SWA集团董事洪盈玉谈当代风景园林学的学习与实践

Landscape Architectural Study & Practice - Interview with Yingyu Hung, SWA Los Angeles

by Sep 28, 2009
by 高琴 Sep 28, 2009

笔者按:洪盈玉女士曾经是我在南加大的指导设计研究课程(Directed Design Research)的指导老师之一,也曾给我们上过风景园林理论课,目前是我在SWA集团洛杉矶事务所工作的项目主持设计师。 之前在南加大就读时,对于洪女士的感觉是:看问题非常犀利,关注设计的可操作性和细节,她总是能够看到我们设计中一些不易被人察觉的问题,但是一旦经她提出,我们会意识到这对于我们的设计是非常重要的。从南加大毕业后我在SWA集团洛杉矶事务所开始工作,对于洪女士有了进一步的了解。洪女士非常地热爱设计,用SWA集团洛杉矶事务所执行董事格杜∙阿基诺先生的话来讲:洪盈玉内心有一团熊熊燃烧的设计火焰,她对她所从事的工作有着无限的激情和能量。洪女士作为华裔设计师,也非常关注目前中国本行业的发展状态和学生们的最新思想,因此她欣然接受了我对她进行这个采访的邀请,并希望自己的建议和经验可以给中国学生和青年风景园林人一些帮助和启发。

洪盈玉简介:洪盈玉女士早年毕业于美国加州大学伯克利分校建筑设计文科学士,之后在哈佛大学设计研究院获得风景园林硕士学位。现为美国加州注册风景园林师,美国风景园林师协会(ASLA)会员。洪盈玉女士担任美国SWA集团洛杉矶事务所董事,并在美国南加州大学(University of Southern California,以下简称南加大)担任客座助理教授。洪盈玉女士在SWA已经有15年的职业经历。她主持设计的项目范围十分广泛,包括:城市设计,城市综合用地设计,城市河道修复,大型生态居住区规划,等等。洪女士既是风景园林师,也是城市规划师,她获得过许多美国国内和国际的奖项,最近的代表性奖项包括:上海中邦雕塑公园获得2009 美国风景园林师协会的国家荣誉奖(ASLA National HonorAward);上海崇明岛北湖地区规划获得2007美国风景园林师协会分析与规划荣誉奖(ASLA National Honor Award)。2009年4月中旬在上海同济大学和上海交通大学与格杜∙阿基诺先生一起做了景观基础设施探析的讲座,洪女士具备将形式与功能和视觉结合的设计天赋,并具有一种利用可持续发展的策略保护我们日渐枯竭的资源的敏锐洞察力。洪盈玉女士在南加大指导的设计STUDIO探讨了洛杉矶市中心城市景观,重点研究不同区域之间的相互渗透,基础设施的连接,开放空间网络,和城市中未被充分利用的空间。

SWA集团董事洪盈玉


采访时间:2009-9-15

高琴(以下简称高):作为一位知名的风景园林师,您有良好的教育背景,成功的职业经历,并在南加州大学执教风景园林课程。是什么关键因素让您一直对风景园林学保持您的热情和探索呢?

洪盈玉(以下简称洪):我对于风景园林学科的兴趣和热爱主要是因为对于我来说,每一个项目都是一个尝试新事物的崭新开始。一个项目就像一个谜一样正在等待某个人去真正地解开。尽管项目的类型可能会是相似的,但是每一个项目的情形却是独特的。每一个项目可能会有很多种设计手法,但是目标是尽量把现在这个项目做得比上一次要好。找到正确答案的过程是如此不同,这就是为什么我从来不对它厌倦。此外,我做的项目总体来说范围很广,从规划,城市设计到细部材料和三维模型。我们的职业是如此的广博,以至于我们很难限定我们自己只做一件事情。这个世界对我来说是一个巨大的游戏场地,我可以在其中不断地改进我的“工艺”。所以我想这就是为什么我乐此不疲,总是非常热切地探索更多可能性的原因。

高:您在风景园林和城市设计的实践中已经有15年,在您的职业生涯中,您是否经历过挫折呢?如果您经历过,您是如何战胜它,又是如何从中学习的呢?

