From Arcadia to Zeus: my first year on the Web

The twentieth century's cultural landscape

Chair's closing address

Tom Worthington

ACS Canberra Branch Conference: MULITNET'95

Et in Arcadia ego
The Roman writer Cicero termed what we would call the cultural landscape a second nature (alteram naturam). This was a landscape of bridges, roads, harbours, fields - in short, all the elements which men and women introduce into the physical world to make it more habitable, to make it serve their purposes.
Hunt 1992


John Hunt in his "Gardens and the picturesque: studies in the history of landscape architecture", argues that English landscape architects of the 18th century, notably Lancelot "Capability" Brown, designed what now considered the "natural" English countryside. How we think of city design, as well as the countryside was influenced by these designers. The theme of this talk is that in building the bridges and roads of the InfoBahn we must act as the architects of the cultural landscape of our future society.

The landscape of information services we lay out now will become the "natural" environment in which our culture will be expressed. We must take as much care with each hypertext link and page, as "Capability" Brown took with trees and water, to create something for the future.

I started my first year on the Web with a personal account of holiday, involving "Arcadia" and ended it preparing the Defence Department's home page. So this is "A" for Arcadia to "Z" for Zeus (the god of war)...

A is for Arcadia

B to Y

Z is for Zeus

Key Issues

Next Steps

Questions and Thanks


Anonymous, "Et in Arcadia ego - And I too in Arcadia" from the Oxford Book of English Quotation, Oxford University Press, 1979

Hunt, John Dickson. "Gardens and the picturesque: studies in the history of landscape architecture", Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1992. Introduction