avant gardeners: visionary designers for the contemporary landscape
avant gardeners: visionary designers for the contemporary landscape avant gardeners: visionary designers for the contemporary landscape
may 29, 2009

avant gardeners: visionary designers for the contemporary landscape

blue sticks by claude cormier, somerset, UK, 2004

author: tim richardson with forward by martha schwartz publisher: 22 publishing (italian ed.) / thames and hudson year: 2008 size: 352 pages, 21 x 23 cm isbn: 97888951850898 http://www.thamesandhudson.com http://www.22publishing.it ____________________________________________________________________

designboom rating: ____________________________________________________________________

designboom recently read the italian edition of ‘avant gardeners’, released by 22 publishing. the book encourages and brings awareness to gardening through more artistic and unconventional means.

content over the last decade, there has been a surgence of new design ideas and approaches to urban gardens and park spaces. today, they can be seen as highly designed environments which typically question the limits between the natural and artificial world.

‘avant gardeners’ takes a look at the projects of over fifty designers including: metagardens, monika gora, claude cormier, topotek and ken smith. there are more than a hundred projects documented, each one treating the garden as a green canvas. solutions and approaches include sculptural elements, installations, play grounds and developing alternatives to using plants to enhance these outdoor environments – just some of the possible visions designers have for our contemporary landscape.

‘avant gardeners’ surveys how we have moved away from the naturalistic, traditional approach western garden and have injected it with fits of modernism, pop art and land art, altering the way in which we interact and interpret urban green space.

is this book for me? though the title of the book may make it seem like it’s for the avid green thumb, this book is more well-suited for those who have a particular fondness for the outdoors and the potential nature can have as a highly designed environment. projects are well-illustrated and supporting essays give a good overview to the underlying principles which are covered in the book.

garden play by topher delaney, sonoma, USA, 2004

glass bubble by monika gora, malmo, sweden, 2006

shunmyo masuno by shunmyo masuno, yokohama, japan, 1998 the regional japanese plants and tranquility of the waterfall, help give serenity to the garden outside the bustling hotel.

chess park, glendale by RCH studios, USA, 2004

gifu kitagata apartments by martha schartz, kitagata, japan 2000

atrium garden by ken smith, 2005 new york ‘the idea was to design a painting on a vertical wall’ smith says, ‘with tropical plant, orchids and bromelia, in contrast with the landscape of new york’. the ground was covered with rubber to stimulate a ‘forest’.

  • The first picture was taken at the Mosaicultures in Montreal, Canada a few years ago…There was a littl mistake on the credits for this picture…Pobody’s nerfect!

    Stephane leroux says:
  • the book indicates that the first presentation of ‘blue sticks’ was in québec.
    in 2004, it was presented again at hestercombe gardens, somerset, UK.

    andrea db says:
  • Thanks for the nuance, the book is right like you are: Montreal is situated in the province of Québec, in Canada, maybe that is what they mean…

    Thanks for the research, anyways!

    Stephane Leroux says:

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