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Landscape Award for Christchurch Designer

31 May 2006

International Landscape Award for Christchurch Designer

A Christchurch landscape architect has won first prize in an international design competition for a plan which combines installation art, recreation and conservation along Canterbury’s new rail trail.

Wendy Hoddinott, who was awarded her Masters degree at Lincoln University in April 2006, received AUS$2000 in the International Federation of Landscape Architecture’s (IFLA) Eastern Region Student Awards, announced in Sydney.

Her entry offered a theoretical proposal for a site on the first stage of the Little River Rail Trail, at the Kaituna Valley, which intended to challenge conventional approaches to heritage interpretation. It included a boardwalk to the edge of the lake in the shape of a fishhook, which changes with the lake levels, and a canopy sculpture which throws shadows representing the passage of time.

Wendy Hoddinott’s entry headed off entrants from the United States as well as students from around the Asia-Pacific region, and her prize adds to a series of successes in IFLA competitions by Lincoln students in recent years.

The winning designer, who recently joined Earthwork, a Christchurch landscape architecture firm, says the win is a fantastic experience. “It was an opportunity to do something tangible with the ideas I’d worked on in my dissertation. I had great support and supervision from Dr Jacky Bowring, and that made it possible to develop the ideas about time referencing into an actual design.”

Professor Simon Swaffield, Landscape Architecture Group Leader at Lincoln University, says the latest success in a top international competition is a measure of Lincoln’s strength in design, as well as research, theory and design critique. “While these student designs will not be built, they provide a significant contribution to the discussion about the interface between nature, art, heritage and recreation.”

News of the IFLA award follows Lincoln University’s recent success in the New Zealand Landscape Architecture Institute’s “Pride of Place” Awards, in which students won five awards for research and design critique at professional level, and four student design awards.


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