In this episode Louise Koopmanns and Andrew Clancy interview Gunter Vogt, the eminent landscape designer, and Chair of Landscape at ETH Zurich.
He views landscape design not as an autonomous totalling discipline, but as a careful reassembly of the world. In his methods he stresses the productive tension between the necessary subjectivity of the human condition, and the availability of scientific analysis and process. In speaking with his students he observes that a field trip can at once be a sensorial immersion and a scientific appraisal, and posits a work method that includes space for digression, memory and dreaming along with rigorous engagement with the realities of contemporary ecology and construction. A detail in this context can speak about both the personal and the political. This ability for multiple scales of thinking to be manifest at once allows space for digression and a radical subjectivity in the design process - resulting in landscapes which are contextual and surreal, robust and intimate.
In the beautiful landscapes he and his practice have made with collaborators such as Herzog deMeuron we can see the results of this humanistic compulsion, and in this conversation we tease out how he developed as a designer, and how he sees this role evolving in the face of contemporary pressures.
Kingston is one of the few schools in these islands which offers landscape architecture alongside architecture - we do so because we are keenly aware that the built environment is more than buildings, and believe that students of both disciplines benefit from this context.
Register is the Research Centre in the Department of Architecture & Landscape at the Kingston School of Art, Kingston University London kingstonarchitecture.london
Head of Department: Mary Johnson
Course Leader Landscape: Kristof Fatsar
Producer: Laura Evans / Andrew Clancy
Interviewer: Andrew Clancy and Louise Koopmans
Editor: Andrew Clancy
Music: Poddington Bear - Rainbow Architecture