Imagine visiting this garden, with a platform high above magnificent full sized trees, no protective railings, no health and safety warnings….the danger of the bird’s eye view without wings…a different perspective, a garden with an edge on multiple levels. I’d love to see this garden built and spend a day sitting at its platform, watching the trees move, hearing the noises from within and experiencing the changing light as the day progresses. This is ‘To Die For’, designed by Wilson McWilliam Studio and was part of the MiNiATURE Garden Show – our exhibition highlight of March.
MiNiATURE was a garden show with a fresh approach. It exhibited ten unique designs by leading garden designers, all of which fitted into the compact Strand Gallery, Charing Cross, London. Unlike some of the crowd surging you get at other garden shows, we had time and space to look closely at the intricacy of the designs before us. These were no ordinary gardens; these were beautifully crafted miniature models of garden designs at a scale of 1:50 built using cutting edge 3D printing technology alongside more traditional model making techniques. We spent our time looking through the gardens and above the gardens, walking around the edges of the gardens, like giant spectators of the skills laid out before us.
MiNiATURE was thought up by curators Kajsa Björne, Tom Hartfleet and Andrew Fisher Tomlin, all award winning garden designers themselves, who were interested in the opportunity of what becomes possible when working on a smaller scale. The aim of MiNiATURE was to; “enable designers to move away from designs that have limitations such as restricted budgets, planting seasons or focus on awards and to instead give the opportunity to experiment and explore innovative designs through the media of 3D printing along with traditional modelling”.
The fast paced development of 3D printing is bound to have a huge impact on the way in which garden designers use models to visualise their designs, both for themselves during the design process and indeed for their clients in communicating ideas. The time it takes to 3D print a feature or structure within a garden, compared to hand making one from scratch will save days and will surely go some way to inspire more experimental approaches. As the technology becomes more accessible and less expensive it will become a much more frequently used tool. A tool, which will feed into the creative process and inspire innovation within the industry.
We loved the movement and energy of Jo Thompson’s ‘Stage’, with her 3D printed spiral viewing point and Adam Frost’s, ‘A World in 21st Century Stone’ which won the People’s Choice Award.
It was also really exciting to see first-hand a 3D printer in action, from HOBS 3D and to view some of the beautiful models they had on display.
We’re already looking forward to the next inspiring show.