“Knowing your masters” Peter Walker on design

Via Financial Review Magazine, Feb 2011,  p 10 – Knowing Your Master.

Landscape architect and academic Peter Walker is no stranger to the intrigues and infighting that accompany big urban development projects. His multidisciplinary practice, which explores the relationships between art. culture and context, has been working on the 9/11 Memorial Gardens in New York, where any number of agencies, interest groups and powerful individuals had a say. On his latest visit to Sydney, we asked how he managed those often competing forces to produce something that is, ultimately, a coherent whole.

…”the kind of situation I am in most often – and Barangaroo is one of them – is where you have people  who have different things they want done on the same site.  And a lot of the time you are trying to find a resolution for people who have not bothered to resolve issues themselves. And I find this a healthy thing because design then becomes more ambigious and more complex.  There’s a danger in design that can be too easy to do. I think that ambiguity and that complexity often bring design a level of interest and validity that it wouldn’t have had had one view prevailed”

“And a lot of the time you are trying to find a resolution for people who have not bothered to resolve issues themselves.”  …wow, I hear that!


2 thoughts on ““Knowing your masters” Peter Walker on design

  1. gregsweetnam says:

    Thanks for posting this, Yen. I agree with the quote you’ve highlighted. Sometimes there’s more hand-holding than expected, the client has drifted into the project and hopes the designer will establish its goals.
    I thought this link might be useful.

    • yengen says:

      great thanks for link Greg.
      Interesting from the AIGA “It’s false because the elements that drive the success of an organization are two layers deeper than most designers are equipped to go.” That theme of “layers” fascinates me- I always thought all designers could move across size/detail scales and layers (eg an architecture who design furniture, an urban designer who designs a poster) – someone once told me they thought you can only go 1 scales/layers higher or lower. Prehaps then the creatives and innovators who I reallly admire,and most power are those who can jump layers/scale

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