Writtle College Landscape Architecture postgraduate wins national award

Jacqui Jobbins, from Bradwell on Sea, has won the student dissertation category in this year’s Landscape Institute awards. She was also runner up in the President’s Award.

Jacqui, who graduated this year with a Masters in Landscape Architecture – which is accredited by the Landscape Institute – said: “It is a great honour and privilege to have won the student dissertation category of the Landscape Institute awards. Even more of an honour was being on Noel Farrer’s shortlist of three for his President’s Award. To be discussed in the context of the other two projects – the South Pennines Watershed Project and the President’s Award winner, LDA’s Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon – was ‘high praise indeed’ as someone said to me following the awards.

“I am particularly proud to have been one of the winners in 2014, a year when several of the projects honoured and shortlisted were in response to, or had specific elements which responded to the challenges that climate change and finite resources pose.

“A heartfelt thanks to the Landscape Institute for the award and the recognition of the essence of the dissertation – what is the ethical response, as landscape architects, to the relationship between society and the natural and built environments?”

Responding to the environmental and social challenges that face us in the 21st Century – such as climate change and finite resources – Jacqui’s dissertation aimed to develop a new ethical approach to the design process.

She developed a matrix to assess ethical value during the design process, which focussed first on the natural, then the social and then the built environment. This applied the theory developed by philosopher Warwick Fox and she demonstrated its use through the case study of South Woodham Ferrers and its 20-year development plan.

Jacqui, who now works for Greenlight Environmental Consultancy, said: “I used ethics as the starting point on the basis that I believe that there should be a response from Landscape Architects to the fundamental question ‘what ought I to be doing with respect to these challenges?’

“As Landscape Architects (and all landscape-based professionals) we are in the privileged position of being able to use the powerful medium of landscape to change perceptions and influence people, and I believe we have an obligation to do so.”

Dr Saruhan Mosler, Jacqui’s MA dissertation supervisor, congratulated her, saying: “All the staff at WSD are very pleased that Jacqui has won this major national award.

“We support students in their MA dissertations to enable them to conduct research in their own areas of interest and provide relevant industrial links and expertise. We encourage them to question and challenge current needs and issues in our cities and landscapes from national and international aspects.

“We take great pride in the fact that our MA research and design dissertations have been praised by external examiners and the Landscape Institute every year.”

The awards ceremony was at the Bloomsbury Big Top.

• To find out more about the MALA, visit http://www.writtle.ac.uk/design/