Author(s): WILKIE KIM
This is Kim Wilkie's first book, and will be a major contribution to the literature on landscape, sustainability, regeneration, and design. In Led by the Land he looks back at more than twenty years at the forefront of his profession, and forward to projects which are ongoing, or now in development, including Botanic Gardens in Moscow and Oxford, the redevelopment of Chelsea Barracks and a new cemetery for the City of London. In astonishingly vivid terms, Kim Wilkie explores how 'landscape is a kind of riddle: it changes with every cloud and mood, and yet it is timeless and stationary'. Drawing on a wide range of research, reference points, insights, conversations and practical experiences, he reveals that the key to his work is 'to listen to the stories and then continue the tale, allowing the memory and imagination of what has gone before to inspire fresh design in the evolving pattern.' With some 250 plans and colour photographs, including specially commissioned aerial photography of several major works, this an especially rich account of an unusual talent.
Wilkie is a tall, gentle figure with no obvious desire to impress, but he is the landscape architect most likely to become a household name. He's behind the colossal redevelopment of Chelsea Barracks, with a plan that gives landscape precedence over buildings. The Prince of Wales has taken him to his environmental heart. The John Madejski courtyard at the V&A is his design. Daily Telegraph [Kim Wilkie] writes engagingly and thoughtfully with reflective observations, and educates and enlightens us with the lightest of touch. Garden Design Journal The reader closes the book with an appreciation of, and wonder at, the creative process of this remarkable landscape architect. BBC Gardens Illustrated Sometimes even nature can be enhanced by a lick of paint. Daily Mail Made me want to be a landscape architect. -- Christopher Woodward Spectator A fascinating insight into the work of a landscape architect at the top of his profession. English Garden Kim Wilkie has a deep love and understanding of the human landscape: the symbiosis between people and nature that has created some of the most beautiful and ecologically rich places on our planet. This matters because as fewer experience rural life first hand, there is an increasing tendency to regard wilderness as best. Wilkie's work reconnects us to the idea that we are not admiring observers, but an essential part of the landscape we love. -- Mark Jones House & Garden 'a fascinating read and beautifully illustrated with inspiring photographs' Salisbury Life "full of enticing photography and thoughtful narrative, this is a powerful book that brings to life man's relationship with the land and his ability to thoughtfully enhance it ... as information as it is stimulating." Homes & Gardens
KIM WILKIE had an intense introduction to landscape. He grew up in the Malaysian jungle and Iraqi desert before being sent to school in southern England. Having studied history at Oxford and environmental design at the University of California, Berkeley, Kim set up his landscape studio in London in 1989. He is fascinated by the link between land and culture and between memory and imagination. Kim continues to teach sporadically at Berkeley, writes optimistically about land and place, and is involved in various national committees on landscape and environmental policy in the UK. He lives in London and Hampshire.