Noel Farrer to be next President of the Landscape Institute

The Landscape Institute has elected Noel Farrer to be the next President of the Landscape Institute. He will take over the two-year elected presidency from Sue Illman on 1 July 2014.

Farrer has successfully practised as a landscape architect for 30 years and has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. He has run Farrer Huxley Associates, an award-winning urban and landscape design company, for over 18 years. All of his work, he says, ‘is founded on the belief that landscapes make an essential contribution to the generation of sociable and sustainable communities’. 

He will, he says, be working hard to ‘increase the desirability’ of the LI to current and future members and to raise its profile within the wider industry. ‘I would like to see the charity become a known forum for learning and debate on issues surrounding landscape,' he wrote. 'It will be my aim to bring together a broad audience of professionals from scientists, landscape managers and designers to politicians, planners, developers and architects. My vision is that the output of the LI will be unrivalled in quality and relevance, making it a charity that every member is proud to belong to.’

From the position of President elect, Farrer adds, he can outline a general approach, including areas he will be looking to explore: ‘I will seek to understand the scope for providing a packed programme of lectures and debates that will be available to all members and non-members across the UK. This would aim to bring in the very best speakers and decision makers to engage a wide and varied audience.'

He believes that landscape has the potential to provide solutions to many contemporary challenges: ‘I would like to dramatically increase our voice and influence within the political arena,’ he says. ‘Much of the change that is needed must come through engaging those in power. I will work with the LI to better develop a relationship with central and local government to make this happen.’

Farrer argues too that there needs to be more investment in inspiring young people to work in our industry, and he will be looking for ways to work with schools, institutions and students ‘to make landscape a first-class industry choice’.

He would also like to increase the membership of the LI ‘to raise its profile and influence’. To do this, he says, ‘we will be considering issues such as how we represent landscape scientists and managers and other landscape professionals’.

Farrer has completed a wide range of projects, from large-scale residential schemes and high-end public realm, through to parks and schools. His most well-known work includes the Parkland Walk Green Corridor linking residential areas from Alexandra Palace to Finsbury Park in north London. 

The Broadwater Farm Landscape Project, where he was commissioned to deliver landscape and community solutions following the famous riots, is widely acknowledged as having helped initiate the healing process for a disenfranchised and destitute community. 

At Chelsea Open Air Nursery, he created a magical, playful landscape for a school at which 80% of learning takes place outside. It is now a recognised centre of excellence in early years education. Farrer went on to design further exemplar education environments including at  the American School in London and at Golden Lane Campus near London's Barbican where his intervention set a precedent for many urban landscapes in the years to come.

More recent work includes Island Point for Squire and Partners in Canary Wharf; City Tower public realm for Great Portland Estates in the City of London; The Deptford Project for Cathedral Group in Deptford; and St John’s Hill Estate Regeneration for Peabody in Clapham.

Farrer is also an active member of CABE's design review panel  and is currently reviewing many of the country’s large infrastructure projects.  As chair of policy for the Landscape Institute for four years, he has delivered best practice guidance across many areas including an upcoming paper on health and well being. He is a regular columnist forHorticulture Week and a visiting speaker for a number of landscape architect and garden design courses across the country.  

The Landscape Institute’s presidential election results can be seen online here

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