洪:当然我经历过着各种各样的挫折,以至于我都没办法开始跟你讲。每一天都有挫折感:赶项目期限,做一个项目从来都没有足够的时间,对自己的设计不满意。我想面对这些情形的最好办法就是学习如何有效地管理我的精力和时间。早上是进行设计的最佳时间,下午可以开员工会议,与客户沟通,或是进行一些管理上的事务。尽管我尽量避免这样做,但是我发现我在周六工作的时候,没有办公室的干扰,这真的帮助我专注于设计,并且顺畅地进行思索,最终完成设计。

另一种挫折感是与整个职业相关的。大家知道,你将生命中的15年投入到这个职业当中,然后你会问自己:嗯,这真的是我想做的吗?当然有些时候你会有阶段性的思索:我还是想一直在风景园林行业。但是我感到我没有了新的挑战。还有对于固定工作职能的恐惧,也就是人们用固定的模式来界定你,认为你就是只适合于做某些类型的项目,你会感到非常沮丧。摆脱被误解感和自我怜悯的最好办法就是重新转移一个人的关注点。所以我当时想我也许就专注在我真正在乎的一项事情上,并把它做得很好,不要在意别人会怎么想,例如去做竞赛,园艺等等。

有些时候挫折感来自于对一件事物的厌倦。最好的方法是尝试非常不同的其它事物,一些可以让你从你的普通日常程序中抽离出来的事物,并且将你整个人置于一个完全不同的环境。你的挫折感将会很快被新环境的挑战所淹没。运用你所学到的东西来面临这些新的挑战,你会渐渐变得更强大,更聪慧,这是一个让你能量剧增的经历。

高:几乎每一个设计师都希望自己的作品尽善尽美,但是在现实世界中是非常难以达到的目标。您是如何在追求完美和现实限制,例如客户的个人品味,政治性的因素,有限的造价之间保持平衡的呢?

洪:这是一个有意思的问题。你在你的心中有这样一个愿景:从专业的角度来看,你知道创造美好事物和丰富涵义的最好方式。你试图与客户沟通你的想法并希望得到客户的理解和支持。客户也像你一样,希望把项目做好,但是依然有许多的限制因素,例如资金,工期和技术能力等问题。最好的方式是把你认为对项目最重要的目标限制在三个之内,并且尽你所能实现它们。所以在设计结束的那天,你做完了这个项目,你知道你已经尽力了,并且你所做的是美好而有意义的事物。

高:在中国有越来越多的国际风景园林竞赛,许多中国学生也对这些竞赛热情饱满,您认为学生们对各种各样的设计竞赛应该采取什么样的态度呢?您对于他们做竞赛有什么建议吗?

洪:我认为学生参加竞赛是非常好的事情。但是有一件事情我想提醒学生们的是:不要对竞赛掉以轻心,尽量把竞赛当做是一个真实的项目,具备现实生活中的种种问题和后果。竞赛是关于理念,但是理念是基于一些非常坚实的事物,例如某一场地的背景、社会因素、地理、水文、历史。竞赛中的选址往往是你以前从未去过的地方。可能是澳大利亚、欧洲、或世界上的任何地方。你的设计要试图解决在该国家或地方正在发生的有关问题,这是非常重要的。并不是任何事情都发生在这个地方,否则竞赛就失去它的意义了。但是对于背景的了解一定会让你的设计成为原创的作品。

作为在中国工作的美国人,我们时常会遇到这样的疑问:“你们不是来自于我们国家,你们怎么会知道我们需要的是什么呢?你们为什么要将这些西方的理念应用在我们的项目上?你们是否考虑过这个地方的历史呢?你们是否考虑过……?”这是非常实际的质疑。同样,我会建议中国学生在参加竞赛的时候做同样的事情,那就是做大量的调查研究,不要设想你什么都知道。

关于与背景相关的理念,我对于北京奥运会开幕式上的设置印象非常深刻。闭幕式上有很多表演,但是最令人难忘的是张艺谋编导的巨大屏幕。这真是非常了不起!这并不是仅从过去抄袭一些东西并生搬硬套到我们现在的社会背景中。张先生能够为观众们重新解读过去并且以一种创造性的、新颖的、有力的艺术形式传达了这种信息。这样宏大的作品需要时间、经验和对于工作本身的尊重。作为学生,一定不要忘记活到老,学到老,研究、理解和表达的能力是参加竞赛中的一个重要过程。

高:您对于中国风景园林学生申请美国大学硕士有什么建议吗?您认为中国学生去美国大学学习是否是有必要并且是有帮助的呢?您认为他们可以从海外学习经历中获得什么重要的东西呢?

