Straub Thurmayr announced as Landscape Designers of the Year 2017
We are honored to announce that the creative work from Dietmar Straub and Anna Thurmayr (Straub Thurmayr Landscape Architects and Stadtplaner) was awarded the 2017 Western Living Designers of the Year Award in the Landscape category. Western Living’s (WL) Designers of the Year competition is an annual celebration of the best designers in Western Canada. WL was celebrating the 10th anniversary of the competition, and was thrilled to see hundreds of entries flood in. Dietmar and Anna were invited to attend the award winners reception at the stunning Pipe Shop building on the North Vancouver Waterfront.
Straub and Thurmayr, Associate Professors in the Department of Landscape Architecture, explain that this prestigious award means a lot to them for two reasons. “This award is given for the quality of an oeuvre and a ‘design philosophy’ and not just for a single project and the awarding authority composed a distinguished ‘all-star’ judging panel from multiple design disciplines whose job was to pore over all of the amazing submissions and to narrow the selection down to one award recipient per design discipline.”
On a global level, Anna and Dietmar have become enthusiastic travellers in an ongoing journey to explore and discover new things. On a local level, their journeys of discovery begin right from their very own doorstep.
Since Dietmar and Anna have joined the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba, the core of their creative work and scholarly activities has been a series of realized pro-bono community projects in Northern and Southern Manitoba. Volunteering their time to support communities and schools has given them the luxurious freedom to radically ignore the conventional procedure of project design and implementation.
Design experiments and interdisciplinary innovation has been integrated into their landscape architecture practice to inform new methods and engage the public. The results facilitate community, beauty and learning through the life and health of non-domesticated environments. Their ‘building materials’ are leftovers that the city produces and throws out each day. The ‘worth of the worthless’ takes on an important role and enriches the discussion on the state of urban natures for children, adults and butterflies. Their golden rule is to find beauty in spontaneity and imperfection.
The dimensions are often lowly, the means are simple, but the design considerations are surprisingly complex and the realized spatial transformations are “bloody cheap but sexy!” Most of Dietmar and Anna’s design work proves that projects do not need to have millions of dollars or use vast amounts of resources to transform Canadian lawns or Canadian asphalt courts into fields of magical dreams.
Straub Thurmayr’s philosophy to highlight gardens as an archetypal conception of humans trying to coexist with nature and thus create platforms for the ‘post-boom generation’ in search of moments of happiness seems to bearing fruits.
Title quote by juror Misty March (Principal, Hargreaves Associates)