Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, proposes that when landscape is considered solely as a noun, its active role in the everyday lived experiences of humankind is lost. In this light, the volume seeks to recover landscape as not only a verb, "as process or activity," but also to recover the role of idea and the imaginary in landscape. To this end, Recovering Landscape is primarily directed toward the practicing landscape architect and how he/she can invoke this concept into his/her training, design and activities. Scholars of applied landscape who are concerned with turning idea into artifact will undoubtedly find this volume informative in guiding their practice. At the same time, theoretical landscape scholars who are interested in understanding and interpreting landscape as both cultural artifact and cultural process will also find much of interest in this volume.
The volume itself is divided into three sections: "reclaiming place and time" which explores the temporal, habitual, physical and cultural influences on the context of landscape; "constructing and representing landscape" which explores several different methods for representing landscape and how these methods can be used to approach and design landscape as a process or verb; and "urbanizing landscape" which presents what can be considered as, more or less, case studies invoking the above ideas, drawing them out in specific contexts.
The concept of understanding landscape as a process, or an activity, rather than as an object offers an unique perspective to landscape scholarship, similar to the ideas introduced by W.J.T. Mitchell in Landscape and Power (1994). This perspective brings more fully to the forefront the temporal, habitual and cultural processes that not only effect, but are integrally a part of landscape. Too often landscape is seen not only as an object, but as objective, something which exists apart from the individual and something which is larger than the individual. This notion is reversed in Recovering Landscape. The essays demonstrate that the role of an individual (as well as society) has the ability to significantly affect landscape, whether it be the landscape architect who actively designs landscape, the individual who habituates and experiences landscape, or the scholar who contributes representations of landscape. All of these are important considerations for the field of landscape study and, as such, Corner's volume articulates the various ways by which the above aspects can influence the understanding and interpretation of landscape.