Doug Bois’s concern with people is their inability to perceive. In most of his works he tries to activate this sense through the use of virtual reality. In River (1996) he created a miniature landscape with running water. People might wonder the artist ability to get the water effect since they think is fake but as he said it is real water. “It is only by the cue of the title that people think of it as virtual reality…In fact, it is what it looks like, it has real water flowing in it, an assemblage of micro-elements.” (Bois qtd. in Grande 2) This work of art by Bois, of course, is not a real landscape with the exception of the water in it but the well use of nature in this “synthetic” environment induce people to respond to it.




River, 1996.
Mixed media, miniature diorama of landscape with running water, viewed through 12' x 10' lens.



In another work of art, Mountain (1999), Bois comments: “I let the natural forces create it. I would at the very top, pour sand on it…[and] I just let it go.” (Bois qtd. in Grande 5) Mountain’s peculiarity resides in the way Bois use natural elements to sculpt his work and somehow contain it in a manmade box. It is artificial but built naturally. It is kind of wear because you think of landscape as unmovable and yet in Mountain the landscape could be moved. As with fountains the same concept keeps working. Fountains function as containers of nature in the form of water. The water keeps moving and flowing in this container. John Grande assertively said: “They are actually containers, the landscape becomes a kind of memento.” (Grande 5) Both are places of remembrance and peace that move humans toward a healing process.













Mountain in a Box, 1999.
Steel, foam rubber dust, soil, and pigment, 35" x 40" x 38".



Finally, the contrast found in Virtual reality with landscape architecture. Virtual reality replaces reality with images. In this aspect John Grande said: “The strange synthetic or denaturized landscapes…are highly simplified appropriations used by designers to present an ideal of what we look in a landscape.” (Grande 3) Images in this case are artificial, even though, they present images of real landscapes. In reality those images are more complicated than they appear. In landscape architecture nature presents many more details that cannot be found in an image. Images give you just a sketch of what you could feel in comparison with a real environment in which the viewer is asked to think his relation with nature.


            Landscape architecture, by the other hand tries to restore reality with landform.  Thompson, who wrote a research paper for the Ethics, Place & Environment magazine, admits that landscape architecture’s central purpose is to mitigate the detrimental effects of earlier phases of development in an area. This way restores the land and it reaches the status of meaningful art (Thompson 1-13).

            Instead of replacing reality, as virtual art does, landscape architecture restores it. The restore place then becomes a space that influences human emotions. Thompson declared: Landscape architecture, conceive thus, is a therapeutic enterpriseby providing psychological relief and by fostering feelings of identity and community. (Thompson 6) Maya Lin in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial tried to restore the reality of what was happening, this been of a war with lots of casualties. She also provided relief to the pain and suffering of many people by creating a memorial that will take them through a healing process.






In ancient times the Japanese, influenced by the Japanese and Koreans, had garden settings integrated to palaces, temples, teahouses and private houses. Japanese landscape architects, sometimes Zen monks and painters, planned carefully every element of a garden. They included pools and waterfalls; rocks, stone, and sand. There purpose was to create an effect of harmony and peace ( Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia). Landscape architecture, thus, finds human relation to nature and art. Virtual reality most of the times becomes just a window for landscape architecture.


Japanese landscape design varies from the austere sand, rock, and moss gardens of Buddhist monasteries to elaborate palace gardens. Most Japanese gardens use stones, bushes and trees, and water to suggest or replicate natural settings. Typical plants in Japanese gardens include azaleas, cut-leaf maples, and pines.








Both, virtual art and landscape architecture utilize and manipulate nature, art and design to address humans to a particular environment and drive them through a process of therapeutic healing. Virtual reality, do to technology in the media, is too packed with information that the viewer looses his perception. The flow of images brutalizes experience with reality. But Bois priority in his works is that through the use of virtual art, he activates perception in his viewers. There is little virtual art that evokes a mediated response. Bois in his works of art reaches any kind of people. Landscape architecture also reaches peoples emotions. Fountains are an example that people could feel relief, peace, and healing. Maya Lin skillfully moved water to showed life continuity. In landscape art, architects try to restore reality with art and design. Thus, they create a place of meditation and harmony.    


Fountains: Splash and Spectacle. Smithsonian  <http://  EXHIBITIONS/                                                                  



Grande, John k. An Interview with Doug Buis. Sculpture Magazine.  March 2000,

      Vol. 19, No. 2.



Landscape Architecture. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia . 1999.



Thompson, Ian. Aesthetic Social And Ecological Values In Landscape Architecture: A 

      Discourse Analysis. Ethics, Place & Environment.  June 2000, Vol. 3, Issue 2.



Thompson, Ian. Aesthetic Social And Ecological Values In Landscape Architecture: A

      Discourse Analysis. Ethics, Place &  Environment. October 2000, Vol. 3, Issue 3.



"Vietnam Veterans Memorial." Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia . 1999.