Postgraduate wins second national landscape award

September 2015

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

A Writtle College postgraduate has won a second major national award for her landscape architecture dissertation.

Jacqui Jobbins, from Bradwell on Sea, has won the Masters prize in the Art & Design section of the Landscape Research Group's student awards.

The awards, made annually, recognise up to nine undergraduates and postgraduate students nationally for outstanding dissertations or theses which, for Masters students, demonstrate “significant academic and creative inquiry”. This year five awards were made across three categories, two to Doctoral and three to Masters students.

Jacqui, who graduated last year with a Masters in Landscape Architecture, had already won the student dissertation category in the last Landscape Institute awards and was runner up in the President’s Award.

She said: “Having my dissertation recognised by such a prestigious organisation is a great honour, and I am absolutely delighted to have won a second award for my work.

“My dissertation focused on the ethics in relation to landscape architecture so it is particularly rewarding to gain recognition from the Landscape Research Group as it promotes the exploration of an interdisciplinary approach to landscape.”

Jacqui’s dissertation questioned: ‘what is the ethical response, as landscape architects, to the relationship between society and the natural and built environments?’

Responding to the environmental and social challenges that face us in the 21st Century - such as climate change and finite resources - Jacqui’s study aimed to develop a new ethical approach to the design process.

She developed a matrix to assess ethical value during the design process, which focussed first on the natural, then the social and then the built environment. This applied the theory developed by philosopher Warwick Fox and she demonstrated its use through the case study of South Woodham Ferrers and its 20-year Local Development Framework.

Jacqui, who is a Landscape Architect at CSa Environmental Planning in Ashwell, North Hertfordshire,said: “I used ethics as the starting point on the basis that I believe that there should be a response from Landscape Architects to the fundamental question 'what ought I to be doing with respect to these challenges?'

“As Landscape Architects (and all landscape-based professionals) we are in the privileged position of being able to use the powerful medium of landscape to change perceptions and influence people, and I believe we have an obligation to do so.”

Paul Tabbush, Chair of the Landscape Research Group, said: “We received a good response to this year’s awards and the standard was very high. Jacqui’s dissertation takes on a practical problem and looks across philosophy, landscape architecture and landscape ecology for theoretical and practical ideas that can be assessed, synthesized and tested in practice. It is the kind of interdisciplinary work that the Landscape Research Group is eager to support. “

Jacqui was one of only three Masters students nationally to have won the award. She will be given £350, a year’s free membership of the group and subscription to its international peer-reviewed journal Landscape Research. In addition, her abstract will be published with the other winners’ abstracts in its publication, Landscape Review Extra, which is sent out with the journal.

• To find out more about the MALA at Writtle College – which is accredited by the Landscape Institute - please visit http://www.writtle.ac.uk/design/