• Sammy Burt

Why do global landscape architects support TEDxBath?

Andrew is a landscape architect whose work explores the connection between people and nature. His company, Grant Associates, opened in 1997 and has now grown into an international design studio with offices in Bath and Singapore. Their work is both beautiful and practical - it delivers the perfect blend of form and function.

Andrew grew up on a farm in East Yorkshire therefore a desire to make the most of the land is deeply ingrained. He studied landscape architecture in Edinburgh at the College of Art which connected him with other interesting creatives, enhancing his own design ideas. He worked in Qatar in the mid 80’s; giving him an amazing perspective on a place with a totally different culture and way of life, this experience and exposure shaped the creative architect that he is today.

His approach is to use creative ecology to find solutions to the major challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and improving human quality of life, health and well-being.

He is known for his sustainability projects and has an established reputation in environmental and sustainable design. Each of his projects responds to the place, it’s inherent ecology and its people.Having worked on projects all over the world he, and Grant Associates, promote innovative landscape design.

The award-winning landscape architect is also co-founder of the pop-up festival Forest of Imagination which engages the wider community of Bath in the re-imagining of city spaces and relationships with nature in the city. He is also Chair of the Bathscape Landscape Partnership and a member of the Bath World Heritage Site Advisory Board.

Why are you involved with TEDxBath?

Andrew Grant was a speaker at TEDxBath in 2018 and decided this year to sponsor, specifically because of the theme of Global Awareness and Interconnectivity.

Andrew said, “Grant Associates want to be involved in putting Bath on the map and highlight that it is a contemporary innovative city, not just a Roman city.”

He also said, “I am very excited that Forest of Imagination this year will be connected with TEDxBath and extend that interconnected theme to creative connectivity too.”

What does ‘interconnected’ mean to you?

We have all learnt how to remain connected using virtual technologies and remarkably the threads of communication have remained open. However, Andrew thinks that the opportunity to read body language, small social interactions and the casual bouncing of ideas from work colleagues is what has been missing from living in a virtual world.

Andrew said, “The last few months of lockdown have put a focus on the necessity in the modern world for connectivity, we cannot actually survive unless we are seamlessly connected globally”.

He also stated, “I think a healthy world needs a healthy environment and a healthy ecosystem. We must work together to repair the world sustainably and make it a happier place to be”.

In his role as Chair of Bathscape, he reinforces the importance of and the quality of a Bath being listed as a world heritage city. A positive from the 2020 lockdown is that it has introduced thousands of people in Bath to walk around the city and surrounding countryside; to have the time to be able to explore and appreciate the landscape that we live in and realise that what we have is very special. There are interesting developments being discussed at the moment to provide an integrated nature and sculpture park based in Bath. We can’t say more at this stage, but Andrew Grant is passionate about this idea and its potential impact on Bath and its visitors. Grant Associates are an example of a fantastic Bath based global business that you should follow.

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