This may well be a first – a symposium about the future landscape held in the restaurant of a motorway service station!
However, Tebay is no ordinary service station; owned by the Westmoreland group, it is committed to delivering its services in a sustainable framework, sourcing ingredients locally, providing a high-quality dining experience and selling locally produced food and gifts in its award winning shop.
The symposium, organised by MLA staff, focused on the future of the rural and was attended by over 150 people. The principle speaker, Stephan Petermann is a consultant to OMA and a freelance researcher, with a particular interest in how new economic and cultural patterns can emerge in the landscape, which are connected to both globalised and localised systems.
Tom Lonsdale, as key note speaker and a long time protagonist in the battle to recognise the unique skills of the Landscape Architect, emphasised their role in any new configuration of the upland landscape in the North West, whilst Dr Ian Hunter from Littoral Arts and Dr Alexander Lees presented Pecha Kuchas, which challenged accepted modes of thinking and offered radical solutions to the future of the rural landscape in the North West.
The event was held alongside an exhibition of student work from MLA 2, which provided a range of radical proposals for addressing the future of the rural landscape in a location effectively isolated by the designations of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park.
To conclude the evening, three students also presented their ideas to the assembled audience, posing thought provoking challenges for future discussions on what might happen if the predominance of sheep farming disappeared and a more dynamic sustainable programme was implemented in rural areas.
Tom Lonsdale discussing the role of the landscape architect in a new rural future.
Stephan Petermann explaining new ideas about the urban/rural interface.
Student project work from MLA 2 was exhibited alongside the symposium.
The symposium was attended by over 150 professionals.