洪:对于有兴趣申请美国大学的学生们,我们建议是:对,绝对有必要。这不仅仅是关于教育本身,而且是置身于其它的文化、景观和意识到我们是更大世界的一部分,这个我们称作地球的世界正急需我们的帮助。我之前提到,我们应该把我们自己看做终身学生,不仅仅是学习风景园林,而且还有所有其它引起我们兴趣的学科:艺术、音乐、社会学、政治学等等。所有这些事物将帮助我们成为更好的设计师,最终为这个世界创造一个更好的环境。

让我们回到在美国学习的话题,我认为许多美国大学都希望从世界上吸引到最好的老师和学生。作为研究生课程的一部分,学生们置身于一个国际上和美国国内的多样的项目中,并且被要求解决在全球的范围内发生的相关问题,在一个不那么熟悉的地区中探索并且解决他们似乎无法触及的问题。尽管依然是在学校,但是面向世界的宽广窗口是随时为学生们敞开的,这样的资源包括旅行奖学金、海外研究项目和提供他们自身对于场地的认识来支持学生需求的国际教授。这里的教学方法往往没有太多的条条框框。学生们可以探索各种可能性并在悉心的指导下找到答案。对于每一个设计概念中的决定,学生们被要求解释他们是怎么达到这一步的,并且在设计评图时在评审团面前为他们设计的优点辩护。这个过程使他们成为思路清晰,富于责任感的设计师。

高:作为南加大建筑学院的一名教授,您是如何将景观都市化和景观基础设施的理论应用在您指导的设计课程中的呢?您是如何将学生引导入当代风景园林学科潮流中的呢?您认为这对于在毕业后即将进入专业领域工作的学生们的重要性在于什么地方呢?

洪:景观基础设施和景观都市化是目前风景园林学科中两个最新讨论的话题。与传统的风景园林学教学相比,景观基础设施认为设计是经历一个长期的、谨慎的分析研究过程的最终产物,是考虑不同因素,自然的或人为的,加上时间对于设计成果本身影响的教育性的设计成果预测。它试图澄清风景园林不是一个以物体为中心,基于解答的研究,并不像我们生活中发生的许多其它事物一样。对于我们的问题没有正确的解答,不同系统的相互联系和他们对于我们生活方式的影响是该研究最有意义的部分。关于“系统”,我们并不是在讨论一个特定的基地或地方,学生们也通常被要求在设计课中这样陈述。就拿设计一个公园来说,我真的知道这个公园想成为什么样吗?我知道谁会使用这个公园吗?你找到答案的方法就是去做大量的研究。街道在公园周围吗?谁是使用者?周围的邻里是怎样的?人们要怎样到达这个公园?最近的公园在哪里?在这个公园里是否有任何的自然系统?在为这个公园提供一个解决方案之前,你必须要明白有多个层次的信息需要被理解,问题的尺度超越场地的边界。我认为这是学生们还不适应的思维,因为他们认为风景园林学是专注于设计和形式的创造。但是风景园林学不仅仅是设计,它专注于所有这些相互关联的系统和因素,和他们是如何影响一个设计师的决定。在南加大,我们试图告诉学生们街道、停车场、屋顶、高速公路、甚至城市的雨水管道都是风景园林学的一部分,从而成为“景观基础设施”。

在最基本的层面上,我们在这个公园中设计种植的植物从土地中汲取水分,它们的生长需要空气和阳光,并且它们的生长可能会被各种不可预知的因素所影响:干旱、风、虫害等等。这些因素存在于环境之中,是我们研究的一部分。我们生活的环境并不总是完美的:交通拥挤、污染、农药、食品中人工激素,开放空间的匮乏等等。这意味着我们基本生活所需,例如基础设施需要大量的整修,所以我们可以更优化地利用资源去生活。这进入到可持续的话题,我们现在不再谈论公园设计了。我们在谈论这个世界是怎样运转的。这就是我们希望能够与学生们分享的观点,这可以真正打开他们的思维。所以他们知道他们职业的重要性是超越这个公园设计练习的,他们具有责任并且有能力从“景观基础设计”的角度对这个世界有所贡献。这非常地有力,对吧?

