What If

Visualising an idea - How to bring your concept to life

“Visualising to Communicate”

Moving on from last session of developing an idea to a concept this phase will deal with the visualisation of the idea translating it into a functional plan.

It is the time to think about the practical aspect of your concept.

For example: Size of the space, the amount of hard landscaping, any materials used as well as keeping practicalities in mind such as water-flow if there is a water feature or electrical sockets that need to be included for light within the space.

“Boxes and Paperscraps”

Because communication of your design is essential you can always use old cardboard boxes or any other packaging material to quickly “sketch” a model.
This can push your concept further by experimenting with material and elevate your final 2D masterplan.
Remember that it is only a sketch to help you visualise your final design and to enable you to tap back into the flow of thinking further about materials, shapes, sizes, proportion or rhythm of hard landscaping.

“Draw your concept”

Sketch out rough ideas that you have keeping in mind a few things such as access and desire lines which are focussed on movement through the physical space. Even though most people like to take the shortest route from A to B think of the aesthetic you can create by using curvy and windy paths.
Think of placement of any other requirements for the space. Maybe a seating area or different themed parts of one larger space and include vistas that guide the eye though the space.

Play around with shapes and sizes but keep in mind the design principle of proportion.
An oversized path may look good in a large estate garden but could make a small space feel overcrowded.
You can be bold if you want to. In the end it is your personal perspective on that space.

“Details matter”

Once you’ve chosen your final concept plan it is time to sketch out the masterplan by choosing your paper size you are automatically setting a boundary for your scale.
For example for the show garden “What if” that is 12x6m a scale of 1:50 on an A4 sheet of paper was used.
If you have a scale-ruler you can easily adjust the size. Write any measurements for your features on a separate paper to be able to go back to it.

An additional tip would be to draw the boundary of the space to scale and then use tracing paper to draw your final plan on as it is easy to copy once you have finished it.
The plan used to create the planting which will be covered on the 8th of April was generated with CAD a computer-aided software to enable easy adjustments and a quicker workflow.

Having created your masterplan it can be crucial to involve construction drawings and any other detailed drawings like a planting plan, electrical supply chains, sustainable draining systems.
For “What if” the main construction plans were regarding the massive steel sculptures which were created by a static engineer to enable a stable piece of art.

It is also crucial to consider materials for example which stone to use or which kind of wood.
Is there any colour you want to incorporate or a special finish? This is the time and space to write down any specification yet it is always good to keep an open mind and change things as you come more into a planning and sourcing phase which will be part of the implementation of the design into a real space.

Once you have drawn your masterplan you can focus on the planting plan which will be covered on Monday the 8th. Both regarding the show garden on the Instagram-Live and in general in a blog post like this.

Developing an Idea - How to tap into the creative mindset

“Ideas are what sparks anything else”

Coming up with ideas may come natural at times but often it is a process in itself.
A creative block that just seems to last for forever can lead to an uncomfortable spiral of unproductiveness.

Here are a few tricks and tipps to help you get your creative juices flowing:

“Start with what you already know”

Generating ideas is the goal here.
They can be anything: From serious to sad and all the in-between thoughts that pop up.

Start with any information that is given to you for the finished result such as a garden-design, a drawing or a new product that you are creating. It doesn’t matter for now if you feel the information is not relevant like:
dates, season, limitations, size, area and so on.

Another way to get your thinking juices flowing is to think about limitations that might be existing from the start in the case of garden design it is mostly related to the available space or even climate, wether a site is exposed or sheltered but also things like time-frame, materials or other information from the client.

When you have no client or a client that gives you free range try to imagine and create one for this particular project. What would they think about the project, What emotions or thoughts would they have.
There are many angles and directions this can go in. There is no right or wrong at this stage.


These little exercises should help you to get your thought-process going.

“List of Objects”

Sometimes when you are starting with a new project there is nothing that speaks to you immediately.
A great way of generating a conscious stream of thought is to look at whats is right in front of you.

Empty your bag or look at what objects are around and write a list of contents such as:
Pen, Lunch, Lamp, Phone Chargers.

Any object will do and if you still feel stuck think of categories to summarise them, differentiate larger objects and direct them. Then think about what they might have been used for before the ended up in your life.
Touch the objects and study them. Experiment with them and see what comes naturally to you.

Your mind will take over from there and lead you in many directions. Note them down as you think them.


”What if” your pen was made of the last piece of graphite on earth?
”What if” your phone charger was a teleportation device, where would you go?


“Developing a relevant Idea”

Your creative mind is already racing with ideas waiting to be explored.

Make sure that the thoughts don´t lead you astray by remembering the context you are creating in.

It is time to hone in onto to develop the mere thoughts and ideas into something tangible.

Once settled on one relevant idea that sparks your interest you can start to develop a concept out of it. This doesn't mean that other thoughts that might reappear and can´t be incorporated into your development.

Refine the idea and relate it back constantly to the goal you want to achieve for example a garden design.
Going with the graphite idea mentioned above:
”What if” you could incorporate shapes from graphite quarries?
”What if” you would introduce different stages of graphite into the design?

Besides diving deeper into what a particular idea can look like it is important to acknowledge what is realistic. Research can be quite effective to inform you about processes, new elements and being able to evaluate how feasible your concept is.
This takes the idea into a concept. Thinking about the implementation of your idea to reality or the physical constraints that limit how you can develop the concept.

For me personally the most important thing in this overall process is to allow anything to happen as well as writing down ideas and even draw little sketches to see if something would visually work.