عنوان مقاله [English]
As a profession in the making, there are several challenges facing landscape architecture in the Middle East. On the one hand, there is the epistemological problematic of contextualizing the Western, layered meaning of the word landscape to the geographical and cultural complexity of the region. On the other hand, there is the challenge of liberating current pre-conceptions of landscape from the focus on appearance, namely of landscape as scenery. A decontextualized, narrow understanding fails to draw on the rich historical landscape heritage of the Middle East, undermines the potential of landscape as an interdisciplinary investigative framework and restricts the professional scope of landscape architecture to superficial beautification. This paper advances the holistic, dynamic approach of ecological landscape design, arguing that ecology can (a) contextualize the meaning of landscape, beyond the here and now, to respond to regional ecology and incorporate historical and vernacular landscape heritage and (b) expand the discourse of landscape architecture to embrace not only appearance but also environmental, ecological, socio-economic and political dimensions. A range of applications are cited to demonstrate the complexity and versatility of a holistic landscape framework and its potential in advancing scholarship and professional practice in landscape architecture.