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Inspiration Profile - Mark Newdick

Welcome to the end of the week and I am very excited to be here! I am off overseas tomorrow so this blog will be very quiet indeed for the next month. However, I will be posting happenings and inspirations on the CMID Facebook page so if you want to see what I'm up to, check it out. I'll also be bringing back plenty of inspiration from my trip and will share them with you on my return.
So to finish of the week and the start of my blog break is a great Inspiration Profile from the clever Mark Newdick, a Wellington based landscape designer. Enjoy!

Mark Newdick

Te Aro by Mark Newdick

Name: Mark Newdick

What do you do: I'm a landscape architect at Moorhead and Newdick Landscape Architects together with my business partner Hamish Moorhead and Matt Williams who joined is a few years ago.

Where do you live: Vogeltown, Wellington New Zealand.

What are you working on: A huge range of projects really, from the new Australian Memorial Project opposite the Carillion in Wellington's new Memorial Park, a new courtyard on the top floor of the National Library, a retirement village in Cambridge, schools in Christchurch to lots of Wellington gardens perched on awkward windy hillsides!
Eastbourne by Hamish Moorhead

Who/what inspires me: New Zealand. Its landscape, its ecology and its people and their way of looking at the world. This underpins all our work. We also love simple elegant contemporary design and we are influenced by many designers and movements internationally. There is great depth of history and culture in our profession which provides a great source of inspiration. From the classical geometry of French formalism, to the elegance of mid century modernism, to some of the ecological design which has a strong presence in our profession nowadays, we take inspiration and hone our own work in response.

I work best: In the mornings! I’d happily start at 7am and finish at 1pm. Unfortunately people often want to see me in the afternoon when my dog says I should be walking the hills with her.

What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: I give it time. Sometimes when you've been working on a problem for too long you can’t see what is staring you in the face and you need to step away. Often I'll go for a run or be having a glass of wine with a friend and the solution will come. We are also always checking things with each other in the office. Checking our rationale is reasonable or if there are any other ways of doing the same thing. We collaborate really well together which is something I am very thankful for.

The best advice I have been given is: "Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth". This was the advice given by the departing professor of Landscape Architecture, quoting Katherine Mansfield at our graduate show. She had just tragically lost her husband and was leaving to start her life again in her birth country England. Her words were inspiring at the time and have stood me in good stead. Creative endeavours are full of uncertainty and sometimes you just have to risk it.

My latest discovery is: Ponga logs. While these have been used for decades by New Zealand gardeners, their ability to retain steep slopes while spouting new growth is genius. We used them extensively at Pipitea Marae in Wellington instead of building retaining walls which are costly, require consents and are hard and unwelcoming. They are also a very kiwi contribution to the popular international fashion of green walls, but do so for a fraction of the cost.

Pipitea Marae by Mark Newdick

Books that I get inspiration from: We are continually buying books, mainly on specific designers. My latest favourites are like Andrea Cochran, Bernard Trainor and Nelson Byrd and Woltz - all American although the latter have just won the supreme award at the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects with a project at Young Nicks Head in Poverty Bay. The recently published Contemporary Gardens of New Zealand by Penguin is also a great showcase for recent work in New Zealand - and features two of my projects.

Magazines that inspire me: HOME is great and have been very supportive of us over the years. Topos, a Dutch magazine is a great source of information on a range of complex landscape projects. Landscape New Zealand magazine is also very good for projects in the public domain and we have an article on out work at Pipitea Marae in the next issue.

Blogs that I enjoy: Landzine is a great one, we also regularly look at Dezeen and plusMOOD.

My favourite room at home is: Oh, that’s a hard one - I love them all. I guess my lounge room in my favourite because I can sit on my sofa, in the afternoon sun, be warmed by the log fire, look out across the valley to the Orongorongo ranges in one direction and my garden in the other and be surrounded by all the little things we have collected over the years which hold wonderful memories and meaning.

My office is: in an old warehouse building in which Melling Morse Architects design several quirky little offices on Egmont St, just off Cuba St. Gerry Melling is very sadly no longer with us but his vision of light, ethically constructed, characterful spaces lives on.

What am I looking forward to: It’s been incredibly rewarding to watch our business grow and take on more and more complex projects. Winning the competition to design the Australian Memorial in the memorial park with TZG Architects in Sydney was huge and we can't wait to see this take shape. I'm also very excited to see the courtyard we are doing for the National Library in Wellington come together. More than all of those put together though I'm looking forward to the birth of our first child in October.
Pauatahanui by Mark Newdick

Hawkes Bay by Hamish Moorhead
All photographs are used with permission from Mark Newdick and MNLA


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