As we spend more time indoors due to social distancing and lockdowns, one may contemplate and crave the outdoors. Join us for a fascinating session on the future trajectory of designing for our outdoor environment. Landscape Architect and Lecturer at The University Of Edinburgh Elinor Scarth, Co-founder and Principal Landscape Architect at FICUS Aparna Rao and Landscape Architectand Designer Hemali Samant, will be in conversation with Landscape Architect, Researcher, Professor and Proprietor at Artemisia Nikhil Dhar. Be they verdant visions or urban utopias, tune in to discover the futurescape of innovative landscape architecture and garden design in India and around the world.
Elinor Scarth is a landscape architect and lecturer at the University of Edinburgh where she directs the Master in Landscape Architecture programme. With over ten years experience working in an international context with renowned landscape and architecture practices, Elinor has managed a wide ranging portfolio of projects from private gardens and public spaces, to the design of a 60 hectare park including 10 hectares of intertidal mangrove swamp. Elinor has led multidisciplinary design projects in Europe and the near and middle east.Elinor’s approach to research is enriched by a ‘making with’ approach to landscape architecture design; conscientious of the processes that form and perpetually transform landscapes, Elinor aspires to develop work that allows us to observe, understand, and question the landscapes we inhabit. She considers landscape architecture to be as much about creating the conditions for transformation as the need for a masterplan; this perspective does not overlook the necessity for design, drawing, and blueprints. The activation of a landscape through the invitation to physical exploration and the staging of landscapes through performances or socially engaged interactive experiences are instrumental to her investigation process. In addition to her work at the Edinburgh College of Art she has led design studios at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paysage and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture in Marseille, taught on the European Masters in Landscape Architecture (EMiLA) programme and co-organized the EMiLA summer school in 2015. Elinor has a sustained interest in coastal landscapes and performative fieldwork methods. Her 2006 work navigating the edge explored through an embodied physical performance the coast of the Firth of Forth from both a waterborne and land based perspective as described in the forthcoming Fieldwork in Landscape Architecture, Methods Actions Tools (Taylor & Francis). An interest in thinking through making permeates both her teaching, practice and research and her exploration of the design process has been investigated through collaborative projects such as the L’Abeille Noire de Pourquerolles at the Land Art Festival «au coeur des Méditerranées», Domaine du Rayol in France, Champs de biere at the ‘Ville et Champs’ Festival in Geneva, and the Tunisian Playground Sculptures co-design project in El Guettar, in collaboration with the «Association Tunisienne pour l’Art Environnemental».In her work the elaboration of fictional or real scenarios often becomes the mechanism for opening up an imaginary that informs design practice commissions, installations, in-situ workshops, and exhibitions. With a particular interest in the element of water she is drawn to projects situated in coastal conditions: recent research and design projects include studies for a 35ha lagoon and wadi park in El-Aaiún, and a forest park network for a 1,300ha future urban development site near El Jadida, both located in Morocco. In 2017 Elinor co-organized an active reconnaissance of the North Coast 500 tourist route in the Scottish Highlands; 20 participants from across Europe critically explored the life of the road through art, design, and architecture. She is currently leading a postgraduate design studio project exploring the impact and future of the north coast landscapes of Scotland: The journey north, actants and assemblages of a north sea coast. This studio focuses design enquiry examining the paradoxes, problematics, and potentials present in the landscapes of the north of Scotland. The studio seeks to question the notion of the roadtrip, the concept of wilderness, the prevailing enchantment of the picturesque and the legacy of 18th Century aesthetics in landscape architecture.Read more
Aparna Rao is a Landscape Architect with a deep interest in reading landscapes and places through cultural and ecological histories. Her work aspires to blur interdisciplinary boundaries related to Landscape Architecture, Landscape Archaeology, Human geography and Botanical history. Aparna is a Founder and Principal at FICUS, a landscape architecture practice located in Bengaluru, India. The firm works on landscape and ecological planning, peri-urban areas, historic sites, cultural and institutional projects, urban open space structure plans, master planning briefs for campuses and projects in leisure and hospitality sectors. A few have translated into critical recognition and awards for sensitive approaches, ecological performance, resource consciousness and an ability to delight and educate. Aparna also leads the firm’s research and documentation on historic gardens and conducts landscape appreciation walks.Read more
Hemali Samant is a practicing Landscape Architect based in Mumbai. She did her Masters in Landscape Architecture from CEPT, Ahmedabad. She gained her professional experience from various firms & has been involved in several mainstream projects ranging from public to private sector. She has won a few accolades for landscape design by Architecture digest india and ISOLA (Indian Society of Landscape architects). She was part of AD100 list influential designers in India in 2017 . She believes in hands-on approach where site and landscape integrate together. Every project of hers tries to explore native plants, local materials and techniques, responding to each biome, urban reality and cultural context into design.Read more
Nikhil Dhar completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi in 1988 and his Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1991. He has been a practicing landscape architect since 1996 as principal of the firm Artemisia. Projects completed by Artemisia have included projects in fields including hospitality, institutional campuses, housing complexes, residential projects, parks and corporate offices. Nikhil has been a member of the visiting faculty at the Departments of Landscape Architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi; the Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Gurgaon and CEPT University, Ahmedabad. He is an active member of the Indian Society of Landscape Architects, has been involved in the Education Board of ISOLA for many years and has also served as Chairperson of this body. At this time, he is a member of the Steering Committee of the Board. Nikhil has a keen interest in ecological approaches to design. He is also involved in the study of Landscape Architecture academics and is currently working on articles related to the teaching of landscape architecture in India.Read more