#26 Between buildings: Landscape, Public space, Environment

Little Haldens, the secluded valley

Why the talk is inspiring?

The talk will bring together an architect, a landscape architect and a developer to discuss how each profession approaches and treats the built environment, urbanism, landscape and public realm separately and commonly.

What qualities does good public realm design bring to architecture and how does it make new places successful? How to involve local communities in helping define newly designed urban and rural spaces? How do new developments affect the surrounding environment and how these impacts can be minimised through good design practices and sound ethical responses? What tools are available to develop sustainable and well designed environments while minimising impact to fragile environments on local and global scale? How can it be achieved without compromising economic gains? These and other questions will be discussed within a context of Little Haldens project in the Gomm Valley development project on the outskirts of London.



James Hampton, Daniel Rea, Jonathan Smales

How the speaker is exceptional?

James Hampton is a Director of Periscope and is an architect with experience working on high profile projects in London and across the UK. James’ clients have spanned local authorities, regeneration bodies, private individuals, developers and other public sector organisations.

Prior to founding Periscope, James was Associate Director at Studio Egret West working on a range of award winning projects. His projects included Park Hill in Sheffield and the London Underground Design Idiom and have been awarded numerous prizes, including being shortlisted for the 2013 RIBA Stirling prize.

James teaches at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London where he co-runs an undergraduate design unit and teaches design realisation in the masters school. James graduated from the Bartlett in 2006 with a distinction.

Daniel Rea is Co-Founder of Periscope and is a chartered landscape architect (CMLI). He has worked with some of the world’s finest landscape and architecture practices on large and small scale projects for public and private clients in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Asia and the USA.

Daniel has been working in London for past 14 years, and has designed and delivered some of the capital’s most challenging projects. Having worked for private developers and local authorities he has amassed a wealth of experience in the design, planning and delivery of complex landscape and public realm with many stakeholders.

Jonathan Smales is a human geographer, schooled in the work of Jane Jacobs, Ivan Illich, Lewis Mumford and David Harvey, he now puts his interests into practice as a developer and regenerator of places, a promoter of outstanding public realm and sustainability specialist. His obsessions are integrated, multidisciplinary design for places, partnerships across sectors and deep collaboration on complex projects all in the service of places, infrastructures, communities and lifestyles that can deliver both better and inherently sustainable outcomes.

Jonathan is founder and director of Human + Nature. He is currently working on the Little Haldens development in Gomm Valley, High Wycombe.

Prior to Human + Nature, Jonathan was executive chairman of Beyond Green Group, the managing director and international trustee of Greenpeace UK and founded the Earth Centre Charitable Trust – a pioneering sustainability and National Millennium project.


The Landscape of Man. Shaping the environment from Prehistory to the present day

Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe

Why the book is worth reading?

Throughout history men have molded their environment to express or to symbolize ideas – power, order, comfort, harmony, pleasure, mystery. The means by which this has been achieved have varied in scale and composition, from small gardens to complete cities, but it is Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe’s distinction to have realized that they are manifestations of a single process, and to have linked them all together. To qualify as a ‘landscape of man’, an environment must be deliberately shaped at a specific time. Taking twenty-eight cultures, the authors first summarize the social and intellectual background, then describe how this expressed itself in terms of landscape, and finally demonstrate their case in a series of picture-spread showing what actually happened. The ground covered includes ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, the Moslem world, medieval Europe, India, china, Japan, pre-Colombian America and the post-Renaissance West in all its phases. The last section, about a fifth of the whole, is devoted to planning since 1945.


Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Human Coexistence

Timothy Morton

Why the book is worth reading?

Timothy Morton argues that ecological awareness in the present Anthropocene era takes the form of a strange loop or Moebius strip, twisted to have only one side. Deckard travels this oedipal path in Blade Runner (1982) when he learns that he might be the enemy he has been ordered to pursue. Ecological awareness takes this shape because ecological phenomena have a loop form that is also fundamental to the structure of how things are. The logistics of agricultural society resulted in global warming and hardwired dangerous ideas about life-forms into the human mind. Dark ecology puts us in an uncanny position of radical self-knowledge, illuminating our place in the biosphere and our belonging to a species in a sense that is far less obvious than we like to think. Morton explores the logical foundations of the ecological crisis, which is suffused with the melancholy and negativity of coexistence yet evolving, as we explore its loop form, into something playful, anarchic, and comedic. His work is a skilled fusion of humanities and scientific scholarship, incorporating the theories and findings of philosophy, anthropology, literature, ecology, biology, and physics. Morton hopes to reestablish our ties to nonhuman beings and to help us rediscover the playfulness and joy that can brighten the dark, strange loop we traverse.