Oh, this was so good.
I’m fascinated by the creative process. As someone most comfortable in the world of words, I’m especially intrigued by the visual arts.
Last night, Trees Atlanta hosted veteran landscape architect Darrel Morrison for a talk and demonstration called “Designing Dynamic Landscapes for the Piedmont.” The Georgia Piedmont, that is.
To the accompaniment of stirring classical music, Morrison used crayons to design a very rough concept plan for the landscape at a community-owned green space in southeast Atlanta known as Tapestry. It’s an interesting site, located as it is adjacent to the future path of Atlanta’s hugely popular, transformative BeltLine and in a neighborhood that has seen urban blight in the last few decades.
Anyway, I was stoked. Watching Morrison go with the flow of the music, while relying upon instincts honed by a long career in which he’s become habituated to thinking in terms of fundamental principles of design — too cool. (In the picture below, Morrison’s “plan” is oriented differently than the Google map embedded here: east at the top, so that you have to imagine the entrance to the green space from Confederate Avenue — ugh — on the right, while the future path of the BeltLine runs along the bottom of the design.)
Morrison has had this to say about the interrelationship of art and landscape design:
There is sometimes a misperception that designing with native plant communities and natural processes is not sufficiently artful. In reality, it can be considered to be a new art form appropriate to the twenty-first century: ‘ecological art’, which is simultaneously aesthetically rich, ecologically sound, evocative of place and dynamic.