Leading US landscape architect Walter Hood has appealed to other professionals to stop public places all looking the same.
Professor Hood, of the University of California, was responding to a question from landscape architect Dominic Cole in a debate set up by the Landscape Institute (LI).
Cole asked Hood, who has been described as “exuding star quality”, about his opinions on the standardisation of public places.
Hood said that great effort should be made to create different kinds of spaces because otherwise it is “a slap in the face for the people who live in those places”.
He added: “We were travelling in Florida the other day and we were getting lost because everything looks the same.”
Cole fired a series of questions at Hood, who also said landscape architects must be more proactive and that waiting for big developers and authorities to make the approach was not the way forward.
Hood added: “If we have ideas about work, we’ve got to get them out there and make them work.”
He stressed that in developing run-down areas designers must never be afraid to make them too good in case “rich people might like it and move there”.
He added: “You can’t say ‘let’s dumb it down and make it stupid’.”
Hood has an international reputation for designing landscapes that value ecological health and local communities. He was at the LI headquarters in London for an open day as part of a tour.
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