Postgraduate wins prestigious garden design student award

February 2015

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

A Writtle College postgraduate has won a major student award for her garden design which aims to support those facing mental health issues.

Jiyoung Kim, from South Korea, who graduated with an MA in Garden Design last year, overcame strong competition to be joint winner of the Society of Garden Designers’ Student Award.

Jiyoung was presented with the esteemed gong from SGD - the only professional association for garden designers in the UK - at its awards ceremony on Friday <30 January>.

She said: “I’m thrilled to have won such an amazing award from the Society of Garden Designers. It’s great to receive such wonderful recognition for my work from such a prestigious organisation.

“I look forward to continuing my work back in South Korea and inspiring others with what I have learnt from the Society and Writtle College.”

Jiyoung’s garden design, called Deep Simplicity, represents the notion that underlying all of life’s chaos is a simple order based on Heidegger’s philosophy that humans should be aware of life and death.

“Humans can regain the simple truth of life through deep thought and contemplation, even though we may lose our direction in life,” she explains.

“The infinity symbol within the design is to promote hope and order in people’s minds; a metaphor of infinite thoughts and coexistence with other living creatures. This garden is proposed as a place for finding the true nature of existence, accomplished through experiences of walking and contemplating.”

The judging panel included renowned garden designers Sarah Eberle and Philippa O'Brien as well as Arabella St. John Parker, from Homes & Gardens magazine. The panel was looking for outstanding design skills and, importantly, a clear demonstration of an understanding of the brief provided for the project.

The judges said of Jiyoung’s design: “Incredibly impressive design. Ingenious use of existing site. A dynamic design that creatively integrates with the existing site. A phenomenally challenging concept. A mature approach to dealing with the sheer scale of the site.”

Dr Saruhan Mosler, Jiyoung’s MA dissertation supervisor, congratulated her, saying: “We congratulate Jiyoung on her success with the project. Jiyoung worked hard on this challenging subject that was also part of her MA Garden Design dissertation.

“Competitions offer an excellent opportunity to students as they help them to build their portfolio and gain experience within the design industry.”