Common sense outweighs education, says Hemingway

Landscaper says qualifications are not as important as common sense

Fashion designer turned landscape architect Wayne Hemingway told last week’s Landscape Institute (LI) conference in Cardiff that common sense is more important than qualifications if you are to be successful in the profession. The owner of Hemingway Design and president of housing body Building for Life, who designs open spaces around housing developments, as well as fashion, products and interiors, clashed with LI president Kathryn Moore at the conference. He said that good design was more about common sense than elite ideas that only the educated could design landscapes. “[Moore] said it is not possible to be good at landscape designing without education,” he said. “But it is possible to be good at anything without education. My wife left school at 15 with one CSE in art and now we are winning awards left, right and centre, mainly for designing landscaping. “I don’t agree with the concept that you need an education to do this, and I know I’m right because I’m sat here. It’s not even a debate because I’m right. “My point is if you put people in silos it stops people talking. Landscape architect degrees work for most people but not me. I don’t like rules.” Moore, who is a lecturer in landscaping at the University of Central England, responded that she was not an elitist, adding: “What is common sense if it’s not something that we learn? If good design is something innate there is clearly a problem,because we have seen so many dreadful examples of landscape design. Something has to happen — and that’s education.”

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