Digital Book of Landscapes 2020


Our global community

Christian Dierckxsens

This year Neil Manthorpe instigated a new platform to reach out to our Global network of Landscape Architects and urban designers. This has resulted in meaningful connections with our colleagues in Florida , Dubai, UK, Sweden, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bangalore.

We asked Christian Dierckxsens who leads our Asia pacific team for his views on this initiative.

2020 has been a special year for us all. While social distancing and homeworking has slowly become the ‘new normal’, we also found opportunities to connect and create new networks. The number and wide spread location of our practices means a tremendous richness of expertise and cultural diversity and when you are only a few mouse clicks away from a Zoom or Team’s connection with fellow colleagues across the globe, the invitation from Neil was too tempting to ignore.

The Atkins Landscape communities also possessed a spontaneous desire to connect and link the various ad-hoc “landscape’ dots across the globe and whilst our geographical and cultural diversity is far reaching, it`s clear that we share the same passion for creating quality living environments for our communities and clients.

The ATKINS Global Landscape network took shape in early 2020 with meetings now taking place quarterly. One of the key agenda items was not surprisingly related to Covid 19 and the challenges we all face coping with the pandemic during our day to day operations. While it affects each country / region differently in terms of operations, we also looked at how it was influencing our current and future projects. The objective we all seem to share is to ‘build back better’.

Interesting studies on the impact of Covid 19 were shared with discussions across the studios.

This included the UK team work to provide government guidance in addressing the impact of Covid 19 within the public realm and also their speculative advice around school environments, which was eventually passed on to the Hong Kong studio who proudly shared it with ‘Harrow International Schools Asia’, one of Atkins key clients in Hong Kong.  

The impact of ‘Homeworking’ has not only put our attention on our internal communication tools but also focussed investigations into more efficient and innovative digital tools that enable us to interact better with our clients.

Presenting landscape schemes remotely requires us to re-invent and assess the ways we can do this to best illustrate our projects. The methodology and tools to create ‘Digital Landscapes’ have been shared and optimised based on the experience of each studio, resulting in more efficient working strategies. The ultimate objective to become trendsetters of ‘Digital landscapes; is clearly shared across the studios in each country / region.

Our shared global ambitions also extend towards participation with our global Landscape Institute “IFLA” (International Federation of Landscape Architects) and the Atkins Landscape community aims to be actively represented in upcoming events both regional and international. This includes submissions of awards, seminars and taking up speaking slots.

A global campaign to market and promote our recent successes will put us at the forefront of our profession and our current contacts are just the beginning of a bright future which will be supported by a very creative team of landscape Architects across the globe.  

To be continued...