I feel I should blog more about architecture, if only to reinforce my image as an architecture student. Besides the black under-eye circles and the frayed nerves, there’s not much else to link to me to that unfortunate yet necessary profession.
So, tomorrow’s project is the landscape design for a house. You’ve never thought about the plants and trees placed around your house, or place of residence, have you?
Take a look around. If you live in a moderately developed country, you might be able to pick out a pattern among the trees and shrubs, the paving of the sidewalk, or the colours in the flower bed.
Landscaping is one of those specializations that is often overlooked or mocked. A landscaper in the movies is either a flamboyant designer or surly contractor, and always male. They’re usually in the background, with as much prestige as the pool boy or the guy who mows the lawn.
(Yeah, what the hell? Why are they always men? Mostly because architecture is a male-dominated profession, the number of famous female architects can be counted on both hands, and the same can be applied to landscaping, construction, civil and structural engineering, and so on. The only specialization viewed as “feminine” is interior designing, presumably because it involves women working indoors. These scopes of life are often far removed from the charged atmosphere of political correctness and activism. It’s unfair, but no one really thinks of architecture as a profession. Okay, there, all vented out)
I’ll be honest, it’s not that difficult. Landscaping is more about rearranging than creating, and the most complex construction done consists of pergolas and water features.
But that doesn’t mean landscaping can’t change the atmosphere of the building. As an architect, I’ve noticed a profound difference between a building standing forlornly in an empty lot, and one surrounding by lush vegetation.
And now, with the environmental crisis and return to nature, landscaping is becoming more important in any design. It’s becoming harder to miss now that they’re growing trees on rooftops and planting wall vines in the middle of the city.
But don’t feel guilty if you don’t notice it. The job of the architect and the designer is to make details that you’d only notice if they were absent. We are the silent guardians, the real batmen of the world.