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July 2004 Issue

Fabricated Landscape
Fabrics are often overlooked as landscape design elements.

By Deborah W. Dalton, ASLA

Fabricated Landscape
Deborah W Dalton

Landscape architects seem to be overlooking the great potential that fabric in the landscape holds. Recent years have seen substantial advances in fabric longevity and durability in outdoor settings as well as expanded options for texture, color, and type of use. Beyond geotextiles and geomembranes, fabric elements include traditional umbrellas, awnings, canopies, tents, banners, and flags as well as newer shapes made possible by the use of tensioned structures—for example, shade sails, "hypars" (hyperbolic paraboloids), and dramatic sculptural shapes that can be seen as functional art.

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