Practice

Yueyuan Courtyard by Z+T Studio explores the concept of erosion through the design of an intricate granite watercourse that flows through the space.

A contemporary Asian practice

31 May 2018, Jillian Walliss

The potential of emerging Asian cities has often been defined by European and North American designers, denying the growth of local expertise. It’s time to celebrate the exciting work of homegrown designers, thinkers and critics in Asia.

Practice
Tom Rivard’s Urban Islands studio – sited on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island – is run independently and high numbers of international students, particularly from Asia, are common.

Internationalism in landscape education

21 May 2018, Helen Armstrong

With the growth of landscape architecture in the region, Australian landscape architecture programs have become increasingly popular with Asian students, particularly from China. Helen Armstrong reflects on how this growing demand has changed and challenged landscape architecture education.

Practice
The Victorian mountain ash forest has been severely affected by fires and logging. To determine the actual health of the forest, we need to look at the quality, not just the quantity of what remains.

Why we are measuring the health of Australian vegetation poorly

16 Apr 2018, David Lindenmayer, Hugh Possingham

Many of Australia’s ecosystems are in a much worse condition than we think. This is because officials are measuring the health of ecosystems such as forests and woodlands by their size, instead of how damaged they are by disturbances.

Practice
Rob Adams in his office at Council House 2 (CH2), Australia’s first building to be awarded a six-star Green Star design rating.

Rob Adams: A lesson in city design

3 Apr 2018, Lucy Salt

As he turns his focus to succession planning, Rob Adams, director of City Design and Projects at the City of Melbourne, sat down with Lucy Salt to reflect on more than three decades of city building.

Practice
Parkkim’s project CJ Blossom Park for South Korean conglomerate CJ Corporation includes a water feature whose design is informed by the company’s logo.

Material thinking

13 Mar 2018, Ricky Ray Ricardo

Parkkim, a landscape architecture practice based in the South Korean capital, Seoul, boasts a portfolio of highly refined projects that are underpinned by a passion for research and innovation.

Practice
Clematis microphylla grows through the branches of a nitrogen-fixing Allocasuarina littoralis on the banks of the Yarra River.

Designing with ecological succession

27 Feb 2018, Alistair Kirkpatrick

Ecological succession – where colonizer plant species grow quickly to provide organic matter, shelter and nutrients to their longer-lived neighbours – is rarely employed in planting schemes, but it holds great potential to produce more interesting, dynamic and resilient landscapes.

Practice
The designed plantings at Taliesin West are not only drought-tolerant, but largely drought-proof, meaning they can survive on almost no water.

Lessons from dry lands

12 Feb 2018, Michael Wright

The desert landscapes of Arizona contain many valuable examples of engaging, species-diverse planting schemes that thrive in extremely dry conditions. With water demand a critical issue throughout Australia, are there cues to be taken from the south-western United States?

Practice
Low-level textural plantings and the reflective surface of the infinity pool enhance the outstanding borrowed views at Halls Ridge, Carmel Valley, California.

California dreaming: The gardens of Bernard Trainor

5 Feb 2018, Howard Tanner

Only a handful of Australian designers have pursued careers abroad and achieved international recognition. One of them is landscape designer Bernard Trainor, whose California-based practice has built an impressive portfolio of projects on the west coast of the USA.

Practice
The TaiPing Bridge project involved the reconstruction of a three-hundred-year-old bridge, reimagining it as a public meeting place with seating and planting.

China as a laboratory for change

25 Jan 2018, Jillian Walliss

Design and research collaborative Rural Urban Framework is responding to the Chinese government’s urbanization agenda by working with rural Chinese communities to contribute positively to social, economic and spatial transformations.

Practice
Mungo Man’s remains arrived home in a 1976 black Chrysler Valiant hearse.

Mungo Man’s return reminds us that we need to listen to Indigenous knowledge

22 Dec 2017, Ricky Ray Ricardo

Could the recent return of Mungo Man to traditional owners serve as a turning point in the way non-Indigenous Australia views land and culture as separate entities?

Practice
Aborigines Using Fire to Hunt Kangaroos, Joseph Lycett, approximately 1775–1828.

Post-environmental landscapes: Balancing beauty with ecology

11 Dec 2017, Mark Perkins

In the Far North Coast of New South Wales, contested ideas of pre- and post-European settlement landscapes, managed by hierarchies of scenic beauty and ecological value, have created tensions in the community.

Practice
In many parts of Australia the clearing of deep-rooted native forests to farm shallow-rooted pastures or crops has led to rising groundwaters, salinity and less resilience to drought and flood.

Let’s talk about complexity

5 Dec 2017, Wai Kin Tsui

We need to renew the language of ecological design to better confront the complexity and uncertainty of today’s challenges.

Practice
Rouse Hill Town Centre.