作为一个为学生服务的老师,你希望鼓励学生们真正地超越极限,而景观都市化和景观基础设施正有助于开阔他们的眼界。但是一旦他们开始在一个事务所工作,实践比我们之前谈论的要复杂得多。重要的是一个学生要保持他/她的热情、愿景和他/她在这个世界的重要作用。记住改善我们的环境从小处着眼,就像俗语说:“全球化思考,本地化行动”。你做的每一件事情都创造不同,在我们的设计中使用再生资源,选用耐旱植物种类,运用渗透性铺装提高地下水补给,等等。

高:您认为一个年轻的风景园林学生应该具备什么样的重要能力或品质呢?您在学校的时候是什么样的呢?在三年工作经历之后您为什么决定去哈佛设计研究生院进一步学习呢?

洪:首先,学生应该保持一种非常开放的思维,不要很快下结论。通常学生们以为他们知道了正确答案。他们知道答案的那一秒就是他们停止学习的那一刻,因为他们开始拒绝接受新的可能性。其次,学生们应该培养良好的绘图技能,因为你毕竟是一个设计师,你通过图纸、分析图、草图和图片来与人们沟通,而不仅仅是口头表达。第三,研究和收集数据的能力非常重要。你不能只是有一个观点,你必须要证明给人们看你说的是切合实际的。然后我们(老师)认同或是不认同,这就创造了一个非常动态的设计课环境。

当我还是在加州大学伯克利分校就读大学本科的时候,我对很多事物感兴趣。我认为很多我今天说过的话是我学生经历的一个反映。在大学本科的前两年我学习除建筑之外的其它课程。我学习了雕塑、绘画、音乐、写作、英国文学、哲学和人类学。我希望我获得尽量多的知识并且擅长于尽量多的事情,而不仅仅是建筑。

在一个建筑公司工作了三年之后,我决定学习风景园林学,因为我认为建筑学本身不能够解决那时的很多问题,这些问题与我们生活的世界有着更多的联系。坦白地说,我对于风景园林学的最初理解非常肤浅,我认为这个行业是对我已经学到的知识的一个很好补充,但没有想到这个领域是如此广阔、复杂和激动人心!尽管拥有建筑学的背景帮助我更好地理解尺度、结构、体量和材料,但我对于这个决定绝对从来没有后悔过。

由于我接受的是建筑专业的教育和训练,我在哈佛设计研究生院的风景园林专业中遇到过一些困难。在研究生学习的第一年,我将所有的树设计成锥体和方块,我希望控制每一样东西。我的教授告诉我:“你不再是建筑师了,不要再像建筑师那样思考问题。”植物在生长,自然在随时间变化,你在一天设计出的东西在十年后会非常不同。这就是景观和建筑之间的一个关键不同。

高:对于赶上风景园林领域最前沿的问题,您对于中国学生有什么建议吗?

洪:我会说他们需要知道的最重要的事情是学习景观都市化和景观基础设施,尽管这些不是最前沿的概念。事实是基础设施一直存在于我们的社会之中,但是没有一个人曾经思考过如果景观和它的可持续实践是这个等式的一部分,它将会与我们今天的需求有更紧密的联系。从最基本的层面上来讲,我想说学生们需要学习景观生态学,这是分析和设计的基石。我们在学校中的许多讨论都是围绕生态系统进行的。这是关于可持续实践,事物如何运转比它们的外观更为重要。我认为中国传统园林是一种人为对自然的再造。石头是从一个地方搬运到另一个地方,从而使它看起来是来自某个地方。但是如果你问,这个最终结果是生态的吗?这样的设计不是基于生态原则。这是一种对自然的表面上的复制,但是并没有像自然那样运转。景观生态学研究自然是如何运转的,并且指导我们如何将这些基本功能和原则融入我们的设计之中。


Landscape Architectural Study & Practice – Interview with Yingyu Hung, SWA Los Angeles

As a landscape architect, Ying-Yu believes that the act of design leads beyond form giving and the built object. For her, landscape architecture has become a meta discipline that guides other disciplines – one that protects the resources of the world and sets strategies to curtail global warming, to augment habitats for endangered species, and to minimize the human footprint. This interview contains Ying-Yu’s design philosophy, as well as suggestions for Chinese young landscape designers and students.

QG=Qin Gao,YH=Yingyu Hong

QG: As a notable landscape architect who has a good education background, and has a successful career and teaching studios at USC, what are the critical factors in maintaining your enthusiasm and exploration in landscape architecture?

