Martha Schwartz interview

I just ran across this interview in I was hoping to read a good in-depth, insightful interview. Let’s just say I was disappointed. it comes across a one of those 20 pop questions type of interviews. Not quite what’s your favorite color, instead we get . . . bookmarks? Bookmarks? Martha doesn’t have any by the way.

Martha has continually pushed the envelope and has marketed her brand well. Her work gets lots of press, her people submit for awards (which they win), and the critics are severe. Sounds like someone at the top.

The infamous HUD Plaza.

I was hoping for some insight into her design process, and how she reads sites. Interprets the area she is going to work in. The best we get is her insistence on physically seeing the site and this tid-bit:

Most useful tool: My equal-space divider. You quickly divide things—as opposed to measuring them out—which is a godsend: I work fast and I’m bad at math.

Still if you are not familiar with her work take a look at the article, and then go to the firm’s website, one of those fancy flash pages. Here you will get a much better understanding of her work, and a better understanding of the publicity machine, look at the amount of print, not including all the critics columns.

For more info on Martha here is the Wiki entry for her. I was speaking earlier about how she has been lambasted by some . . . here you go.

To counter that Martha has won the Cooper-Hewitt design award, 2006 in Landscape Design (scroll down). The award was for her design of the Grand Canal Square in Dublin, Ireland, for a really great breakdown of that project I found this, and this from Ireland.

Martha is more of the artist side than the horticulture side of the picture and this mindset has put her on the opposite side of the fence with a lot of folks in the landscape design world. There is usually a lot of stuff going on in her projects, some would consider them very busy or not very people-friendly. You could even say they are better to look at and admire from a distance, than to actually participate in.

Her designs are not for everyone, but I admire her ability to push the envelope and take a chance in her public projects. Even if some projects weren’t perfect who can say that all of their’s were. I sure can’t, can you? can anyone?

The important thing is to dream, to think big, to continue to reach out to be the best you can, the most expressive. The most creative. Keep going Martha.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

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