The birth of the ‘Plan-chitect’: A new type of hybrid built environment professional

29 Nov 2017, Yi Ho

In the age of disruption, traditional structures are being challenged, giving birth to a new type of hybrid built environment professional.

Practice
Males hold 66.1 percent of principal, partner, director and business manager roles in landscape architecture, along with 60.3 percent of senior associate and associate roles.

2017 AILA salary survey: Why are women still under-represented in the upper levels of the profession?

24 Nov 2017, Cassandra Chilton

With the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ 2017 salary survey revealing entrenched gender inequity, Rush Wright Associates principal Cassandra Chilton makes the case for action.

Practice
Central Sydney from Ultimo.

Better placed through integrated design

22 Nov 2017, Ben Hewett

Deputy New South Wales Government Architect Ben Hewett introduces the scope and objectives of Better Placed – the state’s first integrated design policy for the built environment.

Practice
Many regional towns on the east coast of Australia, including the NSW Northern Rivers town of Lismore, were flooded after Cyclone Debbie hit in early 2017, causing significant damage.

Design before disaster

20 Nov 2017, Rob Roggema

As we face a future of more frequent and severe weather events due to climate change, we need to start redesigning our towns and regional cities to better cope with shock events.

Practice
SBLA is made up of six core members who all work part time.

Breaking the hierarchy: Simone Bliss and the push for gender equality in landscape architecture

13 Nov 2017, Nadia Sofia Paredes-Estrada

Landscape architecture student Sofia Paredes-Estrada explores how Simone Bliss Landscape Architecture is pioneering a flexible approach that aims to subvert hierarchies within landscape architecture.

Practice
Each year grazier David Marsh harvests kangaroo grass seed (Themeda tiandra) from roadsides and sprinkles it around his paddocks.

An ecological approach to grazing

9 Nov 2017, David Marsh

Grazier David Marsh has farmed his 814-hectare property on the South West Slopes of New South Wales for decades. He shares his experience of moving from an industrial farming mindset to taking a more ecological approach based on many years of refinement.

Practice
Windfarms are typically located in areas with consistently high winds, proximity to existing energy infrastructure and availability of accessible land.

Wind turbines and the regional energy landscape

1 Nov 2017, David Moir

Windfarms are still a divisive issue for many communities due to their visual impact on pastoral landscapes.

Practice
Twenty-five thousand indigenous trees and shrubs have been planted on Karl and Rachel’s property in south-east Victoria.

Regenerative action: Degraded farm to future forest

13 Oct 2017, Ricky Ray Ricardo

In the past twelve months an impressive twenty-five thousand indigenous trees and shrubs have been planted on Karl and Rachel’s 100-acre property in south-eastern Victoria.

Practice
The garden at the Owen Architecture-designed Rosalie House in Brisbane, designed by Dan Young Landscape Architect, eschews typical responses such as screening and bordering.

Dan Young and Paul Owen: Rethinking the suburban landscape

5 Oct 2017, Ricky Ray Ricardo

Dan Young began his landscape architecture practice with the help of friend and collaborator Paul Owen (Owen Architecture), working on a number of residential projects in Brisbane. Landscape Australia caught up with the duo to talk collaboration, private practice and planting design.

Practice
Archipelago Communal Courtyard by Terrain.

On the edge: Steven Tupu on activism and risk-taking

4 Oct 2017, LandscapeAustralia Editorial Desk

Hailing from New Zealand, Steven Tupu trained as a landscape architect in Australia before emigrating to New York to found Terrain, a practice that has participated in that city’s enormous transformation over the past two decades.

Practice
The Yarra River upstream at Pound Bend.

New law finally gives voice to the Yarra River’s traditional owners

28 Sep 2017, Katie O’Bryan

Until now, the Wurundjeri people have had little recognition of their important role in river management and protection, but the new legislation will give them a voice.

Practice
Understorey plantings on the southern slopes of Barangaroo Reserve.

Barangaroo Reserve: Making the grand vision work

25 Sep 2017, Howard Tanner

The plantings at Sydney’s Barangaroo Reserve have achieved a phenomenal rate of success, largely thanks to the expertise of two consultants: Simon Leake, respected soil scientist, and Stuart Pittendrigh, one of Sydney’s most experienced horticulturalists.

Practice
Freycinet Lodge is an existing eco-tourism development that has operated since the 1930s in the Freycinet National Park.

Performance-based solutions for bushfire protection

21 Sep 2017, Tom O’Connor

Considering the importance of performance-based solutions for bushfire protection and the current challenges associated with them.

Practice
Turning an urban drain into a living stream opens up a world of possibilities.

More than just drains: Recreating living streams through the suburbs

19 Sep 2017, Zoe Myers

Lot sizes and backyards are shrinking in Australia at the same time as building density is increasing. So we cannot afford to overlook the potential of existing – but neglected – spaces in our suburbs, like drains.

