6 January 2022

“The London trip was a precious opportunity to see Landscape Architecture from different perspectives”

As second year Landscape Architecture students return from a week-long residential trip to London, Marko Yau and James Duckett reflect on their experiences and tell us how it helped them put skills learnt in the studio into practice.

Landscape Architecture students on a field trip to London

Welcome back to Sheffield. How was your five-day trip to London?

Marko: "The London field trip provided us with a precious opportunity to see landscape architecture from different perspectives."

Landscape Architecture students sketching in front of the Tower of London

"My most enjoyable experiences were the on-site sketching sessions. We had a drawing session in front of the Tower of London - a paved square with seating and steps. The materiality and staircase just amazed me."

Tutor Camilla Allen demonstrates how to measure scale

James: "I really enjoyed going around a diverse range of places from royal parks, canals, small gardens, housing schemes and squares. It was nice chatting to students and tutors along the way."

Landscape Architecture students in London's Hyde Park

"The weather was unpredictable and drawing can be difficult when it's cold - but maybe this created quicker and therefore more unique drawings!"

A Landscape Architecture student shows her sketchbook to a tutor

London is a big place. How did you decide what to focus on?

James: "We all had to come up with a theme to explore. Mine is about the changing riverfront - so I observed how the area changed throughout the a day and the activities that occured."

Landscape Architecture students exploring the Thames riverfront

"I also spent time noting the hard materials and vegetation, and the impact these have on the landscape, which will help in later design projects."

Landscape Architecture students exploring the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

Marko: "The benches and lighting design are so innovative in London. Although these elements might not obvious to the public, they play a major role in shaping open spaces."

Landscape Architecture students in front of London City Hall

In what way was learning on site different to learning in the studio?

Marko: "Landscape architecture is about the interactions between people and the surrounding natural environment and the five day trip to London allowed us to learn in different ways from studio sessions.

We were able to use the skills we learnt in studio - like site survey analysis methods - in London's parks open spaces."

Landscape Architecture students on a field trip to London

"I also found it much easier to memorise Latin plant names when seeing them for real. I used a Plant ID app and with just a quick snap, I could see the plant name and share it with the rest of the group instantly."

Landscape Architecture students at the Garden Museum, London

James: "When walking and analysing different places you get to experience the character of the space. The field trip helped us experience the dynamic nature of places, as people come and go and you hear all the background sounds - it all adds to the ambience."

Landscape Architecture students explore planting designed by Professor Nigel Dunnett

What about the evenings? How did you spend your free time?

James: "My personal highlight was going with a small group to a local Korean restaurant for dinner, after recommendations from the tutors. For all of us, it was our first time trying Korean food, which was lovely!"

Landscape Architecture students on a field trip to London

Sketching London

On-site observational sketches by Anni Li, Marko Yau and Ran Tao 

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