Olmsted designed NYC’s Central Park and Prospect Park and was the father of American landscape architecture. 37signals recently collected some lessons from Olmsted’s approach to his work.
Olmsted believed the goal wasn’t to make viewers see his work. It was to make them unaware of it. To him, the art was to conceal art. And the way to do this was to remove distractions and demands on the conscious mind. Viewers weren’t supposed to examine or analyze parts of the scene. They were supposed to be unaware of everything that was working.