003, many individuals and teams bring up artivist proposals according to the landscape characteristics of Treasure Hill, and engage in serious dialogues with the community and landscape via spatial interventions of conscious acts. The dialectics about cultural subjects and place identity in the landscape narratives break away from the much taken-for-granted slogan of community renaissance, hence induce multi-layers of retrospection on the production of landscape meanings and reconstruct landscape texts within the extant spatial context. These landscape narratives open up the boundaries and structural ends of interpretations, and become the containers of local landscape meanings. These discourses augment perceivable dimensions to future planning and design and will hopefully inspire further reading of cultural and urban landscape.