Royal Designers for Industry: Gilles Clément
As we previously reported, last night (November 27, 2014) Gilles Clément was honored Honorary RDI for his creative and progressive application of ecology and science to sustainable landscape design.
And because nature's 'health' is very important for our health and well-being, let's learn more about the Clément's work.
Gilles Clément is an acclaimed French horticultural engineer, gardener, landscape architect, botanist and writer.
He was one of the first to allow nature to participate, and often lead, in the creative and ecological shaping of new landscapes and, for the last 40 years, he has had a significant influence on landscape design across the world.
He has worked on major influential public and private projects such as Parc André-Citroën in Paris, and parks and gardens from Chile to Mexico and Libya, often collaborating with other landscape designers, botanists and architects, leaving a unique legacy of work that is complemented by a series of internationally important books and lectures.
Gilles Clément has committed his life to researching, describing and promoting the adoption of sustainable design and management strategies for public and private landscapes. One of his key missions has been to 'encourage biological diversity, a source of wonder and our guarantee for the future'. His legacy is perhaps unrivalled in Europe for his consistent, authentic and visionary stance on matters of landscape design and biodiversity.
He has influenced many public authorities and private estates to change their traditional approach of ornamental landscape management to a richer and diverse approach to planting design and maintenance. His larger public schemes have provided delight and surprise for the visitors and also have inspired countless professionals to think about planting design in new ways in both urban and rural contexts.
Prior to the Libyan revolution, Gilles Clément was engaged in a major project that would have embedded his ideas at the scale of the region and City of Tripoli. This involved the planning, design and implementation of an extensive landscape green belt around the southern landward sides of the city that was to restore and repair the green infrastructure that both protected and fed the city whilst creating a necklace of new public parks. Although the project was never realised, it was nonetheless influential. Through adopting a very strict approach to sustainable design, Gilles Clément established an exemplar for landscape planning and design that took landscape design to the next step in its evolution.
Gilles Clément is a highly respected professor at the world famous Versailles National School of Landscape Architecture. He regularly lectures on his work around the world and both organises and participates in international exhibitions including the Canadian Centre for Architecture CCA in Montreal and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. He has published a number of highly influential books including 'Nine Planetary Gardens' and 'Landscapes of the Third Kind'.
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