“Certain pleasures, ambiguous grounds: the etymology and evolution of the pleasure garden” by Lake Douglas, associate professor, Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, appeared in the spring issue of the Journal of Landscape Architecture, published by the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS). The article continues Douglas’s investigation of “pleasure gardens” and “pleasure grounds,” first published in Public Spaces, Private Gardens (LSU Press, 2011) and as a chapter in The Pleasure Garden, from Vauxhall to Coney Island (University Press of Pennsylvania, 2013). By identifying historical definitions and references to these two largely forgotten landscape typologies from the 17th century to the present, this article explores different ways landscape historians have used the terms over time, the evolutionary relevance of these spaces in the design and use of public spaces, and how these spaces reflect social structures and consumer demands.
In 2012, his article, “Situation Wanted: Using Workforce Characteristics to Understand the Cultural Landscape of New Orleans,” appeared in Landscape Research (Vol. 36, No. 6), the academic journal of the Landscape Research Group (LRG), a nonprofit charity based in Oxford, England, that aims to promote research and understanding of the landscape for public benefit. This research, emerging from a paper Douglas delivered at the Landscape History Symposium at the annual meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians in 2010, looks at the ethnic and cultural composition of garden workers in 19th-century New Orleans as a means of gaining a more thorough understanding of the evolution of garden design and plant uses in that time period.
About Lake Douglas
Lake Douglas is an associate professor at the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. In August 2013, he was appointed as the associate dean of research and development at the LSU College of Art + Design. Douglas received a bachelor of landscape architecture from LSU, a master in landscape architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a PhD from the University of New Orleans. His dissertation research involved horticultural commerce as an agency of community growth, and his current research involves documenting 18th- and 19th-century urban life in New Orleans through the development of public and private open spaces. His other areas of interest include community enhancement through cultural development, using research skills to inform design strategies, and the development of communication skills through effective writing. Douglas’s most recent book, Public Spaces, Private Gardens: A History of Designed Landscapes in New Orleans (LSU Press, 2011), received Honor Awards from both the national organization and the Louisiana chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and was awarded the Kemper and Leila Williams Prize by the Louisiana Historical Association in 2012. Douglas has also been published in numerous American and European anthologies, books, journals, and professional publications. His professional work and research confirm landscape architecture as a profession that accommodates multiple disciplines and opportunities.