Queenstown, NZ is a fabulously gorgeous town if it isn’t for the rows of non-descript, cookie-cutter motels puncturing the landscape. Nevertheless, the town pulls it off with its astonishingly beautiful-clear lake Wakatipu stretching the valley till the commanding and visually dynamic “Remarkables” that are snow-capped during the winter months. All year round water/land/air activities abound making it truly a tourist-heaven!
The NZILA 2009’s, The Big Picture Workshop April 2-4, 2009, was held in this very town. Shay and I teamed up for the adventure; both being students amongst all the professionals we felt thoroughly educated not just in learning, but networking as well by the end of the conference. I think we were the only two students… The field tours were fun and of great learning experiences. We drank biodynamically produced red wine on a Viticulture tour at 9AM, visited an architect/landscape architect’s home that had the most breathtaking views from his self-designed home in the Central Otago valley. Mingling, learning, discussing, and brainstorming with all the professional landscape architects, and finally to top it off, lovely farewell dinner in the awe-inspiring Jack’s Point was wonderful.
The tours were: (via NZILA):
Landscapes of recreation: This tour is to touch on issues such as the economic forces that make this sort of development viable, how these forces are changing/might change, energy consumption, the design of these landscapes – deliberately beautiful, the fact that these developments enable a great many people to appreciate these landscapes that would otherwise be the case, how do these developments display New Zealand/Otago particularity.
Landscapes of rural living: This tour touches on issues such as the economic sustainability of farming, the changing of economic conditions that sometimes mean it is no longer desirable, what people want when they choose to live in a rural landscape, tenure review of pastoral leases, how large stations can be sustainably managed into the future with existing/future economic conditions, etc
Landscapes of production: Issues touched on for this tour include the changing market forces through recent history that have led to changing productive use of the land and the resultant changing aesthetics, the part of nostalgia in landscape appreciation – should a landscape pattern be preserved because we grew up with it? The tour will illustrate how market forces determine productive land use and ultimately landscape appearance.
Landscapes of energy: Issues brought into this tour is the seemingly endless increase in energy demand and how this affects the appearance of landscapes, the consequences of flooding for hydro production – has produced amenities that were previously not there in some cases, do people perceive these lakes as natural? – often they seem to, does it matter whether they are natural or not?
Below are some “pictorial essay” where I was pictured more than once. Thank you NZILA!