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Job title:

Lecturer in Landscape Architecture

Role:

Programme Director, Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Office:

Hunter Building, Room R.01G

Biography

Anaïs Chanon is a Landscape Architect and Lecturer at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. She holds a Diploma in Art and Design from the Duperré National School of Design (Paris, France) and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the National School of Landscape Architecture (Versailles, France). Anaïs also co-founded GRAFT, an award-winning landscape architecture collective based in Scotland and France.

Her approach is based on researching through making, being immersed in the landscape and engaging with sites and their living communities, both human and more-than-human. Understanding how to design for social and environmental justice in a complex age of climate emergency is the main driving force behind her landscape practice, research and teaching ethos.

Anaïs has extensive experience in facilitating community engagement through which she aims to work with communities to meaningfully represent their vision and values. Previous community-based participatory projects include:

  • SUSTRANS-funded large-scale community projects in Balfron and Falkland, Scotland (with Austin-Smith:Lord)
  • Pilot projects as spaces for community engagement with GRAFT: Custom Lane (2016), Stirling Libraries (2016), National Gallery of Modern Art (2017) and Possilpark Glasgow (2018)
  • Feasibility study and engagement to support a community asset transfer bid to the Scottish Government for Blaeloch Community Land, an organisation formed by local residents of Castlemilk, Glasgow (with GRAFT)
  • Scottish Government community design charrettes in Kirriemuir, Dunoon and Falkland (with Austin-Smith:Lord)
  • Specialised Health and Wellbeing engagement with NHS Scotland for the design of outdoor spaces at Stobhill Hospital Mental Health Facilities (with Austin-Smith:Lord)
  • Anaïs also co-led a conference presentation and workshop on New Participatory Practices of Collaboration at the 2019 ECLAS conference in Ås, Norway.

Perception and behaviour change in communities subject to high levels of landscape transformation are key aspects of her research and practice which she has explored predominantly through art-based participatory approaches. Her 2015 Living with the Sea short film which explored the impact of coastal adaptation on the communities of Noirmoutier (France) won the Landscape Institute How to Prevent Flooding Competition. In 2019, she also collaborated with IGLU Studio and Norman Villeroux to produce an animation film to  engage the communities of Levenmouth in Fife with the landscape proposals for a new river park project. The film A journey through the River Leven Park made a vital contribution to the bid which enabled the project to secure the multi-million SUSTRANS funding to deliver the project.

Anaïs has a strong affinity with coastal and hydro-landscapes and weaves her understanding of complex geomorphological, ecological and social processes into sensitive landscape proposals and research projects including:

- The award-winning 2019 Three River Sequences project working at the scale of the BíoBío river catchment in Chile to restore local ecosystems and improve local livelihoods bringing together innovative solutions and vernacular practices to surface more durable forms of economies within the river basin (with GRAFT, first prize Concepción: Living at (in) the edge competition)

- The 2022 No Man is an Island project which received the Innovation Award from CAUE Calvados, France. Inspired by regional vernacular landscape architypes (such as the Clos-Masure, the bocage and the pré-verger), No Man is an Island is a proposal for an inhabited productive archipelago in the future flooded Vallée de la Touques (Normandie, France). This project was also published in [Ré]aménager la ville inondable, publication by the French Ministry of Sustainable Development https://www.urbanisme-puca.gouv.fr/catalogue-re-amenager-la-ville-inondable-a2544.html

Anaïs’ research work currently focuses on coastal communities. From 2019-2023, she co-directed (with Lisa Mackenzie) for the RSE-funded European Coastal Communities Research Network. Lisa and Anaïs  were subsequently commissioned by the Highland Council to lead on the development of a spatial framework for the Golspie-Coul area of the Moray Firth to support Climate Action Coastline, a Highland Council-led project (funded by the Scottish Government Green Growth Accelerator programme) which aims to research and implement nature-based solutions in landscapes subject to high levels of coastal change. This collaboration is ongoing.

Lisa and Anaïs also curated a research residency in Golspie in August 2022, bringing together staff and students from the European Masters in Landscape Architecture programme from Scotland, Norway, France, Germany, Spain and The Netherlands. This residency was a key milestone in the team’s exploration of the potential of Edge to Peak transect walks as a mediatory tool for engagement and representation across science and design disciplines, and between designers and local communities in coastal landscapes. Situated printmaking practices were at the centre of this exploration, which is also ongoing.

Anaïs is also the director of the Master in Landscape Architecture programme at ESALA, and the co-convenor for ESALA Climate Action, a working group aiming to de-carbonise academic practice in our School.

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