March for Women
March, in addition to providing us with great weather for enjoying the outdoors, is a special month for us here at Studio Balcones. As a Women-Owned Small Business, March being Women’s History month holds special significance for us. It is also the month of our firm’s birthday. In celebration of all of this we would like to share some of the women designers who we look to for inspiration and who contribute great ideas to our profession.
When discussing women in landscape architecture it is difficult not to start with Marth Schwartz. Notable for her achievements in the field starting in the late 70s, her willingness to forego convention in pursuit of exploring the conceptual potential of landscape, and her rise to prominence leading her to become the first woman on the cover of Landscape Architecture Magazine. It is difficult to say which facet is of greater influence to our work.
Martha Schwartz’s commitment to finding landscape solutions to climate change through her role as a founding member of the Climate Change Action Group at the Landscape Architecture Foundation and integrating that commitment into her ongoing pursuit of integrating art into the profession of landscape architecture and making unique, memorable, and beautiful landscapes which advocate equally for both causes are truly inspirational and of greater and greater importance as we move forward.
Andrea Cochran’s approach to space and materiality continues the trend of blending art and landscape into an inseparable whole – projects which reflect and define the identity of place. Her commitment to working on a diverse range of projects, from high-end residential to renowned institutional projects, and often with affordable housing projects has led to being identified as a leader in the movement for taking on projects -regardless of prestige- and treating them with an elevated level of care to create enduring places to be used by the people inhabiting them – something our firm strives to achieve in work.
When it comes to combining the themes of form, art, social responsibility, sustainability and place within landscape architecture, few have been able to create a body of work which expertly weaves these elements together better than Diana Balmori. Her work in exploring how form can respond to a new understanding of nature, as a core process rather than a superficial visual imitation, has become only more relevant to the profession at large as mounting challenges of climate change become ever more apparent. Balmori was a frequent collaborator with artists and architects – deeply influencing one of our principles, Ilse Frank, who worked under Diana Balmori in her early career.
Header image: Kristina SnyderTags: andrea cochran, design, diana balmori, inspiration, Landscape, landscape architecture, march, martha schwartz, women
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