Change is the only Constant

Landscape Foundation Students Design Competition 2016 – “Landscape: Change is the only constant” is an attempt to provoke and encourage students to explore and expand the idea of the ‘impermanence’ in our landscapes. It is an attempt to trigger their thoughts to look at landscapes through the lens of temporality, recognizing their inherent relation with natural processes, hence time, which is always in a transient mode.

You cannot step twice into the same river.
– Heraclitus, Greek philosopher

Landscape design is a spatial design discipline which is close to nature. Landscape is typically a composition of natural elements—land, water and vegetation—through which an artist or a designer conceptualizes and finally realizes a creative endeavour. Visualized to fulfil various aesthetic and functional uses, they provide a framework to a site within which the designer works. Having the natural attributes of a living medium, landscapes are born {or, conceptualized}, they grow, and they decay to be reborn again, following the processes of nature, its rhythms and different moods throughout the year. In the order of nature, they are true reflection of time, changing with each season as well as over the years, decades, and centuries, with a unique, dynamic and real quality which is ever changing and never permanent. Observing the journey of water in rivers, the changing water level in reservoirs, the growth of plants and trees, and evolution and disintegration of rock, earth, and sand over the years is evidence that impermanence is an integral part of the aesthetic experience of a landscape. Landscapes should be viewed with a deep understanding of their temporal dimension which makes the art of landscape design relate to the larger reality of the world that everything in the Universe, governed by the laws of thermodynamics, is in transition.

Keywords: sense of time, transition, permanence, evergreen, instant, ready-made, fast-growing, contextual, regional


You may think of a generic or specific physical setting in India which you believe has a potential for exploring of ideas. Create an idea which relates the setting with the theme. Communicate the unique sense of experience and a sense of place it creates. You may select a site of an ongoing design studio or live project which fulfils the theme criteria. The idea matters and unconventional and radical approaches towards the theme will be encouraged.