The Garden Magazine, April’s Issue
22 April, 2017
Our project with the Swanley School in east London and Farrer Huxley Associates is featured in The Garden magazine, in April’s issue. We hope that we will inspire more schools to embrace and embed horticulture into education!
The full article with photos here.
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – Here We Come!
9 April, 2017
I am very excited about the news I received a little while ago – the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) informed me that the ‘Balcony Gardens of Whitechapel’ project is moving forward, to take part in the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
The project was the winner of the 2016 ‘Green Plan It’ competition. Farrer Huxley Associates, with me as mentor, partnered with Swanley School, in Whitechapel, east London, to design a community project. We came up with the idea of transforming the balconies of the nearby council flats into small gardens, where residents could store their tools and grow herbs for their daily meals.
The journey now continues and we have three months to prepare: we need to build a 1-1 model of our green balcony module, transport it to the site and make it look perfect for showing at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in early July.
After the show, the garden will be transported back to Swanley School, where it will later be part of Swanley’s Art Week.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Turns Green
31 March, 2017
I am happy to announce my collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA): we have some new, exciting and fun ideas for workshops coming up from April onwards. We will draw, construct, observe, get dirty and have loads of fun outside whilst talking and learning about architecture and landscape.
Bring your family, friends and parents and jump aboard a ‘Green Architecture’ journey.
Is It All Green To You?
The Story Behind The Adventure
22 January, 2017
Today is the official launching day for It’s All Green To Me and I thought to share the story of how this creative adventure started.
From a very young age and as long as I can remember, I was fascinated by drawings, sketches, collages, and arts and crafts in general. My parents encouraged me in this respect by coming up with opportunities to keep me busy creating. This never stopped, and led me to choose architecture as the only creative profession I could possibly think of.
Later on in life and thanks to running a design project with young inmates in my hometown, I changed into landscape architecture. I realised that happiness could be found outside a building’s four walls, by allowing us to reconnect with nature. I learnt this from the inmates themselves: who else could be more of an expert than someone who spends 24hours in the same space?
There was no turning back for me from that point onwards. Becoming a landscape architect has broadened my design horizons but has also made me view life in a very different way; less-perfection-more-fun-and-enjoyment kind of way. This is because landscape architecture, more than a design profession, is a life science. It urges you to observe, to explore and to connect with a system. Being outdoors is the only way a landscape architect can learn to design with nature.
I am aware that most of my friends who already work as landscape architects are very tempted to say: OK, but what about the deadlines? The long hours in front of a computer? The arguments with contractors on site? Whilst all of these are real struggles (and I cannot deny any of the above) there is a side to this profession that we all tend to forget about: that it can bring about real change; to the natural and built environment and communities.
But to bring about remarkable change, we still have a long way to go in education. I am not talking about academic education: I mean primary education. Learning to observe, to use our senses, to admire, to contemplate, to ‘read’ our surroundings, to experiment, to draw and to make.
Since I went into landscape, I kept thinking: If we had all been educated as landscape architects from a young age, we would probably be happier adults, living in healthier cities.
All these thoughts, experiences and values, from my early childhood to my adult and professional life together with my love for landscape and design have resulted in me setting up It’s All Green To Me, offering landscape design education to anyone from the ages of 10-110. My aim is to deliver the most imaginative class you will ever experience so that you leave the class inspired and feeling you have gained knowledge in design and landscape.
If you also think that “Green is the new Black” – feel free to “like” the Facebook page, leave a comment, make a question or even better join a workshop!
Being a Landscape Ambassador – a first impression
16 December, 2016
A very interesting day yesterday at Alexandra Palace, when I and my friend Karolina wore our Ambassador hats and promoted our profession to a careers fair for A-Level students.
It is important that people are informed about what landscape architecture is and how it can influence and shape the future of our cities. Landscape architects have a holistic knowledge of science and art, a combination of skills that is unique in the construction industry. A landscape architect is asked to design a space with ecology, art, biology, horticulture, architecture and urban planning in mind.
We had some very good candidates at the fair, who asked for more in-depth information about the profession and the differences between being an architect and a landscape architect. As a general observation, I noticed that many people seemed to confuse landscape architecture with gardening or horticulture, and were surprised to hear that as landscape architects we spend most of our time indoors designing and sketching. The reality is that we would give anything to spend some time outdoors planting and digging!
Highlight of the day? Nearly all the mums wished they were landscape architects: a new target group to promote our profession to!
‘Green Plan It’ Challenge: Award-winners!
12 December, 2016
Very excited to share this news, as we have been awarded first prize for the RHS’s ‘Green Plan It’ Challenge! Team Swanleaf, with a group of five students, gave an outstanding speech and presentation on their project ‘Balcony Gardens of Whitechapel’. I hope that everyone enjoyed the challenge as much as I did: a prize is a great reward for all the hard work of the past ten weeks. It put a smile on everyone’s faces. Here’s to the next challenge!