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Primary Sensory Modalities

Philippines Landscape

Philippines Landscape

As a Landscape Designer I have found that my creativity and holistic approach utilize my primary sensory modalities. Visual, and Kinesthetic/Tactile are indeed a large part of designing a landscape. This expression, through the use of plants to create natural spaces, is energy within me that is free flowing and continuous. This is what is called the Flow experience, “A peak experience in which a person concentrates of some activity so deeply that he or she temporarily forgets all worries or uncertainties related to his or her competency or life situation. (Csikszentmihalyi, 1993)” (Hakkarainen, nd)


Arranging plants in a landscape activates my visual sensory modality, immediately upon arrival of a new site my eyes are assimilating the surroundings and becoming familiar with the land. This assimilation is then translated to an actual drawing to further stimulate the visual sensory modality. 


By being active in the design process on many levels I am stimulating my mind at the same time having physical interaction with everything from the plants and the land to all the people involved, especially my workers. By showing them how to do certain things in the field it makes it easier for them to learn. Communication barriers such as langue are overcome through the use of example.

     One of the things I have learned as a natural process, is the Incubation Effect and how it is useful in helping solve problems. In a situation where I am not sure what I am going to do, let’s says for a particular spot in a garden, I decide that since I am unable to figure it out I leave the problems and it naturally fixes itself. The last job I did was completely done on the fly by using the Incubation Effect process. Incubation Effect “In many cases, when we are unsuccessfully trying to solve a problem, happens that after interrupting our problem-solving efforts for a while, the solutions emerges almost immediately when we start to work with the problem again.” (Hakkarainen, nd)

     On a spiritual level I am always experiencing a release when in the process of designing landscapes. Incorporating Flow experience makes it a truly spiritual event every time, from an image in my head into a beautiful garden.

“Carl Jung believed images are expressions of deep human experience and our authentic selves. They are the natural and primary language for the psyche and only secondarily do we move to conceptual thought. Jung saw images as clues to the un-lived life that move toward some form of outward expression and urged others to look at the images of their lives in a symbolic way so as to reveal deeper meanings and their fuller, more authentic selves.” (Valters Paintner, 2007)

     There is a lot to be said about the affects I myself feel from creating landscape and being in touch with nature. This profession has been very rewarding in giving me diverse outlets for my creativity. Building things such as Arbors and Trellises, designing and building water features are a few of the many ways I can use my creativity using my primary sensory modalities.

Philippines Landscape

Philippines Landscape



Hakkarainen, K. (n.d.). Theories on Creativity. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from

Valters Paintner, C. (2007, January). The Relationship between Spirituality and Artistic Expression: Cultivating the Capacity for Imagining. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from