SGD Spring Conference 2018

Date: 21st April 2018
Location: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

An international line-up of speakers from the USA, UK and Sweden has been announced for the SGD Spring Conference on the 21st April 2018.

Titled ‘A Light Touch’, the conference will examine the art of understatement in garden design, exploring how landscapes can be crafted with minimal intervention, by drawing on a site’s natural features and embracing the wider landscape. 

The conference will look at the work of a range of designers and practices that have employed the artful skill of editing to great effect.  Joining the discussion, acclaimed Swedish landscape architect Ulf Nordfjell will discuss his interest in combining architecture and design with horticulture and nature.  Well-known for his approach, Ulf’s passion for designing with plants, based on the local genus, can be seen in all his projects.  He will be sharing his knowledge and experience and explain in more detail the continuous, underlying theme in all his designs. 

From the UK, Dr Catherine Heatherington FSGD, will discuss how landscape designers should approach the development of derelict, post-industrial landscapes and re-imagine them in more subtle ways to create valued green spaces.  With a reputation for creating inspiring and innovative contemporary gardens, Catherine will explain how her work integrates design with ecology.

And from the USA, three internationally recognised figures from the world of horticulture will join the discussion.  American environmentalist and plantsman Rick Darke, who returns to the conference after an inspiring performance in 2010, will discuss how his work blends ecology, horticulture and geography in the design and stewardship of living landscapes. Landscape architect Michael Vergason from Virginia, USA, will discuss three projects that demonstrate a particular sensitivity to site and context, and multi-award winning Julie Bargmann, a leader in the design and build of regenerative landscapes, will explain how and why her designs rely on the re-use of found materials and why she believes ‘curatorial subtraction might reveal something better than one could ever design.’

Throughout the day, the speakers will explore how the rigorous study of a site and the landscape in which it sits, can strengthen design creativity, offering valuable insights through their own work and design ethos. 

The conference will be chaired by award-winning landscape designer Dan Lobb MSGD, whose own work, places environmental considerations at its heart, with material and plant choices ensuring local biodiversity is improved with each project.

Discounted ‘Early Bird’ tickets are available until 19th March 2018. Visit the SGD website to read more and book tickets online.