Cityscapes is a not-for-profit organisation who transform neglected and underused spaces into gardens, parks and installations. Pro Landscaper talks to one of the founders, Darryl Moore, about how they use upcycling in their projects, the benefits and how they would encourage others to upcycle.
What is an example of a project in which you have used upcycling?
One project where we used upcycling was the Remix Gardens, we took components from Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam’s 2013 show garden from RHS Chelsea Flower show and created four new gardens with four
different young designers. This showed new designers the potential of upcycling and how without doing projects like this these materials go to waste, meaning money is also wasted. These gardens were on show for three months and then anything else that could be upcycled further went to community projects. The materials and plants lived their full lifecycle instead of being thrown away.
Where do you draw inspiration from when upcycling?
Every project is different. We start each project by looking at what materials are available and that then dictates the direction we go in.
Is upcycling something you try to incorporate into all your designs?
It depends on what the project brief is and if there are materials or plants available to us at that time. If there are then we always try to incorporate upcycling into our projects but sadly it’s not always possible. Particularly when we are creating temporary installations we always look at the afterlife of them to ensure that it is an ongoing process where things can be reused.
What would you say the benefits of upcycling are?
I believe the main benefit is seeing materials reused because they shouldn’t be disposable. Materials used in the landscaping industry have a long life, they should be used again and again in different projects if possible. To me it makes sense that if you can reuse and upcycle materials from other projects or sites then everyone should be doing that. We’ve quite often got materials before from building sites which have been near to where we are working, materials such as rubble that they would no longer use we can upcycle. Upcycling also has huge benefits to the ecological footprint.
How would you suggest other people incorporate upcycling into their garden designs?
The main thing is when you’re visiting a site for the first time to be aware of what’s there. Audit the site and then think about how you can upcycle materials creatively. Also, it’s important to keep your eyes open, finding what may be available locally or what other people you know may no longer be using.
I also think it would be great if there was a central depot of materials, people could deposit materials they no longer needed and other people could take them. It would be great to see the industry come together in this way. If we could find a way to catalogue all the items, then people could come and find things that they need or could find a creative use for. We have thought about it in the past but logistically it would be hard to do. Hopefully one day it can happen though.
For More information on Cityscapes visit: www.cityscapes.org.uk