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23


ASK THE ARCHITECT


Ed Higgins from Hosta Consulting answers ADF’s questions on landscape design and green infrastructure


WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TRAIN AS AN ARCHITECT?


Like many at the start of their architectural education part of me, somewhat egotistically, wanted to create beautiful statement buildings that received a lot of attention and make my mark on the world. During my university education my views became more sensitive and I wished to create places that people love to be in, progressing in recent years as my love of nature has intertwined into our work.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR JOB MOST?


I like the variety of people I meet in my job; nature is a connecting force that many people appreciate, particularly in an increasingly environmentally aware world. There is so much opportunity to re-introduce nature back into our everyday lives, each project we complete explores different elements. Working with plants, the design is not complete at handover – it develops and changes, often in unexpected ways; this is a great pleasure to watch.


DO YOU FEEL THAT LANDSCAPING SHOULD AND CAN BE REGARDED AS ARCHITECTURE?


Any space made for people to use is both landscape and architecture; I believe they are words used to describe our interaction,


and impact, on the environment. The sensibilities that inform architecture were founded as we evolved in our natural landscapes. If the arrangement of spaces that invoke feelings within us is to be called architecture, then I believe that landscaping should be regarded as architecture. The development of landscape spaces, however, require specialist skills, it should not be taken that architects can design landscaping.


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR APPROACH TO PERSUADING CLIENTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE? As we have established ourselves on our sustainable and ecological designs, many of our clients come to us to already persuaded. We always stress that landscape should be functional as well as aesthetic, and highlight benefits for instance improvements in biodiversity, mental and physical well-being, and mitigating the effects of climate change, which for clients means increased productivity, lower bills and a delightful place to relax, work, or play.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SECTOR TO WORK IN?


I love the challenge of adding nature in all sectors, but the biggest impact can be made in the public sector, where schemes are


© Ed Higgins


ADF JUNE 2019


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