My role was to secure the commission, act as point-person for the landowners and assemble the design team. The project worked as a seamless collaboration, allowing the design to develop organically over a matter of months.
Significance of the project was in demonstrating: the beauty of this landscape to the community; the potential of landscape-thinking and the joy of collaboration to none-landscape architects; and drawing/mathematics as a replicable process for site-sensitive landscape responses.
This project was created with a very small budget, requiring reliance on the design potential of humble materials and the participation of volunteers. These challenges enriched the process, and according to the clients: 'Carl took an ordinary landscape and designed it into an extraordinary landscape.' However, the project rested heavily on landscape architectural thinking in collaboration:
'More important than his eye for landscape design and the features that inspire emotion in a place, Carl showed a great sensitivity to interdisciplinary collaboration. He neither claimed his areas of expertise as off-limits to the other partners nor limited his contributions to his comfort zone.' - Edmund Harriss
'Working with Carl, he just has a more tactile way of even drawing and just observing the landscape. I thought it was a great collaboration because of the decisions and the design direction that we took. It just wouldn’t have been what it was without the other two.'- Angela Carpenter
'Drake Street Earth Day was a remarkable event that re-grounded me in my passion for design, but first-and-foremost in my passion for art in nature. This installation was a rare moment of collaboration between students, professors, and the community. A moment which was rich in learning, without the pressure of “education”. It was a refreshing project that brought me back to my sensitivity as an artist and reminded me that incorporating the ephemeral and mysterious qualities of art and nature into the realm of the design is possible. Experiences such as this are important to me as an early and impressionable designer and can expand my perspectives and sensitivities as such while I continue to grow and mature throughout my career, in and out of school.' - Jordan Pitts, recent Landscape Studies graduate
'Before the Earth Day project, my view of landscape architecture was that it focused on planting. After this experience, my view changed: landscape architects have the power to communicate fundamental ideas, and even small projects can have a profound impact on perceptions and values of landscapes. After this project, my career focus switched from industrial engineering, and I enrolled in university to study landscape architecture.'- Jerry Ferreira, current third year Landscape Architecture student
The Walnut Grove: A Temporary Landscape of Legacy
Fayetteville AR, USA
Heritage, culture, art
Carl Smith Design
Neal and Gina Pendergraft (landowners)
At the behest of land-owners Neal and Gina Pendergraft, the design team engaged with a cherished landscape to create an economical, temporary intervention as a celebration of place. The landscape – a mature grove of Black Walnut trees – has been forecast in planning documents as falling under significant development pressure. However, the current land-owners are concerned for the loss of happenstance beauty in this rapidly urbanizing landscape.
Finalist, Landscape Institute Awards 2019
Carl Smith CMLI (landscape design), Edmund Harriss (mathematics and computer programming) and Angela Carpenter (fabrication)
$1,150 (materials only)
This was a temporary landscape intervention, open only briefly to the public, and was decommissioned in March 2017.