Getting set for the International Festival of Landscape Architecture

Those wanting to buy tickets to AILA's International Festival of Landscape Architecture on the Gold Coast later this year have until Saturday to buy them at discounted rates.

This year - the festival’s fifth - focuses on diversity within landscape architecture, and how the practice is likely to evolve in the future.  Entitled The Expanding Field: Charting the Future of Practice, it aims to open participants’ minds to possibilities for landscape architecture.

“We’re looking at people who are working at the edges of landscape practice, so that might include people who are practicing landscape architecture in new or unconventional or innovative ways,” Jen Lynch, who’s helping organise the festival, told Landscape Architecture Aotearoa.

 This year's International Festival of Landscape Architecture is entitled "The Expanding Field: Charting the Future of Practice." Photo credit Trisha Dixon.

This year's International Festival of Landscape Architecture is entitled "The Expanding Field: Charting the Future of Practice." Photo credit Trisha Dixon.

Lynch is a landscape architect at Taylor Cullity Lethlean, a landscape architecture and urban design firm based in Melbourne and Adelaide. TCL are creative directors for the festival.

"This is the first festival that has been directed by a landscape architecture practice,” she says. “And it is very much focused on practice, in the sense that we are. Trying to link the ideas that people discussed at the festival to the kinds of things we do in our everyday work. We’re hoping that the conference can inspire people to see what they can do through their own practice in an expanded way."

 Speaker Maria Gabriella Trovato will present research from her work inside Syrian refugee camps.

Speaker Maria Gabriella Trovato will present research from her work inside Syrian refugee camps.

While the full line up of speakers hasn’t been finalised, Maria Gabriella Trovato, head of the International Federation of Landscape Architects Landscape Architects Without Borders Group,  has been confirmed. Trovato believes LAs can and should contribute their professional expertise to improve the lives of the displaced. She’s done project work inside Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon and will present her research from those projects at the conference.

 Maria Gabriella Trovato is the head of the International Federation of Landscape Architects Landscape Architects Without Borders Group, 

Maria Gabriella Trovato is the head of the International Federation of Landscape Architects Landscape Architects Without Borders Group, 

Lynch says another to watch out for is farmer Charles Massy. He became aware that his farming practices - handed down to him by his father and followed by most in the farming community - were destroying the fertility of his land and creating problems that didn’t exist decades before. After studying science and agriculture later in life, he began a research project, touring the country speaking to farmers who were pioneering new methods and reaping the benefits of a more holistic management approach. The festival will examine how landscape architecture can engage in this space.

 Farmer Charles Massey has researched new farming methods.

Farmer Charles Massey has researched new farming methods.

“We’re thinking very carefully about the types of people we put into each discussion and the ideas that can come from it,” Lynch says. “We’ll have some bigger names but we’re also looking for younger, more emerging voices, people who are doing things a bit more radically.”

The festival will be a predominantly outdoor affair at the 'Home of the Arts' amphitheatre in October. Find out more about the event here.