An article on landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson recently appeared in Intelligent Life, the quarterly cultural magazine from the publishers of The Economist

Leading lady: Kathryn Gustafson, by Julie Harmsen
Leading lady: Kathryn Gustafson, by Julie Harmsen

Entitled ‘The sky is mine’, the piece discusses our profession through an interview with Gustafson, the woman behind the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park.

The article describes landscape architects as “constant figures in the landscape…important civilising influences down the centuries, from André Le Nôtre and his gardens at Versailles in the 1660s to Frederick Law Olmsted and the Central Park he created in New York 200 years later.”

Going on to look at Gustafson’s work – from the Kogod Courtyard in the National Portrait Gallery Washington, DC, to the Mediterranean flora garden at the National Botanic Garden of Wales – the article finishes by asking her to sum up landscape architecture in one word.

“Civicness”, says Gustafson, going on to relate something that happened in her adopted home of Paris, when a car full of men stopped near her house and dropped litter in the gutter. “I picked it up, and knocked on the car door, and said: ‘Not in my park!’, and they drove off, looking sheepish. It was so instinctive for me. ‘Hey, wait a minute. You’re not going to put your trash in my neighbourhood!”

Read the full article at The Economist.


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