Author(s): Philip Smith; David Straight
Fascinating, idiosyncratic, often beautiful, Vernacular is a unique book created by landscape architect Philip Smith and photographer David Straight.
PHILIP SMITH is an Auckland-based landscape designer with a particular interest in design that engages with the context of the places in which he works. The pieces that go into forming this context are sometimes seemingly paradoxical; such as the distinct layers of native ecology and human culture. One of the major strands within Philip's design work is advocacy for New Zealand's threatened plant species (often through the unconventional path of sensitive integration with certain flowering exotics), although he is equally fascinated with the human imprint within New Zealand - particularly the forms and objects that arise from everyday life. DAVID STRAIGHT'S interest in the built environment started as a street photographer in London and New York. Long and frequent wanderings lead to a greater understanding of the importance of cities - of public space and public life, and the city's social and psychological importance. This has followed through to documenting the built environment in both personal and professional work, from shooting architecture for some of New Zealand's leading architects to an ongoing exploration of the transitional landscape of post earthquake Christchurch. Born in Christchurch, David graduated from Massey University School of Fine Arts, Wellington and now lives in Auckland.