Landscape Learn at the Garden Museum

704 Autumncolour Lr


11 Oct 2017


£10-30 for each session

Wednesday 11th of October, 17:30-19:30

Autumn Colour, this session will explore colour relationships and the movement of colour, seen and unseen in the context of nature and the chemistry of autumn colour in forest trees.

Our relationship with colour is complex. When we make decisions about using or selecting colour it is fraught with associations and cultural signals. Seasonal colour in nature is one of the ways we mark time, so how we see colour and how we use it is often at odds. We will be talking about how colour is perceived, how it is delivered, the way the world we live in changes dramatically under different light spectrums, and how materials hold their own source of colour under different conditions. We will also discuss macro-mimicry, the use of colour and camouflage at a landscape scale; from military deceptions to subtle design interventions that sit comfortably in their context.

Talks will include:

Natural pigments and biological activity

Johanna Gibbons J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects and Landscape Learn

Colour associations and cultural signals

Kate Blee – Artist

Light spectrums and materiality

Vinita Khanna - Artist

Macro-mimicry of colour and camouflage

Neil Davidson J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects and Landscape Learn

Natural pigments workshop in the Lab led by:

Beatrice Bless - Artist educator New North Press 

A demonstration on making ink from natural pigments, followed by an invitation to participate in printing an ephemeral composition of Autumn Colours. 

Tickets for Autumn Colour are available here.

704 Liquidassets Lr

Wednesday 18th of October, 17:30-19:30

Liquid Assets, this event will celebrate urban water, discussing resource management, the cultural and engineering assets of the past and what could be the future of water in London.

Fresh water is one of our greatest assets. We love the verdant nature of our landscapes, the green and pleasant land. It is therefore odd that we tend to treat rainwater as a waste product, when it is essential for life. Climate change is predicted to have dramatic impacts on our weather patterns and London’s population is increasing at record rates. There is growing concern that rainwater poses a significant risk to our city. During Liquid Assets we will discuss how London’s approach to water management is changing through Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and wider strategic considerations at a catchment scale. We will discuss innovative ideas for the rediscovery and revival of the Fleet River and current research related to water reuse and recycling. We will explore the potential for amphibious living and evolving a design culture that works with natural systems, rather than a culture still trying to hold back the tide.

Talks will include:

Fractal symmetries and natural systems

Johanna Gibbons -  J & L Gibbons Landscape Architects and Landscape Learn

Future demand and the entire water cycle

Nick Ayling - Former Senior Project Manager at Thames Water, Director of Utility Results

Resilience: Sustainable drainage retrofitting

George Warren - London Sustainable Drainage Action Plan, Greater London Authority

Rediscovery and conceptual revival of the Fleet River

Stephen Myers - Retired water engineer and author of ‘Walking on water’

Amphibious Living

Neil Davidson -  J & L Gibbons Landscape Architects and Landscape Learn

Water reuse innovation workshop in the Lab led by:

Marie Raffin - Senior Research Scientist, Thames Water

Tickets for Liquid Assets are available here.

704 Takingcare Lr

Wednesday 25th of October, 17:30-19:30

Taking Care, this session invites custodians of some of our most complex, fascinating and loved London landscapes to talk about community participation and the underlying inspiration behind these important spaces.

Speakers will include; 

Ruth Holmes - Landscape and Public Realm Sponsor, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park formerly of the Royal Parks

Marie Murray and Brian Cumming - Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and Social Enterprise Grow Cook Eat 

John Watkins - Head of Gardens and Landscape, English Heritage

Johanna Gibbons and Neil Davidson - Landscape Architects, J & L Gibbons and Landscape Learn

Tickets for Taking Care are available here.

List of speakers

  • Kate Blee


    Kate Blee is a London based artist who began her work in textiles and printmaking, graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1982, and setting up her studio in 1986. Her work in textiles is recognised internationally and more recently has worked in ceramic and glass. Her focus has been to understand the nature of the material in relation to the nature of its colour, marking a journey through process. She has worked on art and design projects for exhibition, public installation commissions, as lead artist and as a member of a design team. Her work is in public collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Craft Council, The Contemporary Arts Society, Portcullis House Westminster Parliament, The Wellcome Trust, NHS Trusts, City and Islington University and Cambridge University. Kate is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art Mixed Media and in 2015 was awarded Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts.

