Australian Landscape Architecture Festival Breaks New Ground

Brisbane will host a pioneering event exploring how the landscapes of our cities, public spaces and natural environment are designed and governed through the inaugural Forecast Festival of Landscape Architecture.

Presented by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), Forecast runs from October 16 – 18, and brings together thinkers, collaborators and innovators whose work intersects between landscape architecture, the built environment and city government.

A diverse group of 27 speakers will include renowned US landscape architect Julie Bargmann. Julie founded D.I.R.T. studio in 1992 and has been an innovative designer in building regenerative landscapes.

Perry Lethlean, Director of Australia’s TCL, one of the world’s most revered landscape architecture and urban design firms.

Perry has led the successful implementation of complex landscape and urban projects such as Auckland Waterfront Redevelopment, Geelong Waterfront Redevelopment, The Forest Gallery at the Melbourne Museum and The Australian Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne.

Forecast’s Creative Directors Diana Snape and Sharon Mackay have built an engaging programme bringing speakers and audience together through forum style discussions on far-reaching topics.

“Forecast brings together architecture professionals, traffic engineers, city-planners from the public sector – it’s a broad range of people whose work crosses into landscape architecture,” says Snape.

“This format is essential because it celebrates the collaborative way in which landscape architects work.”

Forecast’s celebration of landscape architecture continues well outside of the festival and into Brisbane’s public realm.

The festival aims to make a lasting impression on Brisbane, a city globally recognised for its highly activated outdoor public spaces, such as South Bank parklands, which forms Forecast’s backdrop.

Landscape Architect’s Tract Consultants will create a beautifully designed hub at the State Library of Queensland, reflecting the thought-building intentions of the festival and taking inspiration from Brisbane’s stunning natural assets.

The festival will also host a free public exhibition featuring work from some of Australia’s top landscape and architecture photographers at SLQ.

Brisbane’s inquisitive design minds are invited to go behind the scenes with the firms shaping the city’s urban landscape through Forecast’s innovative ‘Come Back to My Place’ events, with stop offs including the remarkable subtropical garden built at Translational Research Institute in Woolloongabba.

“We thought – why not explore an idea in Brisbane that allow firms to say ‘this is us, this is our work and this is how we do it’ and that is a great thing to be able to share not just with Landscape Architects, but with the broader public,” says Sharon Mackay.

The Festival comes at a time of exciting growth for the landscape architecture industry, which has been reflected in a surge of AILA’s membership from 1,400 in February to 1,850 in August.

Many of these members will be on-hand to share their views at Forecast, which the creative directors hope will re-imagine the way landscape architects meet and celebrate the profession, share stories and learn through discourse and debate.

“City planners are becoming more and more aware of the importance of the space between buildings – our public realm and urban spaces are the fabric that knits the city together,” Snape says.

“That is the space in which landscape architecture has the skill and the strategic capacity to support good quality sustainable and successful urban design.”

Much of Forecast Festival of Landscape Architecture, takes place at State Library of Queensland (SLQ), located on the river at South Bank.

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