Gill German | The Open College of the Arts
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Gill German

Following a career in the pharmaceutical industry, I retrained as a garden designer at Merrist Wood College in 1997, followed by the Oxford College of Garden Design (PG Dip in Residential Garden Design).  I worked for over 20 years as a freelance consultant to private clients and architects, successfully delivering a variety of garden design projects and became a registered garden designer with The Society of Garden Designers. My work has been published in The Garden Design Journal and one of my gardens appeared on TV in the series The Garden Makers. 

 

I later went on to study for a Masters in Landscape Architecture (MLA) at Kingston University and became Chartered with the Landscape Institute.  More recently I have been in practice with a small award-winning Landscape Architect practice designing spaces from small city private gardens to landscape proposals for large country gardens, residential projects, schools, a sports centre, Southend football stadium and more recently, Brookwood cemetery. Work involved the design and production of drawings from concept to planning applications, Landscape Visual Impact Assessments and contract administration. I also mentored junior landscape architects.

 

I collaborate closely with Architects, Engineers, Ecologists, Arboricultural Consultants and Contractors. My responsibility is to protect, conserve and enhance the landscape, so I am always designing with native as well as ornamental plants and as a keen beekeeper, I am particularly passionate about planting for pollinators.

 

I am now continuing in practice with a large UK multidisciplinary consultancy operating in the building design, civil engineering, environmental, management and transport sectors working on infrastructure projects, public realm, flood defence and carrying out Environmental Impact Assessments, collaborating with clients such as the Environment Agency. I see this as part of my own career development to work at all scales of landscape design and to promote sustainable design and develop green and accessible places for both humans and nature. I am seeking to extend my own learning and research further in the near future.

 

Having such varied experience across the whole spectrum of landscape design and as a trainer in previous career roles, I am excited to teach at OCA and hope to challenge students to consider a landscape and environment led approach to their garden design, to promote sustainability, to develop their own reflective and experiential design ethos and consider the genius loci of place. I’d like to help students use their varying backgrounds to collaborate and share skills with each other to help develop their own richly informed practice.