  • Vinita Khanna


    Vinita Khanna is an artist, whose work deploys a language of visual force across disciplines, including sculpture, painting, installation, collage and photography. She studied art at Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich as well as St Martins and Goldsmiths College in London. Her work has been exhibited in institutions, art galleries and other non-traditional gathering places internationally since the 1990’s, notably at United Nations, the V&A, the Tate Modern,  the Science Museum, the Royal Institute and Imperial College London. She was awarded jointly with Architects Ash Sakula the Peabody award for affordable housing design in 2002. Her interest in human perception expands into the hidden realities revealed by modern science and how this impacts our experience of the world we inhabit.

  • Beatrice Bless

    Artist educator New North Press

    Beatrice is business partner at New North Press letterpress print & design studio in East London. In 2016 she has initiated the project ‘In Your Hands’ (at Standpoint Studios) to pass on traditional craft skills to young people from the local community. The weeklong course includes a field trip to a nearby site to look for evidence of the materials working with in their natural environment, such as Phytology Nature Reserve in Bethnal Green. 

  • Nick Ayling

    Utility Results

    Nick has over twenty years of experience with Thames Water, he has recently joined the private sector. His recent experience has included working in partnership with Ofwat, Defra and WaterUK as a member of numerous national industry standard and programme panels, covering a range of subjects from Sewers for Adoption, The Private Sewer transfer in 2011, Building Over sewer protocols and Sustainable urban drainage systems. Most recently Nick has played an leading role in working with the GLA and several Development Corporations in assessing the growth impact of the large scale Opportunity Areas including those at Battersea/Nine Elms, Old Oak Common. Greenwich Peninsula and the Isle of Dogs, these investigations were undertaken as Integrated Water Management Strategies and reviewed current versus future demands of the entire water cycle, whilst looking to maximise sustainable measures to enhance the overall scheme success, lowering potable demand, increasing rainwater reuse and reducing discharge to the Victorian sewerage network.

  • Stephen Myers

    Retired water engineer and author of ‘Walking on water’

    Stephen is a professional water engineer with 52 years experience in the sector. His work as lead consultant on major water and wastewater projects, has taken him to more than 70 countries in 4 continents, with 18 years residence abroad in Italy, Athens in Greece, Portugal, Hong Kong and Istanbul in Turkey. He was a Senior Consultant to the World Bank in Washington for many years and led a project he formulated to introduce 24/7 water supplies to Indian towns and cities. Latterly, he has returned to a boyhood interest in the lost rivers of London. In 2016, he successfully completed doctoral research at the University of Reading on one of these, “The Walbrook and Roman London”. 

  • George Warren

    London Sustainable Drainage Action Plan, Greater London Authority

    George is the Project Manager for the ‘London Sustainable Drainage Action Plan’ (LSDAP), which looks at the promotion of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) retrofit across London.

    Prior to joining the Greater London Authority (GLA) George was the Flood Risk Manager at the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham where he was heavily involved in the delivery of several award-winning schemes that incorporated a wide variety of SuDS.

    He has previously worked for several engineering consultancies, both in the UK and Australia, where his focus was on water resource management and flood risk. George has chaired the London Drainage Engineering Group (LoDEG) since 2014, which represents all 33 of London’s Lead Local Flood Authorities on drainage and flooding, and related matters. Although an engineer by training, George fully appreciates the value that green infrastructure can bring to a community, and gets huge pleasure in returning grey spaces to green.

