Wilding the Urban Landscape

By Mark Thomann
15 March 2024



Each project starts by learning the language of the site – investigating the network of influences which have shaped the land over time, whether geological, biological, or cultural. Grounding reveals the continuum between the ancient and the contemporary; by putting down roots, we create the conditions for simple and joyful daily use.


A natural landscape is the manifestation of a constantly changing, complex ecology. Landscape design should seek to capture that complexity, recognizing the web of natural and cultural intersections which give a site its significance from different perspectives. Guiding the underlying logic of the design, complexity is present yet implicit; it does not distract or overwhelm.


The durability of a designed landscape depends on depth and complexity. But its vitality arises spontaneously – sparked by the creative input which transforms the design into something meaningful and unforeseen. The landscape continues to evolve as the site is shaped by the weather and natural growth patterns – spontaneous, unpredictable generativity which continues to bring new life to the site.


Transcendence is beyond intention. It is pure potential – the possibility that the framework of a landscape might catch the unexpected – a momentary experience of connection, a spark of exhilaration. In such moments, we recognize the grandeur and beauty of the natural world. Or we might simply see the shape of the land in relation to the sky.