YH: The reason I am interested and enthusiastic about landscape architecture mostly is because for me every project is a new beginning to try something new. The project is like a puzzle that is waiting for somebody to really figure it out. Every situation is unique even though the project types may be similar. There can be infinitely many solutions for every project; the goal is to try making this project better than the last one. The process of finding the right answers could be so varied, which is why I never get tired of it. Also, the projects that I work on generally have a great range, from planning, urban design, to detailing materials and 3D modeling. Our profession is very broad that it is hard to narrow oneself to just doing only one thing. The world is a giant playground for me to constantly refine my craft. So I think that’s why I am not bored and I am always excited to explore more possibilities.

QG: You have been practicing in landscape design and urban design for 15 years. Did you ever have any frustration in your career? If you had, how did you conquer it and learn from it?

YH: There are different kinds of frustration for sure. I cannot even begin to tell you. There is the day to day frustration: meeting deadlines and never having enough time to work on a project and feeling dissatisfied with the design. I guess the best way to deal with the situation is learn how to manage my energy and time effectively. Mornings are the best time for design; afternoons are for meetings with staff, calling clients, and taking care of office administrative tasks. Although I try to avoid doing this often, I find working on Saturdays with no office distraction really helps me to focus on design and following a train of thought through to its completion.

Another type of frustration has to do with the career as a whole. You know, 15 years of your life devoted into this profession, and then you ask yourself: well, is this really what I want to do? Sometimes, sure, you go through phases thinking: well, I want to stay with landscape architecture, but I feel I am not challenged. There is also the fear of being pigeonholed, that people identify you as being certain way and is therefore most suitable to certain type of projects. That could be very frustrating. To get away from feeling misunderstood and self-pity, the best way is to re-shift one’s focus. So then I thought maybe I should just focus on doing something I really care about do it really well, and not to worry about what other people think, such as working on competitions, gardening, etc.

Sometimes frustration comes from boredom. The best way is to try something very different, something that takes you out of your normal daily routine and puts you in a different place all together. Your frustration will soon be overwhelmed by challenges to the new context. Applying what you’ve learned to these new challenges, evolving as you go along and coming out stronger, wiser, could be a very empowering experience.

QG: Almost every designer expects their works be perfect. But it is very hard to achieve this goal in the real world. How did you keep balance between your desire to be perfect and real constraints such as personal taste of clients, political forces, low budget, etc.?

YH: It is an interesting problem. You have this vision in your mind: based on your professional opinion, you know the best way to do something that is beautiful and makes good sense. You try to communicate the idea to the client, and hope the client will understand and support. The client wants to do something well just like you, but there are many constraints like budget, schedule, and technical abilities. The best way is to narrow down to no more than 3 goals which you think are the most important for the project, and try to realize them as much as you can. So at the end of the day, when you are done with the project, you know that you’ve tried your best, and there is something beautiful and valuable that you have contributed.

QG: There are more and more international landscape competitions available in China. Lots of students in China are enthusiastic about these competitions. What attitude do you think students should take towards all sorts of design competitions? Do you have any advice for them on competitions?

YH: I think it’s great that students are doing competitions. But one thing I would caution is to not treat competitions lightly. Try to approach it as if it is a real project that it’s got real-life issues and consequences. The competition is about ideas, but ideas that are based on something very solid such as the context, social factors of a particular place, geography, water, history. With competitions, the project is often located somewhere you have never been to before. It could be in Australia, Europe, or anywhere around the world. It is really important that the proposal addresses the relevant issues happening in that particular country or place. It is not just anything goes, for the competition loses its significance. By understanding the context, the proposal will inevitably become something original.

For Americans who work in China, we often come across comments such as, “you do not come from our country, how could you know what we want? Why are you proposing these western ideas on our project? Have you thought about the history of this place? Have you thought about …?” These are valid criticisms. By the same token, I would ask that the Chinese students do the same thing when they participate in competitions. Do a lot of research; do not assume you know everything.

With regard to ideas relating to context, I was very much impressed by the installations at the Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony. There were lots of performances. The most memorable one is the huge screen that was choreographed by Zhang Yimou. It is something that is really amazing. It is not about copying something from the past and awkwardly forcing it onto our present context. Mr. Zhang is able to re-interpret the past and deliver the message as an art form that is creative, refreshing, and powerful for today’s audience. Such master piece takes time, experience, and respect for the work itself. So as students, one must not forget that learning will always be part of our lives, and the ability to research, understand, and express should be an important process in competitions always.

QG: What advice do you have for Chinese landscape students applying for the U.S. universities master programs? Do you think it is necessary and helpful for students in China to go to the U.S. universities and what are the most important things you think they can get from the abroad study experience?