  • Marie Raffin

    Senior Research Scientist, Thames Water Utlities

    Marie Raffin is a senior research scientist within the Innovation department of Thames Water Utilities Limited (TWUL). Marie’s research seeks to understand the feasibility of implementing wastewater reuse for potable and non-potable applications in the Greater London area. Her research focuses on assessing and selecting appropriate technologies, and understanding how they are influenced by governance, regulation, risk mitigation and public perception. Marie is also involved in research on the optimisation of water treatment processes such as coagulation, ozonation and reservoir management. Marie is currently leading TWUL's involvement in the EU funded DEMOWARE project promoting wastewater reuse in Europe. She holds a PhD in Applied Sciences from Cranfield University (United Kingdom), where her research focussed on the optimisation of membrane process operation for wastewater reuse. Marie also holds an MEng in chemistry from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mulhouse (France) and a BSc in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Haute Alsace (France)

  • Ruth Holmes

    Landscape and Public Realm Sponsor, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park formerly of the Royal Parks

    Ruth Holmes BEng Hons MA MAUD MSc CMLI has 18 years’ experience as a Chartered Landscape Architect working for the public, private and voluntary sectors. She currently works for London Legacy Development Corporation, which has responsibility of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and developing neighbourhoods. For over 11 years she worked for The Royal Parks caring for over 5,000 acres of historic parkland in London.  She is a Trustee of the London Parks and Gardens Trust, on the Royal Parks Guild Committee and the World Urban Parks Healthy Parks Healthy Cities Committee. To support the Landscape profession she volunteers as a Landscape Institute examiner, supervisor, judge and mentor. Also with a keen interest in heritage, ecology, parks and horticulture she judges each year for Green Flag, Green Heritage and London in Bloom.

  • Marie Murray and Brian Cumming

    Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and Social Enterprise Grow Cook Eat

    Marie Murray and Brian Cumming are passionate about Dalston where they have lived for over 25 years, actively campaigning for residents’ involvement in shaping their own neighbourhood.  They were part of a team of local individuals and organisations who worked closely with J & L Gibbons and muf architecture/art to establish the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden in 2010. They went on to set up the social enterprise Grow Cook Eat in 2012 to ensure that the Garden continued to thrive. The Curve Garden is open 7 days a week, 12 months a year, offering a much-needed green breathing space for Dalston residents and a full programme of creative, cultural and volunteering activities. Marie & Brian work with a team of staff and volunteers to ensure that the Curve Garden continues to flourish and play a vital role for the community in Dalston.

  • John Watkins

    Head of Gardens and Landscape, English Heritage

    John Watkins has worked for English Heritage for almost 20 years advising on the curation, care and representation of its garden and landscape sites. During this time he has been responsible for guiding a number of significant projects including the Contemporary Heritage Garden (where notable landscape architects an garden designers competed to deliver design solutions to 6 garden sites from Richmond in Yorkshire to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, to major garden restoration projects at Down House, Kenilworth Castle and Wrest Park. John is currently working on projects at Walmer Castle, Marble Hill, Mount Grace Priory and Belsay Hall, which will come to fruition in the next couple of years. John has championed the professionalism of horticulture at English Heritage and is proud of the teams of highly skilled gardeners who now look after EH gardens. John initiated the Historic and Botanic Gardens Training Program that with HLF support has introduced over 200 new gardeners into the sector over the last 10 years.

  • Johanna Gibbons

    J & L Gibbons, Landscape Learn

    Johanna Gibbons is a Landscape Architect founding Partner of J & L Gibbons established in 1986. Jo studied Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art. She is a Fellow of the Landscape Institute and serves on several design advisory panels including Historic England, The Forestry Commission and HS2. Her design practice with Neil Davidson is award winning, and together they have founded Landscape Learn in 2016, a new prototype for learning and engaging with the landscape. Jo’s expertise concerns heritage, green infrastructure and urban regeneration and she leads on collaborative cross-disciplinary practice at a strategic and local level. She is external examiner at University of Edinburgh and her recently exhibited work includes ‘Urbanistas’ celebrating innovative women in urban design.

  • Neil Davidson

    J & L Gibbons, Landscape Learn

    Neil is a landscape architect and Partner of J & L Gibbons and founding Director of Landscape Learn. He trained at Edinburgh College of Art. Neil is particularly interested in a collaborative design approach that reveals synergies between the natural, built and cultural environments.  His research explores the use of historic narratives in a contemporary context, to inform designs for healthy and liveable environments. Neil maintains strong links with education. He taught at the Architectural Association and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Cambridge, CASS and Edinburgh College of Art. Neil is a Built Environment Expert for CABE at the Design Council, a member of the Lewisham Design Review Panel and a trustee of the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust.