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Merit Award -- Communications

Garden and Climate
Marc Treib, Book Designer; Chip Sullivan, Author

Chip Sullivan
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
University of California
College of Environmental Design
202 Wurster Hall
Berkeley, CA 94710
Tel: 510-841-1259

Statement Of Purpose: My research is based on a historical survey of the garden design techniques used to create and modify microclimates. My goal is to promote the design of energy efficient and thoughtfully designed landscapes. The work investigates historical approaches to passive microclimate design, and presents a broad array of strategies for implementing this wealth of knowledge into modern environmental design. The innovative passive design solutions that I propose could help to reduce our growing energy demands not only in the landscapes of America, but most, importantly, throughout the world.

In addition to studying important texts and historical documents, to research the fundamental elements of passive landscape design I used drawing from direct experience to understand how historical garden devices worked to modify microclimates. Over a period of twenty years, I visited numerous gardens, locating and discovering specific climatic elements. I recorded wind patterns and temperature differentials and produced analytical diagrams of other minute details of the garden. Through this process my visual and sensory experiences became inseparable from the physical environment. Dissecting and recomposing each structural element of the garden helped to animate the causal relationship between climate and garden design. By working from the micro to the macro scale, I was able to better understand the history of the space. I would return to the studio with this collection of visual notes and psychic nourishment and produce composite illustrations that became the essence of the book.

The ideas for this book were formed in the early 1970s when the oil crisis alerted the world to its dependence on diminishing fossil fuel reserves. The typical architectural and engineering solution to the "energy crisis" was to make buildings more efficient for mechanized heating and cooing. Energy-efficient garden planning is still in its infancy. Many new and exciting possibilities lie ahead in he creation of new garden forms for energy conservation. By describing the microclimatic inventions of our ancestral garden designers, I hope to generate both new ideas and modern adaptations to old ones - tools to build modern gardens that help to save and conserve our environment.

Community Context: The application of the passive energy strategies outlined in the book will have economic and environmental benefits at a scale that ranges from the individual homeowner to the greater community at large, and possibly the entire planet.

Role Of The Landscape Architect: The work is based on independent research.

Special Factors: Garden and Climate is an important and needed book on energy conserving landscape and architectural design. The research addresses many important issues in the design and planning fields, such as promoting landscape architecture as a stronger tool for the transition to environmentally-based design.

Significance: The work examines the environmental and ecological aspects of landscape design and serves to broaden the public's perception of landscape architecture to include, among other things, the importance of historical precedent and energy conservation in our discipline.

2002 Award Winners
Press Releases
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