YH: For students who are interested in applying for the United States universities, my advice is: yes, definitely. It is not so much about the education itself, but the exposure to other cultures, landscapes, and the understanding that we are part of the larger world and this world we called earth is in desperate need of our help. As mentioned earlier, we should see ourselves as lifelong students, not just learning about landscape architecture, but all other subjects whichever may perk our interest: arts, music, sociology, politics, etc. All these things will only help us to become better designers as we are, after all, creating a better environment for the world.

Let’s get back to the subject of studying in the U.S. I think many of the U.S. universities share the common vision of attracting the best teachers and students from all over the world. As part of the graduate curriculum, students are exposed to a variety of international and local projects and asked to address pertinent issues occurring at a global scale, to venture into areas that are not familiar and tackle problems that seem beyond their reach. Although still in school, the window to the world is wide open and readily accessible through traveling fellowships, studies abroad programs, and international professors offering their own knowledge of the place to support students’ needs. The teaching methodology here is usually less prescriptive. Students are open to explore a variety of possibilities and find the answers with careful guidance. For every decision made on a design idea, students are asked to explain how they got there, and argue for the merit of their design in front of a jury panel during design reviews. This process makes them become responsible designers with clear visions.

QG: As a professor in USC School of architecture, how do you apply landscape urbanism and landscape infrastructure in the studio you instructed? How did you guide students into the contemporary landscape discipline trend? How do you think it is important to students who are going to work in the profession after graduation?

YH: Landscape infrastructure and landscape urbanism are two of the latest topics being discussed and debated in landscape architecture. Compared to the traditional landscape architecture teaching, landscape infrastructure argues that a design is an end-product to a long, rigorous process of analysis, research, and educated guess on the design outcome taking into consideration the various forces, natural or man-made, and time, affecting the outcome itself. It attempts to elucidate that landscape design is not an object-oriented, solution-based study, like many things occurring in our lives, there is no right answer to our problems and that the interrelatedness of various systems, and their impacts on the way we live are the most meaningful part of the study. By “systems,” we are not talking about a specific site or place, as the students are typically asked to address in a studio. Let’s take the example of designing a small park. Do I really know what this park wants to be? Do I know who will be using this park? The way how you find these answers is through lots of research. Are the streets around the park? Who are the users? What are the surrounding neighborhoods like? How do people get there? Where is the nearest park? What does the site look like? What is the site used for before it is a park? Is there any natural system in the park? Before providing a solution to the park, one must understand that there are layers of information that need to be understood, and the scale of the problem goes way beyond the site boundaries. I think this is something that students are not used to because they think landscape architecture is focused on design and form creation. But landscape architecture is not just design; it focuses on all these interrelated systems and forces, and how they influence the decisions you make as a designer. At USC, we try to tell the students that the streets, parking lots, roof tops, freeways, and even the city storm water drain pipes are part of landscape architecture as well, hence “landscape infrastructure”.

At the most basic level, the plants we propose in the park takes water from the ground; they needs air and sunlight to grow, and their growth may be affected by all kinds of unpredictable forces: drought, wind, pests, etc. These forces exist in the environment, and are part of our study. The environment we live in is not always perfect: traffic, pollution, pesticide and artificial hormones in our foods, lack of open space, etc., which means our basic life necessities, i.e. infrastructure, is in need of major overhaul, so that we can live more optimally with our resources. This gets into the topic of sustainability, and we are no longer talking about park design anymore. We are talking about how the world works. This is what we want to be able to share with our students to really open up their minds. So they know that the importance of their profession goes beyond this park design exercise and that they are responsible and have the ability to contribute to the world from this “landscape infrastructure” point of view. That is pretty powerful, right?

As a teacher for students, you want to encourage the students to really go beyond the limit, and landscape urbanism and landscape infrastructure help to open their eyes. But once they are in an office working, the practice is much more complex as we talked about earlier. It is important that the student maintain his/her enthusiasm, vision, his/her important role in this world. Remember that improving our environment starts with small things, as the saying goes, “think globally, act locally.” Everything you do makes a difference, use recycled materials in our design, use drought tolerant plant materials, and increase ground water recharge by installing porous paving, etc.

QG: What do you think the most important abilities and/or personalities a young landscape student should have? What were you like when you were at school? Why did you decide to go to GSD for further study after 3 years working experience?

