Dan Bowles, 23, is an Assistant Landscape Architect at Bellinger Design in Overbury. He gained a BA Hons, Landscape Architecture, a Postgraduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture and a Master of Arts (MA) in Landscape Architecture, all from the University of Gloucestershire.
This is my first job. What’s nice is that my boss is investing in a lot of things – I get training, and I’m learning a lot on the job. I’m going to start my Landscape Institute Chartership process with my boss as my mentor, so that’s really good.
I love my job because it’s so varied, and that’s why I chose landscape in the first place – for the broad nature of it. There are so many aspects to it. Working in a small practice like I do, you get to see everything that goes on, you get involved in lots of projects, even if it’s just a small input you have. I think landscape is so important. It can have a really positive in people’s lives and communities. You can transform space.
e work with the clients, consultants and with a range of contractors. When we’re working with clients, they come first. We try to fulfil all of their aims. One of the things we do in my company is a lot of public consultation. In that context it’s very much about meeting the requirements and the desires of the community. Often I will be working within planning restrictions as well, so I have to meet planning requirements. Our overall big picture aims are to make places that improve people’s lives and are really beautiful spaces for the community. It’s about making the most of local spaces.
I’d say the project I’ve enjoyed the most was a play area that we’re about to build in Leicester. Although I didn’t do the design, I’ve worked from the consultation stage onwards. I went to three schools, and I chatted to kids and found out what play equipment they like. You think what is the play area like for kids, what do they want? It’s a creative process. I followed the project from consultation, through the design process, writing the contract, and now we’re about to go on site and build it.
It’s quite exciting seeing the whole thing come together, seeing how everything I’ve learnt at university actually happens in the real world. It was an interesting and big learning curve.