Practice
A visual from an augmented reality-based traffic assistance app.

Emerging digital technologies: What do they mean for settlement patterns and the role of planners?

18 Sep 2017, Catherine Flemming

New technologies have the potential to disrupt current land use patterns and create new opportunities in our cities and regions.

Practice
Burnley Living Roofs by Hassell is a research and demonstration garden at the University of Melbourne’s Burnley Campus.

Fine-tuning the planting design cycle

6 Sep 2017, Jela Ivankovic-Waters

Green wall and roof garden projects pose many challenges to good planting design outcomes, particularly synergizing design intent and management. How can the processes be improved?

Practice
Landscape contractor and designer Michael Bates.

Michael Bates: The education of a gardener

30 Aug 2017, Michael Bates

Michael Bates, arguably the most enterprising landscape contractor in the Sydney region, reflects on his education as a gardener in this excerpt from his recent book, The New Australian Garden.

Practice
Agapanthus orientalis (agapanthus) once grew happily along this median strip in Melbourne despite extremely hostile growing conditions. It was removed some years ago and replaced with artificial turf.

Questioning the war on weeds in urban streetscapes

29 Aug 2017, Alistair Kirkpatrick

Should weeds be embraced in built-up urban environments to provide resilient plantings that can thrive in the toughest conditions?

Practice
Jim Fogarty Design’s entry in the 2013 Australian Garden Show Sydney. Jim Fogarty is an Australian landscape architect who is well known for embracing plant diversity in his projects.

Planting for the unexpected

22 Aug 2017, Jennie Curtis

Mass plantings of reliable plants give the best chance of a predictable outcome with minimal effort, but is this what we want for our neighbourhoods?

Practice
Bagging developing fruits of grevillea helps to ensure mature seed is collected.

Saving seeds: Conserving our natural heritage

4 Aug 2017, Anne Cochrane

With the global population rapidly rising and our farming and natural environments under intense pressure, saving seeds is more important than ever.

Practice
The city of Sydney in New South Wales.

The rise of cities and city planning

26 Jul 2017, Mateusz Buczko

A message from the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) on promoting proficiency and professionalism in planning.

Practice
Memorial to 'Mouse' at Melbourne's Enterprize Park.

Why the ecocity needs to be a just city

17 Jul 2017, Stephen Healy

Why is it easier to imagine an ecocity – full of lush green spaces and bike lanes – than a just city where everyone belongs?

Practice
An inscription over the Aboriginal flag on the back of a gym in Redfern, 22 June 2014.

Indigenous rights in land use planning strengthened in Queensland

6 Jul 2017, Ed Wensing

An unprecedented law has been passed that requires the planning system to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, culture and tradition.

Practice
Superkilen, by Topotek 1, BIG Architects and Superflex is an urban space in Copenhagen that caters to the interests of children and adults in a diverse neighbourhood.

Chaos and confusion: The clash between adult and children’s spaces

30 Jun 2017, Katherine Masiulanis

In her new book How to Grow a Playspace, Katherine Masiulanis asks “Is it counterproductive to design children’s spaces, given that over-prescribed landscapes may stifle creative potential?”

Practice
Rapid population growth is driving the Gold Coast economy, making it a ‘gaining’ city.

Bust the regional city myths and look beyond the ‘big 5’ for a $378b return

26 Jun 2017, Leonie Pearson

New research shows regional cities generate national economic growth and jobs at the same rate as big metropolitan cities, but they require greater investment to prosper.

Practice
The winning design for North Queensland Stadium by Cox Architecture and 9Point9 Architects, to be built in Townsville.

Townsville: Australia’s first City Deal

26 Jun 2017

Townsville is the first city to sign a City Deal as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Smart Cities Plan. The Mayor of Townsville, Cr Jenny Hill, sat down with Queensland Planner to explain what it means for the city.

Practice
Australian coastal zones are increasingly susceptible to climate change.

Resetting coastal planning in the era of climate change

21 Jun 2017, Tony Matthews, Dirk van der Kamp

Coastal planning in the twenty-first century must be ‘reset’ to respond to the intertwined challenges of sustained population growth, urbanisation and climate change. Are planners up to the task?

Practice
Are Smart Cities just about technology?

Beyond technology: The evolution of Smart Cities

12 Jun 2017, Guillermo Umana

The concept of Smart Cities is becoming increasingly vague, to the point that it is defined differently by almost every author who writes about it.

Practice
Professor Emeritus Marc Treib visited Australia throughout October and November 2016, delivering lectures on the work of Isamu Noguchi.

Marc Treib: Attending place

12 May 2017, Fiona Johnson

Noted historian and critic of landscape architecture, Marc Treib, speaks with Fiona Johnson about his new book Austere Gardens, Isamu Noguchi and landscape design.

Practice