They design, they modify and they manage the world around us. Our cities, our waterways, our space. Two weeks ago the crème de la crème of landscape architects were recognized in the Landscape Institute’s biennial awards.
The Landscape Institute is the UK’s chartered body for landscape architects, planners and scientists, a prestigious organisation founded in 1929. The awards seek to identify “outstanding examples of work” in both improving and protecting the British landscape.
ECA publication Open Space: People Space, from the Open Space research centre was handed the prestigious research award for its unusual investigation into social interaction with the environment, particularly the ways in which our environment can provide for our health and wellbeing in the modern age. The groundbreaking book, edited by Catharine Ward Thompson and Penny Travlou—both part of the Open Space research team—covers a range of topics from design to policy in its 220 pages. The conclusions reached in the book recommend innovation and creativity in meeting future challenges, such as access for all to our great outdoors.
Subjects broached include exploration of “identity, space and social exclusion,” healing gardens for those with Alzheimer’s, and effects on children the outdoors may have. Open Space, then, is certainly not your typical eco-group.
Anna Orme of Open Space research centre said: “Open Space are pleased that the importance of our research has been recognized, and given a wider audience.” A wider audience indeed: the group is currently working on projects for a host of clients including the Scottish Government and the Forestry Commission. Seven years after its creation, Open Space is helping shape our world.
Also recognized at the award ceremony was John Stuart Murray, Head of ECA’s Landscape Architecture School. John was made a Fellow of the Institute, a highly coveted position and one which will help ECA cement its world-class position in teaching, training and research.