Brief introduction, name, job title, location.
Samantha Leathers, Senior Associate and Chartered Landscape Architect, Bristol
When you were at school what did you want to be and why?
An interior designer or an architect because I loved creating schemes and drawing plans and diagrams… I did not know Landscape Architecture existed.
How did you get to be where you are today?
A careers advisor told me I could indeed be a designer, but with plants rather than just buildings or furniture, and I was fascinated… I also always loved being outside and exploring nature, so really it was a ‘no brainer’… to ‘design’ the ‘landscape’! Bingo!
What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most, and why?
Designing places…I love developing an idea, getting other people excited about it, and then seeing it become reality… I liken it to being ‘Alice in Wonderland’, walking into a dream; when you walk into the reality of your drawings once they are built on site!
What is your proudest achievement?
Difficult one! – perhaps pioneering a new path membrane in a Deer Park in Cornwall – it had never been used in the UK before and I convinced the Client to install it across a vast network of trails because low visual impact and durability was really important.. and now, years later, people have told me that they really enjoy using the path – on horses, bicycles and on foot – just as it was intended.
What is the best advice you’ve been given in life?
If you reach for the top of the tree you will probably find yourself the middle of the canopy, if you reach for the sky you will probably find yourself at the top of the tree.
What is your next adventure / goal?
Restoring the industries perspective of what a Landscape Architect can do – I think the recession had a really damaging impact on the profession – our services became too competitive and the allowance for inspiration, research and design development has been really parred down. I would really like to bring the space for ‘creativity’ back into every project.
Also – becoming a Fellow of the Landscape Institute.
You can contact Samantha directly: email@example.com