Primary Design Statement

The following essay is the Design Statement, from my application to the GIR program:


Landscape as an opportunity

Landscape as a tool

Landscape as a system

 My work in landscape has been system based, many of the projects I have designed strive to use the land to its full potential as ecological infrastructure as well as a place of beauty. This involves research into the various systems of a site, at scales from regional to the microbes in the soil as well as integrate awareness of cultural networks, in order to design landscapes that function as catalysts for human thought as well as enhance a site’s ecological connections. 

In this residency I would love to explore the theme of connection to place and larger issues such as the drought, climate change and the paradigm shifts that are needed to address these issues, in the Sculpture Garden as Gardener in Residence At Recology.

The sculpture garden is physically unique due to its location on a hill in between two valleys, granting visitors panoramic views as well as treating visitors to the constant presence of the coastal winds. I would like to install a garden that uses native grasses and perennials to expose the invisible force of the wind and invite visitors to linger in the space and reflect on other invisible systems working all around them, including the system of water that is integral to our very existence in this arid area.  

It is not often in the career of a landscape designer that we get to have a space of our very own, to explore the ideas that we find the most powerful. It would be an incredible opportunity to partner with Recology as the next Gardener in Residence at Recology San Francisco. 

Lora Martens