Exploring the Role of the Artifact: An Evolution of Form, Function and Memory in the Urban Landscape

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Virginia Tech


The urban landscape is a diverse environment that is constantly evolving. Such change does not remove and replace all of the remnants of the city's past, however, and the remaining artifacts become key pieces of local identity as a result of their persistence. Even so, artifacts are also complex entities and their definition and value can be drastically different given the context in which they exist. Nonetheless, artifacts can be broadly understood as interactive elements in the urban landscape that become enmeshed in their surrounding community, and serve a vital role as a result. This enquiry examines that role of artifacts in the urban landscape and seeks to uncover how such a role can inform effective design practice into the future.



landscape architecture, urban design, urban landscape, artifact, Memory, preservation