50th Anniversary of Ian McHarg’s Design with Nature: A Celebration of Influence & Legacy

Landscape Institute Scotland presented the 50th Anniversary of Ian McHarg’s Design with Nature: A Celebration of Influence & Legacy through a 10 day long exhibition and an opening launch on the evening of the 22nd October at the Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art.

Ian McHarg’s seminal text ‘Design with Nature’ had a huge impact on the profession of landscape architecture, shifting its focus from an aesthetic basis towards a large-scale ecological approach. The text also had a great influence on the wider associated professions of planning and ecology and led to the development of landscape urbanism, an approach that underpins many contemporary design practices.

Over 170 people attend the launch event with inspiring speakers:

  • Professor Sandy Liddell Halliday – Principal, Gaia Research on the theme of McHarg and Urban Ecology.
  • Ian McHarg himself through the film screening
  • Multiply and Subdue Professor Brian Mark Evans, Professor of Urbanism+Landscape at the Mackintosh School of Architecture and director of the Glasgow Urban Laboratory on the new book ‘Designing with Nature Now’ (UPenn 2019)

Alumni reflection speakers demonstrating McHarg’s legacy through David Skinner and into their current practice:

  • Cathy Johnston, Group Manager, Glasgow City Council
  • Johanna Gibbons, Founding Partner J&L Gibbons
  • Andrew Grant, Founding Director of Grant Associates

Through the celebration and exhibition, the LIS hope to raise awareness of McHarg, his worldwide positive influence and place within the wider narrative of the Scottish environmental tradition. It also examined how subsequent students went on to continue to design with nature through current practice and inspire the profession into the twenty-first century. The exhibition material was collated into a richly illustrated display divided across three themes:

  • 1. Environmentalism and McHarg’s early teaching in Scotland.
  • 2. McHarg’s Scottish Students.
  • 3. Students of David Skinner

The exhibition also included the outcomes of the young designer’s charette using McHarg principles which was judged at the launch event. The exhibition will now go on tour to other venues in Scotland.

The LIS would like to thanks all their generous sponsors:- SNH, the Landscape Institute as part of the 90th anniversary, Central Scotland Green Network, ESALA Edinburgh University, Binnie Murray and Hutton and the RIAS.

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