Mark Butz has
research, writing and publishing services under the banner of Learnscapes since 1992.
adopted ‘–scape’ as a
indicate a wide scene or view of a place or a process, in this case
creating a combined
form of ‘learning from/in/about/for landscapes’. In
the 1990s this work included the multi‑award-winning
School Community Environment Program at Aranda Primary School in
as an environmental scientist, and has held a lifelong interest in earth sciences,
archaeology and history,
and over the past four decades in human/social ecology, exploring our
relationship with the environment - how it affects us as people, and
affect it in turn.
In recent years
re-focused his Learnscapes offerings to
specialise in works which cast a different light on the world we live
‘environmental literacy’ by
readers to appreciate the symbolic language of the environment as an
whole and as a web of dynamic connections and flows
heighten the value placed
both natural and cultural landscape by generating new understanding and
readers to accept their
creating the future and their responsibility to make choices which
environment and society.
Learnscapes approach embodies:
and Creative responsibility
Our products interweave natural
cultural heritage in the processes
of discovery, learning and responsible decision-making.
Discovering and learning from the past (what has
been) can enhance our understanding of the present (what is) and
inspire us to create
a better future (what could be).
includes presentation of previously unknown or forgotten stories, and
stories in new frames of meaning or connection, to create new
insights or values.
We use unfolding story to decode or
of meaning in a landscape which is inextricable from the people.
A holistic approach to landscape encompasses
all elements with which people interact (living and non-living,
contrast, some approaches emphasise a setting for human activity
rather than an interactive environment.
may inadvertently generate distance between the physical landscape and
people who inhabit(ed) it, as if the landscape is something apart, a
stage to be
viewed by an audience.
Valuing and Connection
We see all elements in the
significant and inter-related.
Significance here is
akin to gravitational pull – it is about resonance, relevance and
(breadth, depth, moment) of inter-relationships between people and the
landscape, expressed in mutual connection and creation.
contrasts with the use of significance to portray certain elements in
the landscape as good or highly valued, and other elements as poor or
valued, against supposedly objective criteria.
approach acknowledges that not all values can be related to
not all can be readily objectified, quantified or ranked.
Continuity and Change
Where people and landscapes
are changed to some extent, and at the same time there is a degree of
of past activity and use nor the broader landscape can be understood
reference to the other.
Both need to be
and managed to maintain the integrity, meaning, and significance of the
The loss of one reduces the
significance of the other.
present a living, dynamic landscape which is
never a finished product or a mere
relic of the past, because people constantly create new layers of
meanings and values.