Friday, September 6, 2013

Back to School with NYBG: Urban Transformations 
Landscape Design Portfolios Lecture Series

Urban Landscape (Photo courtesy NYBG)

Now in its 15th year, The New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) popular evening lecture series invites outstanding designers from around the world to discuss their favorite and signature landscape projects, providing insight into their working methods and design philosophies.

This year’s speakers, Christine Ten Eyck, Gilles Clément, and Mary Margaret Jones, share a focus on reclaiming and regenerating urban landscapes—both vast and intimate—from parking lots to public spaces to industrial waterfronts.

I have attended the Lectures  almost since the series was launched and before I ever walked through the golden door to a career in horticulture.
Back then, the Lectures were a transporting passport – a way to experience and learn about the ephemeral art of landscape design.

Guess what?  The Lectures are still transporting and educational! 
If anything, they’ve gotten better.
And now, many attend to also catch up with their Hort Tribe – cocktails or light supper bookending the Lecture as a way to chat about the past season’s designs, network and plant chat.

This year’s theme, Urban Transformations is particularly topical. 
While we all can’t work on the next High Line – we have to face it.  We are living in a world that is increasingly urban. 
I know that sounds like nails on a blackboard to gardeners and horticulturists but it’s true.  And in a good way.
So just as urban farming has captivated farmers and artisanal food makers, landscape architects and designers must lead the way and show how we can live in harmony with nature in a sustainable way, side by side with the urban landscape we’ve all had a hand in creating in one way or antoher. 

We just face new and/or different challenges. The Lecture Series will give you a jump start to creative design solutions.
(No need for that Magic 8 ball...)

When: Monday, Sept. 23, Tuesday, Oct. 22, Monday, Nov. 4

Monday, September 23rd
Christine Ten Eyck

Christine Ten Eyck: Harsh Beauty— Designing the Urban Southwest
Based in Austin, Texas, Christine Ten Eyck works in the spirit of the Southwest to connect urban dwellers with nature through award–winning, transformative landscapes that celebrate regional culture, local species, and the ephemeral paths of water. In addition to her sustainable designs for corporate, university, botanical and private gardens, she will discuss The Capri Lounge in Marfa, Texas, where she converted a former parking lot into a garden, gathering place, and wildlife habitat, incorporating native grasslands and local materials from oil field pipes to farm fencing. 

Gilles Clement
Tuesday, October 22nd

Gilles Clément: The Planetary Garden: Paris and Beyond
Raised in the French countryside, Gilles Clément is a gardener, designer, botanist, ecologist, professor at the Versailles National School of Landscape Architecture, and provocative writer/philosopher. He creates gardens all over the world, most notably his landscapes along the Seine for the Parc André Citroën and Musée du Quai Branly. He has gained international attention for his innovative ideas on "Gardens in Movement"—fluid spaces where the designer aids nature rather than enacting rigid plans, "The Third Landscape"—gardens inspired by unlikely abandoned habitats where biodiversity thrives, and "The Planetary Garden"—where the gardener is nature's advocate, welcoming vagabond species from around the world.

Monday, November 4th
Mary Margaret Jones: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park— Sustainable Renewal for the 21st Century
Mary Margaret Jones 
President of Hargreaves Associates, Mary Margaret Jones has served as senior principal on award–winning projects in the U.S. and abroad. The firm's work for the 2012 Olympic Park transformed a neglected post–industrial district in London's East End into Europe's largest urban park in 150 years. This innovative blueprint for sustainable city development combined traditional British park design—specifically Victorian and post–war pleasure gardens—with groundbreaking green technologies. Providing a stunning site for the Summer Games as well as an environmental legacy, including the largest wildflower ever planted in the U.K., the 247–acre project also restored the canalized River Lea into an attractive waterway. Jones will also discuss projects in New York City, Dallas, Houston, and Oklahoma City.

Where:  The series takes place at the New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) Midtown Education Center in Manhattan (20 West 44th Street) – 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Here’s a bonus:  
CEUs are available through AIA, APLD, and LA CES.

Or call 800.322.NYBG (6924).

Each lecture: $25/$22
The series (142LAN801D): $68/$61 (Non-Member/Member)
Seating is limited, so please register early. Registration will be accepted at the door only if seating is available.


  1. This year’s speakers, Christine Ten Eyck, Gilles Clément, and Mary Margaret Jones, share a focus on reclaiming and regenerating urban evergreen shrubs

  2. Thank you, Anon. Looking forward to the speakers' focus on reclaiming and regenerating #shrubs - as you thoughtfully point out. Thank you. For those of us still somewhat reeling from a post-Sandy superstorm world - this focus is especially welcome. Cheers. See you in the Garden.