Can nature—in all its unruly wildness—be an integral part of creative landscape design? In her beautifully illustrated book, Wild by Design, award-winning designer Margie Ruddick urges designers to look beyond the rules often imposed by both landscaping convention and sustainability checklists. Instead, she offers a set of principles for a more creative and intuitive approach that challenges the entrenched belief that natural processes cannot complement high-level landscape design.
Wild by Design defines and explains the five fundamental strategies Ruddick employs, often in combination, to give life, beauty, and meaning to landscapes: Reinvention, Restoration, Conservation, Regeneration, and Expression. Drawing on her own projects—from New York City’s Queens Plaza, formerly a concrete jungle of traffic, to a desertscape backyard in Baja, California, to the Living Water Park in Chengdu, China—she offers guidance on creating beautiful, healthy landscapes that successfully reconnect people with larger natural systems.
A revealing look into the approach of one of sustainable landscape design’s most innovative practitioners, Wild by Design stretches the boundaries of landscape design, offering readers a set of broader, more flexible strategies and practical examples that allow for the unexpected exuberance of nature to be a welcome part of our gardens, parks, backyards, and cities.