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GLDA seminar 2021: Designing in Challenging Times, A Shift in Perspective

The speakers at the GLDA 2019 seminar. Photo: Vincent McMonagle.

Seminar will be held online on 27 February



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25 February 2021

The 2021 Garden & Landscape Designers Association (GLDA’s) annual seminar is set to take place 27 February in a new online format.

The theme for the seminar is ‘Designing in Challenging Times, A Shift in Perspective’, as landscape and garden designers have continued to respond to environmental, economic, and societal challenges with renewed creativity over the last 12 months.

Running all day with a line-up of expert speakers and questions & answers sessions, the event is co-sponsored by Bloom organisers Bord Bia and by Dublin City Council.  The GLDA is also working with production company Switch New Media to bring attendees a state-of-the-art presentation.

The seminar will explore how garden and landscape designers around the world are rising to today’s challenges. The association has   invited back speakers from previous events, as well as some new faces, to take part.

Speakers include:

  • Aniket Bhagwat, India’s most influential landscape architect, making his second appearance at the GLDA seminar. Bhagwat believes that every space must be designed to tell narratives and challenge the conventional notions associated with any design typology.
  • Sarah Eberle, one of the UK’s leading garden designers, who designs private gardens both rural and urban, along with successful show gardens at Chelsea and abroad.
  • Martí Franch, one of the most significant landscape architects working in Catalonia today. Franch is the founding manager of EMF Landscape, a multidisciplinary mix of experts in the field of urban and environmental design.
  • Carrie Preston, an American garden designer living and working in The Netherlands. Preston’s passion is designing beautiful, livable, and functional gardens, giving attention to biodiversity and at the same time being affordable by reusing materials in a trendy way and the use of mostly native plants.
  • Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Organic Farm & Gardens, is Ireland’s best-known cook and a best-selling author. Allen advocates the need to move to more sustainable forms of food production to help to reduce climate change and benefit our health.

“Pre-Covid, the challenges of environmental degradation and increased urbanisation, with resulting drought, flooding, and loss of biodiversity, occupied our thoughts and responses,” said Deirdre Prince, chairperson, GLDA. “These challenges are still here but in addition, the arrival of a pandemic has caused a paradigm shift in how we as a population and as designers look at the world. Our perspective has changed. We are now more focused on our immediate environment and thinking about our green spaces a lot more.

“Working at home with little scope for travel has imbued in people a new interest in their gardens and has changed how they use them,” continued Prince. “Those lucky enough to have a garden now see them as a green refuge from the world. Local green spaces have become vitally important to communities. People have a renewed interest in nature and getting outdoors more, walking more, cycling more, taking the gym outdoors. Art and performance spaces are developing as a reaction to indoor restrictions. Outdoor education, which has proven benefits is now being explored more by schools. We are eating and socialising outside. The implications for our parks, streets, gardens, and other green spaces are enormous.”

Ticket pricing for the event is as follows:

  • Non-member €70
  • Non-member & 1 year Friend subscription €110
  • Member €60
  • Student & 1 year Student membership €45

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit

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