Much of our work as landscape architects is in service to the public or public-facing and demands a level of aesthetic order and control that we, as a society, have come to attribute with beauty. Organized nature that serves to reinforce the architectural forms of our urban environments. However, these solutions are often compromised in their ability to meaningfully contribute to improving urban systems and reducing our reliance on hard engineering.
In this issue, we wanted to embrace the “Messy”. We wanted to challenge our understanding of what can be beautiful. We wanted to investigate the origins of our collective contempt of wild landscapes among our structured built spaces. We aimed to shed light on our colleagues who bravely break from convention and argue for the benefits of these multi-faceted, ecologically productive environments.
As you read through this issue, consider how our colonial values have shaped our residential neighbourhoods and addictions to lawns over wild gardens, reflect on the beauty that can be found in nature succeeding, and contemplate the ideas you can implement into your own work or personal spaces. Ultimately, this issue is an ode to Messy and a rejection of the preconception that it is inherently dangerous, ugly, or undesirable.
As the new Chair of the Editorial Board, it is my hope that you find inspiration in the ideas presented through the words of our generous contributors and challenge your own preconceptions of the beauty in the Messy. I would also encourage you to consider how you might be able to contribute your ideas to future issues of Ground Magazine.