Fifty years of landscape architecture education celebrated at Leeds Beckett
The event, held on Wednesday 19 October at 4pm at Leeds Beckett’s city centre Rose Bowl building, will include a public exhibition of current and past students’ work, both in education and practice, alongside the Landscape Institute’s annual general meeting (AGM). The Landscape Institute is the Royal Chartered body for landscape architects, which provides accreditation for Leeds Beckett’s degree programmes.
The celebration will start with a panel discussion looking ahead to the next 50 years of landscape architecture education. This will be followed by the Landscape Institute’s AGM at 5.30pm, the annual Jellicoe Lecture at 7pm, and a drinks reception from 8.15pm. For more information, please visit the Landscape 50 website and follow @LandscapeLBU on Twitter.
Edwin Knighton, Principal Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at Leeds Beckett, commented: “We are proud to be celebrating 50 years of landscape architecture education at Leeds Beckett. It is a time to reflect on the achievements of the course and its graduates and point the way forward to the creative challenges that lie ahead: such as the value of green space in creating climate resilient cities. Our exhibition will showcase selected examples from more than a thousand graduates who have made their mark on the landscape. A staggering breadth of work from around the world with a focus on the Yorkshire region provides a range of project examples of unparalleled interest and value.”
The Jellicoe Lecture was established to honour Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, a founding member of the Landscape Institute and founding President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA). Following introductions by Edwin Knighton and Merrick Denton-Thompson, President of the Landscape Institute, three experts will reflect on innovative approaches to engaging communities with landscape and green infrastructure.
Sarah Main will begin by discussing the Chatsworth House project, which is working with deprived communities and refugees to encourage them to explore the landscapes of Capability Brown as part of the Capability Brown Festival. Alan Simson, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Forestry at Leeds Beckett, will then speak about his new research which centres around engaging people with urban forestry and green infrastructure. Finally, Pam Warhurst, Founder of Incredible Edible in Leeds, will present their latest plans to promote urban agriculture.
Edwin said: “As a professional design-based course, we think it’s vital to get out there and apply our design skills to live projects, working with real clients and through this to challenge and interrogate accepted ways thinking and doing. The theme of this year’s Jellicoe Lecture, ‘New ways of engaging communities with landscape’, picks up this key part of the Leeds Beckett ethos.”
Former Leeds Beckett landscape architecture students are invited to submit work for the exhibition, which will be featured online and will be displayed throughout the week at the Rose Bowl. Submissions should be a 50cm by 50cm, high resolution PDF document representing a project or collection of projects and should be received by Friday 7 October. Please contact the Landscape Institute at email@example.com to take part.
Current students’ work is set to include projects from the University’s annual ‘Design and Community’ programme, which sees students create design proposals for public landscapes across Yorkshire, making a real difference for real clients in local communities.
Edwin explained: “Over the last 40 years, our annual Design and Community project has taken student designs beyond the drawing board, allowing them to work in partnership with local people. It’s played a crucial role, responding to over 150 community requirements for modest everyday landscapes that meet their needs for children’s play, food production and wildlife. It’s a win-win social enterprise project where local people get a valuable new facility and the students get an invaluable learning experience.”
Successful former Leeds Beckett landscape architecture students include brothers Harry and David Rich (pictured top), who run their family business, Rich Landscapes. Harry and David won gold medals at RHS Chelsea in 2013 and 2015 and now have a BBC1 daytime television show with Charlie Dimmock, Garden Rescue. Meanwhile graduate Dominic Cole was awarded a CBE last year for his services to garden conservation and landscape. Dominic was the landscape architect for the Eden Project in Cornwall, where he helped to develop an internationally-acclaimed visitor attraction that promotes, through landscape architecture, the crucial importance of plants and the living world.