Whether exuberant or elegantly subtle, planting design plays a consequential role in generating the aesthetic experience of landscape architecture. Today, however, issues of sustainability, resilience, and social justice have sidelined the interest in planting design as an essential element of study and practice. While gardens exploring the creative use of plants for aesthetic effect receive ample attention, this has been less true for landscape architecture at greater scale, where surface areas are often extensive and constituencies greater than the single client or family. To redress this neglect, and reaffirm its primacy, this symposium will visit contemporary planting design through the words and works of landscape architects with practices both creative and responsible. Through the insightful use of form, color, and patterns of growth, they have produced attractive, engaging, and enduring landscapes at a broad range of scales and contexts.
The two-day symposium “The Aesthetics of Planting Design” will host twelve accomplished landscape architects and historians who will discuss planting design as an environmental art, using examples drawn from their own design work as well as projects by others, both contemporary and historical: from the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Scandinavia; from southern deserts to northern forests; from within and beyond the city; from the garden to the region.