James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Steffan Gwynn

Thanks to the generous scholarship from the James Pantyfedwen Trust I was able to study a fascinating and timely subject - and in a beautiful and inspiring city.

The course itself was structured around lectures, workshops, studio sessions and specific project work. With the COP26 summit on the horizon, the city of Glasgow provided a focus for much of the practical work and we were challenged as students to try and imagine how landscape architects could respond in creative and meaningful ways to the environmental, social, cultural ac economic challenges facing the city today and in the future.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought its own challenges in terms of the learning experience. The studio at the university was closed during the spring of 2020 – which was a blow considering the practical nature of the course and the emphasis on introducing us to the type of team working that is part and parcel of a landscape architect’s working life. Nevertheless, the course managed to give us all, as students, an introduction to the different aspects of the profession, and we were encouraged to develop our own interests, working across a range of scales.

During the last year, I have had the opportunity of working on large-scale urban development projects. small-scale projects and horticultural space creation. These were focused on the historic dockland landscape of Glasgow’s Pacific Quay and in the east end of the city, where the plan for a new connection across a derelict bridge has generated local concern about a possible return to the gang violence of the past. In both examples, the task of trying to devise effective ways of engaging with people and communities has been just as interesting as the actual designing of the space.

Since graduating, I have been fortunate enough to join a company of landscape architects that are enthusiastic about taking on these kinds of projects and I intend to continue working now towards further professional qualifications. A sincere thanks to the James Pantyfedwen Trust, and the Trustees, for enabling me to gain an academic qualification that was essential for starting a career in this exciting field.