News 14.02.2023

Partner Jim Gibson returns to university for the day

Last week Partner Jim Gibson spent a busy day in Manchester, talking to two sets of students.

At Manchester University, Jim presented to a group of final year undergraduate and post-graduate students about possible careers in Landscape Planning. Most of them had geography-based degrees, and Jim described the transferrable skills that geography degrees have in the landscape planning profession. Jim's own first degree was in geography, before he converted to landscape architecture as a post-graduate, so he knows better than most how a training in geography and the earth sciences can be applied across the broad sphere of landscape design and planning.

Jim said: "Taking time with students as they start to make career choices for their emergence from academia is a valuable time invested for our business, the wider profession and hopefully for a few of the students. I hope my input offers thoughts for their direction of travel, and helps to frame alternative pathways into our profession."

Later in the afternoon Jim went to the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) at Manchester Metropolitan University, to meet first-year Masters of Landscape Architecture students. (They included our own Andreea Moanta who, after a summer internship, is completing her studies while working with us for two days a week.)

These post-graduate students, from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, are involved in a collaborative project which considers responses to Mayfield Park. The project requires the students to consider key site conditions - climate, soil and water - when specifying and selecting materials. (The park, which opened in Manchester last year, was designed for tender by Studio Egret West (SEW), before contractors PP O'Connor appointed Gillespies as implementation designer supported by Layer Studio.) SEW introduced them to the project over a video link, and then Jim gave each group of students constructive feedback on their initial analysis and ideas for the park. Over the coming weeks they will frame their own visions of Mayfield Park.

"It was a busy afternoon," said Jim, "but I enjoyed hearing a really diverse range of exciting ideas."

Photographs: Jim with the students at the Manchester Metropolitan University; Mayfield Park (c) Ashlea Landscaping

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Mayfield Park