Department of Landscape forges international relationship with India

Landscape India pageFour staff from the Department of Landscape have recently returned from India, as part of an outreach exercise designed to build international relationships and spread Sheffield’s global reputation for Landscape Architecture.

The group, led by Head of Department Professor James Hitchmough, visited universities across India, chosen for being leaders in the theory and practice of Indian Landscape Architecture.

Professor Hitchmough said: “We are keen to diversify the range of countries we collaborate with in research and recruit postgraduate students from, but India is a place that we didn’t really feel we understood well enough to do this.

“We came to the conclusion that the best way to address this gap was to go and forge relationships with the leading thinkers in the discipline and to understand their needs and perspectives.

“We organised a series of one day seminars in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune and Bangaluru (Bangalore), based around four contemporary issues in Landscape Architecture - the impact of city form on social sustainability; heritage and contemporary design; design processes; and biodiversity in the dense city.

“We each spoke to one of these issues followed by an Indian colleague. This generated some very interesting colliding perspectives, which were then discussed in front of an audience of more than 100 students, academics, and practitioners.”

“The format worked very well for breaking down possible barriers, leading to open, frank and revealing discussions. We will continue to maintain a dialogue and develop proposals for actual collaboration based on mutual benefits over the coming months”.

Andy Clayden, Dr Nicola Dempsey and Dr Jan Woudstra joined Professor Hitchmough on the trip, which took place from 9 to 16 January.