Henry Crothers is a landscape architect and urban designer, and the founding director of Auckland-based practice, Landlab. His interest and and expertise lies in the design leadership of landscape-led public realm, urbanism and placemaking projects. Henry’s design approach is informed by the rigorous exploration of the relationships between natural, social and built ecologies in the urban context. He has been involved in some of the most significant urban renewal, public realm transformation, transport infrastructure and placemaking projects in New Zealand.
Founded in 2013, Landlab is a design-led, studio based practice creating sustainable, innovative and creative outcomes across a range of landscape, urbanism and placemaking projects in Aotearoa (New Zealand). The studio’s design philosophy integrates a site specific approach (land) with a creative and rigorous design process (lab). Their design of objects, spaces, places and territories reflects a deep interrogation of the relationships between the ecologies and systems of “landscape,” “urbanism” and “place” through ecology, landscape, architecture and graphic design. Landlab believes that design-led processes and collaboration with clients, communities, technical consultants and other creative disciplines encourages authenticity, innovation, and environmental responsibility.
Henry will discuss a selection of recent built and conceptual projects in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown that explore the dynamic relationships between city and landscape, culture and place, innovation and sustainability. These include the Te Ara I Whiti – Light Path, a transformational cycling infrastructure project; the Avon River Park, a public realm catalyst for the regeneration of central Christchurch; and several key waterfront public realm projects in Auckland. Henry will also provide an insight into his recent “Island” (Motutere) project that proposes a new kind of social and ecological infrastructure that aims to reconnect citizens with the city’s water spaces, as well as his work as chair of the Tāmaki Makaurau Design Alliance (TMDA), a recently formed, interdisciplinary design collective that advocates for design-led procurement, processes and outcomes in Auckland.