Dynamic Landscape

Piet Oudolf is a prominent Dutch garden designer renowned for his unconventional methods of featuring plants throughout their life cycle. The inspiration for the New Wave Planting movement in Europe, Oudolf\’s test for a well-composed garden is \”not how nicely it blooms, but how beautifully it decomposes.\”[1] Rather than relying on exotic florals, Oudolf\’s gardens are planted with native perennials and grasses chosen for their structure, form and texture over their color. Oudolf\’s intimate knowledge of planting technologies and cultivars stems from many years in the nursery business-beginning with the propagation of the now ubiquitous Salvia \”Purple Rain\” and continuing to this day with Future Plants, the experimental wing of Oudolf\’s practice, which focuses on breeding and selling plant species used in Oudolf\’s own work. Oudolf\’s extensive ouevre over 30 years of practice includes public and private gardens all over the world. Recently he is best known for his work with James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the High Line in New York, the Lurie Garden (with Kathryn Gustafson) in Chicago\’s Millennium Park, and his own private garden at Hummelo in the Netherlands. Oudolf and his firm have won several awards, including the Gold Veitch Memorial medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in 2002, the 2004 Award for Excellence in Design from the art commission of the City of New York, and the 2010 Award of Distinction from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. This seminar/workshop will offer an unprecedented opportunity for MLA candidates and others at the GSD to work closely with Piet Oudolf. The first third of the course will be a historical survey of Oudolf\’s work, the second third will focus on Oudolf\’s working methods and will feature an option trip to New York\’s Highline to see Oudolf\’s plant material installed, and the final third of the course will invite students to develop planting plans for a garden-scale installation.