NAKHARA (Journal of Environmental Design and Planning)


Sim Woo-kyung

Publication Date



Homo sapiens are concerned with the environmental crisis. There are many attempts to solve the ecological problems through various disciplines; scientific, political, historical, sociological, religiousand architectural. But the situation is getting worse. There seems to be no special subject of study which can solve the problem except landscape architecture. The main roles of landscape architects are to preserve the natural environment, such as national parks or sea coasts, and to improve the built environment, such as cities and consumed natural resources. But only visible landscapes have been the focus. The environments consist of not only the visible, but also invisible ones. Owing to Western scientific approaches, since the Industrial Revolution, the invisible environment has been forgotten.One hundred years ago, Keller (1915) argued that the physical environment is not all. There is the societal environment of fellow-animals, and there is yet another environment which does not appear in nature at all: the imaginary environment of ghosts and spirits. He argued that this significant universal belief is a case of parallelism, one of the greatest concerns in primitive life was adapting to that spiritual environment. A Korean scholar, Son Jin-tae (2002), who was kidnapped during Korean War, cited Keller's assertion. Son Jin-tae emphasized that the disappearance of the third imaginary environment should be restored in Korean culture. But no one pays attention to this third environment. Environments are classified as physical-spatial, economic-social, aesthetic-visual, ecological-natural, historic-cultural and spiritual-inner environments in six fields (Kwaak, 2014). Moreover, the environments might be sub-classified in detail as natural, socio-economic, cultural-traditional, ecological, symbolic, aesthetic, astrological, acoustic and spiritual in nine fields. Most of them are important for humans and should be considered in global planning and design. But the spiritual environment can be acknowledged as a core environment for the quality of life. In this article, values of spiritual environment for landscape architecture will be discussed.

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