Programme: Landscape Architecture - MSc

Year: 2014

In this article, we focus on Paloma Stott who graduated in 2014 with an MSc in Landscape Architecture with distinction and went on to win the Landscape Institute Award 2014 for Best Student Portfolio. This is Paloma’s account of her first year since leaving Edinburgh College of Art (ECA)…

I still remember the day during my second year at Edinburgh College of Art reading an inspiring article about a Chilean landscape designer called Teresa Moller. Her work really struck a chord with me and continued to inspire me throughout my five years of study. The balance she conveyed between her designs and the natural environment was unique, and embodied precisely what I believe landscape architecture should be. Five years on, I have now been living in Santiago, Chile for six months, working in Teresa’s landscape architecture practice.

As I am writing this, I am so happy to be part of the Teresa Moller team and making my contribution to the designs. The studio is set in a lovely old house with a small garden, which is also used as a plant nursery, called La Mariposa (The Butterfly). I spend much of my free time here, walking amongst the beautiful collection of native plants.

The studio is a place of creativity and originality; a collaborative environment that inspires the production of beautiful and sensitive designs. I enjoy most of all the fact that the office brings together a range of people who share the same passion for design and nature; landscape architects, architects, an agronomist, a forest engineer and a horticulturist. It is a perfect balance that enables every aspect of a project to be handled fully.

"Studying at ECA has been hugely beneficial for my career and has enabled me to secure a job beyond all my expectations. The [Landscape Architecture] course brings out the best of what we can do as individuals and nurtures one’s natural curiosity".

Paloma Stott, MSc graduate 2014

Every project is a direct and unique result of its environment.

When I first arrived in Chile, I didn’t know a great deal about the country, but it didn’t take me long to appreciate its unique qualities. Chile has been shaped by nature. Wedged between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes mountain range to the east, it is a linear country of 4,270 km. It offers remarkable natural resources. The diversity of landscapes, from the Atacama Desert in the north to the lakes and glaciers of the south, have been the setting for the majority of the projects in the studio. Every project is a direct and unique result of its environment.

I am in charge of all international projects in the studio. I am also involved in a unique and experimental project that is of great importance for Teresa called el Campo. I am so happy to share Teresa’s way of thinking and working. The office allows me to express myself and encourages me to use the artistic skills I developed throughout my years at ECA. I really enjoy exploring new ways of illustrating ideas, combining watercolours and hand-drawing skills with computer techniques.

I have very fond memories of my time at Edinburgh College of Art. The school really helped me develop my skills, not only as a landscape architect but also as an artist. Studying at ECA has also been hugely beneficial for my career and has enabled me to secure a job beyond all my expectations.  The course brings out the best of what we can do as individuals and nurtures one’s natural curiosity.


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