Chartered Member
5th November 2017
Go with the Flow
1st February 2018

Circle of Life

My name is Arthur and I am a Landscape Architect, I work part time in a large multi-national corporation where I work on large schemes, and work part time on an organisation I set up called the What Happens Next project. Here I design and build sustainable gardens and educate people on sustainability and well-being.

Now, hearing about this project you probably have an impression of me as a keen gardener who was into health and wellness …. Well, I’ll let you into a little secret, I’m generally a bit heavy handed with plants in the garden… And I’m not exactly a shining example of wellness, I have been known to enjoy the occasional cider and the occasional cake

So now you are probably thinking:… “hmm, how and why is he so motivated?” So it is not the actual practical hands on stuff which I enjoy… The thing which inspires me the most is the bigger picture and theories about sustainability and the cycle of life… And this project is simply an expression of these theories…

We are the Landscape…

An interesting quote from Winston Churchill is: “We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us.”

What fascinates me here is the relationship between our surrounding environment and our behaviour… 

Because…: 

before humans our surroundings consisted of trees and wild animals…., but its all gone because of humans…..

Simultaneously, the nurture v nature debate suggests that the surrounding environmental factors has an influence on our personality.

So now i’m thinking: 

To what extent are architects responsible for broken communities… 

for example let’s think about it: If architects created a community which is surrounded by horrible buildings… Will this then shape a horrible community…? And then, the people living there, do they then grow up and shape a new generation of more horrible communities…  and so on and so on until the system implodes and destroys itself?

Okay … I’ve taken this a bit far…..  BUT, What i am hoping to illustrate is that we are in danger of becoming more unsustainable if we rely too heavily on the top down system…

Instead, I think to be sustainable we should design from the bottom up and restore an appreciation that everything is part of a nature, and natural life cycles..

 

What happens next?

So what do I mean by this- well, I think, if we just understood what happened before, what is happening next to you, and what happens next…  is to appreciate cycles of life… for example:

I like cider, and I have seen the apples used to make my favourite bottle, and I would definitely protest if anyone wanted to cut it down… and because I love cider I appreciate the bees that pollinate its’ blossom, the apple harvest season, and even the rain which makes my cider even more tastier!

What you see here is a good example of me appreciating the circle of life and nature… Because i have a theory that the more we appreciate nature the more we want to protect it. And this could happen to anyone or anything: whether you like: cider, food, clothes, furniture… Anything..

And this is a win win- we protect the environment, and the environment makes us happy…!

Bottom up approach

So in conclusion, I work at the What Happens Next project, and we provide information on what happens next to plants in gardens to inspire an appreciation of the circle of life…Because I want this to help shape a sustainable mindset, and then ultimately this will then contribute to a bottom up approach to sustainability and well-being….

So come join me on my mission, inspired by Churchill: Let’s shape a sustainable Landscape, because afterwards, the sustainable Landscape will shape us….

 

 

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