The Bench in the Garden

An Inquiry into the Scopic History of a Bench


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The Bench in the Garden, by Michael Jakob, does not simply provide a catalogue of ‘interesting’ benches. Rather, it proposes an interdisciplinary journey toward understanding how benches orient, teach, create emotions, and direct our ‘ways of seeing’ while functioning as an integral garden object.

SpecificationsSKU: 90646Size: 6.25″ x 9.5″ Potrait Pages: 200pp Binding: softbound Publication Date: May 2017 ISBN: 978-1-939621-79-5 World Rights: Available
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The bench, an apparently small and almost irrelevant object, appears to function as a significant object in both through specific physical placement and in a more general sense—that of the blended domain of aesthetics, garden history, architecture, spatiality and subjectivity. The bench acts as a powerful visual machine, regulating the reception of a landscape in what it has to offer to its visitors. By transmitting verbal messages through inscriptions, citing other benches as part of a complex walk circuit, providing rest and inviting users to discover new aspects of the site, this highly polysemic element orients and disorients the visitor at the same time.

Michael Jakob is Professor of History and Theory of Landscape at hepia (Geneva), Politecnico di Milano, Accademia dell’Architettura di Mendrisio as well as Professor of Comparative Literature (Chair) at Grenoble University. His teaching and research focuses on landscape theory, aesthetics, the history of vertigo, contemporary theories of perception and the poetics of architecture. He is the founder and head of COMPAR(A)ISON, an International Journal of Comparative Literature. He produced several documentary films for TV and has longstanding experience as a radio journalist.

The Bench in the Garden Reviewed by Landscape Architecture Magazine

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 10 × 8 × 2 in

6.25" x 9.5" Potrait





Publication date

May 2017



World rights