Landscape Institute launches countrywide lecture series

Land is a vital asset in supporting the food, energy, health, welfare and economic needs of society, yet it is coming under increasing pressure.

How do we create a sustainable landscape, and is this the world we want? How can we build beautiful places, and what stops us from building beautifully? How can we create the rural landscapes we need while protecting the countryside we love?

In its new lecture series, Landscape Futures, the Landscape Institute aims to stimulate debate about the future of the landscape and explore the major themes affecting how our land is used and managed, and how that use will affect the prosperity and quality of life of all citizens.

Launching on Tuesday 28 January in Sheffield, contributors include the environmentalist Jonathon Porrit, historian Dan Cruickshank, Chief Executive of the RSA Matthew Taylor and founder of Incredible Edible Pam Warhurst. All lectures will run from 6-8pm, which includes time for questions from the floor. Ticket prices are £8 LI or RSA members, £10 non-members, and £5 students. Click here to book tickets, and find out more.

Tuesday 28 January

Making the world we want

University of Sheffield, Sheffield
Jonathon Porritt (Forum for the Future)
Pam Warhurst (Incredible Edible Todmorden)
Matthew Taylor (RSA)

What do we need to do now if we are to create a sustainable landscape for the future? This talk will draw on the research behind Porritt’s recently published book The World we Made, which imagines what a sustainable society could look like in 2050, and existing initiatives like Incredible Edibles.

Tuesday 11 February

How can we build beautiful places?

Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham
Frazer Osment (LDA Design)
Mary Parsons (Places for People) David Birkbeck (Design for Homes)

What stops us from building beautifully? This lecture explores what is needed to enable us to create beautiful places to live – looking not only at the design of individual houses but at the spaces in-between – and how landscape architects can use the new planning system to create places that support successful communities.

Tuesday 25 February

Infrastructure: what story will we tell in 50 years time?

Cambridge University, Arts School Lecture Theatre
Alister Kratt (LDA Design)
Dan Cruikshank (Architectural historian and broadcaster)
Selina Mason (Olympic Delivery Authority)
Tim Mould QC (Landmark Chambers)

Reflecting on what has changed in the last 50 years, this lecture explores cultural attitudes to infrastructure in the landscape; how we were once proud of it but now seem afraid. How can the landscape profession provide leadership so that the infrastructure developments of the next 50 years are seen to enhance rather than despoil the landscape?

Tuesday 11 March

How can we create functional rural landscapes fit for the future?

Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol
Lyndis Cole (LUC)
Carys Swanwick (National Trust)
Naomi Oakley (Natural England)
Merrick Denton-Thompson (LI Board and Chair of Policy and Communications Committee)

How can we create the rural landscapes we need while protecting the countryside we love. Rather than preserving a ‘Downtown Abbey’ landscape dedicated to agriculture and leisure, we will need to enable it to adapt, just as we do in cities, to make the landscape work for us all and deal with the impacts of climate change.

Tuesday 25 March

How will the digital revolution affect the urban landscape?

Charles Darwin House, London
Sophie Thompson (LDA Design)
Alan Thompson (Hayes Davidson)
Rick Robinson (IBM)

What will the impact of digital development be on the way we live and work? How are cities using digital data to revolutionise urban life? The boundary between the physical world, the mind and the digital world is becoming increasingly blurred. This talk will explore the implications for Landscape Architects on the way we work and the places we design.

Tuesday 8 April

What does the future of landscape architecture look like?

Charles Darwin House, London
Tom Armour (Arup Landscape Team) Sue Illman (President, Landscape Institute)

What are the key trends that are shaping the future of landscape architecture and how will they affect the processes, collaborations and designs that practices will need to employ? Our closing lecture will use research into the built environment and social change to look at the future role of landscape architecture in society.

The Landscape Futures lecture series is sponsored by Woodhouse, the lighting, signage and street furniture specialist. Speaking about the series Romy Rawlings, Design and Development Director of Woodhouse commented:

“We are delighted to be sponsoring the Landscape Institute’s Landscape Futures programme and will be fascinated to hear the views of all the speakers on the future trends within the industry. Woodhouse has consistently innovated and adapted to the needs of our urban environment to deliver street furniture, lighting and signage elements that enhance the street scene, contribute to a sense of place and take inspiration from the leading edge of landscape design.”

For further information and to book tickets visit