Michel Desvigne (French, b.1958) of Michel Desvigne Paysagiste, MDP (France)
In Qatar Transforming Landscapes, the Qatari landscape is studied closely. The project seeks elements that could nourish landscape projects located in the city. As always, natural geography yields particular forms and situations, which include agricultural and urban practices. The dry river valleys—the famous wadis—sometimes carry runoff water and concentrate a little moisture the rest of the time. Sparse but specific vegetation develops in this environment, producing shapes that flow and meander. Agriculture has created dykes, reservoirs, and canals, whose logic and geometries are superimposed on natural geography and topography. Many of the mangroves growing on the coast, where they form a precious ecosystem, have been destroyed in the Gulf by port, industrial, or tourist developments – although some have been conserved. There are also dunes, the places where they touch the water, lagoons etc. In reading and rereading the landscape, its history and practices, and transposing it–it became possible to establish a vocabulary for the differently scaled projects that followed.