YH: The student should keep a very open-mind and do not jump into the conclusion. Often times, students think they know the right answer. The minute they know the answer, then they stop learning, because they start closing their minds to new possibilities. Secondly, the students should develop good graphic skills because you are after all, a designer, you communicate with people through drawings, diagrams, sketches and images, and not talking alone. Thirdly, the ability to research and collect data is very important. You cannot just make a point; you have to prove to people that what you are saying is valid. And then we may agree or disagree, which makes a very dynamic studio environment.

When I was a student at U.C. Berkeley, I was very interested in lots of things. I think a lot of what I said today is a reflection of what I went through as a student. The first two years of college I was studying everything other than architecture. I was taking sculpture, drawing, music, writing, English literature, philosophy, anthropology. I want to be knowledgeable and good at everything, not just architecture.

After three years of working in an architectural firm, I decided to study landscape architecture because I felt architecture alone could not solve many of the questions I had at the time, which related more to the world we live in. To be honest, my initial understanding of landscape architecture was very shallow, I thought the profession makes a good complement to what I’ve already learned, little did I know that the field is so much broader, complex, and exciting! I have absolutely no regrets for making the decision, although having an architectural background helps me to understand scale, structure, volume and materials better.

Trained in architecture, I had some difficulties with the landscape program at the GSD. First year of my graduate school I shaped all the trees to look like cones and boxes, I wanted to control everything. My professor told me, “you are not an architect anymore, stop thinking like an architect.” Plants grow, nature changes over time, what you create one day will be very different ten years from now. This is one of the key differences between landscape and architecture.

GQ: Do you have any suggestions for Chinese students to catch up with the most cutting edge issues in landscape field?

YH: I would say that the most important things they need to know is the study of Landscape urbanism and landscape infrastructure, although these are not cutting edge concepts. The truth is that infrastructure has been around forever in our society, but no one has ever thought that it could be more integrated with today’s needs if landscape and its sustainable practices are part of the equation. At the most basic level, I would say that the students need to learn landscape ecology, it is the basic building block for analysis and design. So much our discussion in school is centered around ecological systems. It is about sustainable practices, how different things work rather than how they look. I think Chinese garden tradition is a human interpretation of nature. Stone is moved from one place to another to look like where it came from. But if you ask, is the outcome ecological? The design is not based on ecological principles. It is a literal copy of nature, but does not work like nature. Landscape ecology studies how nature functions and how can we incorporate these basic functions and principles into our design.



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高琴

高琴,目前为SWA(洛杉矶)景观设计师,南加州大学景观建筑学硕士,北京林业大学城市规划与设计硕士,江西农业大学园林学士。曾获南加州大学建筑学院研究生研究奖学金,“瑞田杯”国际青年“人类发展与和平”最佳人居环境设计大赛金奖,“世博家园杯”中日韩大学生风景园林设计竞赛佳作奖等奖项。

7 discussions
  1. HOWL says:

    新的semester开始之前,翻了翻旧帖,觉得站里得很多文章都是值得一再研读的。在景观学习和从业中的不同层次和状态来看,其实都能得到不少收获。就本文来讲,作者提出的几个问题都很经典,涵盖了从留学学习到步入职业生涯所要处理的几个比较典型的问题。作为一位practitioner and educator,洪女士回答得很中肯也很实际。希望更多得学生可以看看,很不错的文章,如果只是压在箱底实在是很可惜的。

  2. 鱼.小白 says:

    把她作为榜样,其实终生学习是作为一名景观设计最基本得。

    还有就是passion..

  3. laodan says:

    这个采访原文是中文还是英文?

  4. 肖阳阳 says:

    受益匪浅!!~~ 感谢志愿者的分享 ~~今后会更多的关注风景园林新青年~~

  5. 杨雅夫 says:

    我觉得这位女士到我们学校来做过专题演讲,介绍他们的上海和韩国项目。 不过杯具的是我由于熬了一晚上的也做PROJECT,实在支持不住,就睡过去了(还坐在第一排老师旁边)

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高琴

高琴,目前为SWA(洛杉矶)景观设计师,南加州大学景观建筑学硕士,北京林业大学城市规划与设计硕士,江西农业大学园林学士。曾获南加州大学建筑学院研究生研究奖学金,“瑞田杯”国际青年“人类发展与和平”最佳人居环境设计大赛金奖,“世博家园杯”中日韩大学生风景园林设计竞赛佳作奖等奖项。

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