Three days before my flight to Germany, I got to see this video of Gardens by the Bay in Vimeo. As I was watching the video, it occurred to me that I am getting nostalgic, not just for this intensely publicized landscape work but also about my journey of my landscape architecture practice. When I decided to take this course against its more well known brother of Architecture back when I was 15, I didn’t really know that I would love it the way that I do now. I just thought that I didn’t want to be an engineer and I wanted to design and I loved plants.
This profession has taken me to places professionally and at the same time, it has allowed me to appreciate art, architecture, the built environment and the natural world wherever I go. I walk in every city, may it be in Asia, Oceania or Europe seeing the craftsmanship of spaces. I find whimsy in pavement design and I appreciate the grandness of the avenue of Champs Elysees. There is something fun in colors of Gardens by the Bay and there is poetry in modernist landscapes in China. I have become attuned to the city and the land and I believe this is the greatest gift that my profession has given to me. I now appreciate more that definition that I wrote for the PALA website regarding the Landscape Architecture profession. I really feel connected to the land. I am a steward.
Now, I am moving on to understand another layer of this vast knowledge. My mind is adding another layer to design by putting heritage into the picture. I begin to ask myself the intrinsic value of places that surround us. I am beginning to see the world with fresh eyes, understanding not just the spaces of the city but also its people, its culture and its history. Every piece of stone has a story to tell, every monument – big or small has brought meaning to someone’s life. I want to see how my work can become more meaningful to more people and not just create things because of beautiful form or its functional requirement. I want to create and preserve the value of places and I want to extend a place’s story. I am unsure what the two years will shift my perspective, how the new city will craft my mind, how my classmates will influence me to do something else however, I know that it will all be for the better.
In the next few days I will open my eyes to a new reality. May it be an exciting journey. Deep breaths, small steps, arms out wide – THIS IS IT!