Recently when I was looking through my drawers, I suddenly found the letter that changed my world. It was the acceptance letter I once got. There it said that I would be able to study landscape architecture. It reminded me of the first time I heard of what landscape architecture was. I was in my young teens and we had decided to spend the holidays in the Alps. We were sitting in a cosy Austrian restaurant and suddenly a Swedish old man, joined us at our table. We talked about everything and suddenly he started telling me of his daughter’s work. She planned how cities and towns would look like, everything from flowerboxes to streets, and that she travelled a lot to see how other places looked like. I remember how I sat with a slack jaw and then asked what her profession was and he told me that she was a landscape architect. Just like that an idea, like a seed had been gently planted within me. This seed suddenly started to grow more and more, until it finally became my reality and future.
From time to time I feel like I am swimming around in a sea filled with too many projects, deadlines, and exams. It is easy to forget that it is my own choice. Occasionally I need to remind myself of why I am doing what I do and what made me choose this path. In doing so, I turn up my motivation and spirit. I still remember how exciting everything was when I was a kid. I could build and draw cities for hours on end as a kid.
Now I am studying landscape architecture for my second year and when I come across an exciting project I get that same feeling I had when I was 9 years old. But what is landscape architecture? That question tends to be a bit of a philosophical question, since you will have to define what a landscape is, which is easier said than done. The landscape is everywhere, it has many different shapes and forms and you can affect it in many ways. We are surrounded by a variety of different landscapes and we are also a part of them. Understanding its shapes and forms enables you to affect it in desirable ways.
For me the importance of the landscape lies within its variety. I want to learn as much as I can about the landscape to be able to explore its possibilities and hidden opportunities. When I was younger I used to think that the buildings played the main part in the landscape, but with time I have come to realize just how much you can do with the landscape itself. Architects have since the beginning of time played with the landscape. As a landscape architect I would like to play with architecture and combine the two, but more according to the terms of the landscape. My aspiration is to create new types of urban spaces, which people can use and enjoy. I want to create landscapes that are funny and that people haven’t seen before. So far I am still in the embryonic state of that, but when it feels like I get stuck in projects and the ideas aren’t right I turn to the child inside of me and ask what he would do. It has helped a lot and I do not doubt that it will help me in the future as well.
// Stefan E
One of my childhood drawings