Living Outside: Reviving the Australian Modernist Garden
Publisher: Thames & Hudson, 2020, Authors: Sharon Mackay, Diana Snape, ISBN: 9781760760557, Format: Hardcover, 247 x 291mm, 272pp
The Australian garden was born mid-20th-century, a time of postwar confidence and growing national identity. Gardens became outdoor rooms for recreation and healthy living – removing the barriers between inside and out – and bold designs celebrated native Australian plants.
The mid-century modern aesthetic has seen a revival in recent years, with contemporary garden designers reinterpreting the optimism, innovation and independence of that era. The gardens in Living Outside speak to an Australia that draws on the confidence of the last century while pushing the boundaries of experimentation, all to rise to the environmental and social challenges of today.
The featured projects embrace their unique landscapes, from coastal cliffs and expansive grassland to tropical forest and even urban neighbourhoods. They also reflect a return to modernism – not just the look and feel, but also the functionality and values of invention, conservation and wellbeing.
These gardens are more than just ornamental backdrops: they provide shade for neighbourhoods, food for pollinating insects, habitat for wildlife, hubs for both social interaction and moments of respite. They are platforms for research into resilient futures, experiments in sustainability and places for families to grow. They have been designed in response to their contexts and exemplify the singular and joyous spaces that can result from a deep appreciation of place.
About the authors
Sharon Mackay and Diana Snape have collaborated on numerous design, landscape architecture and city-making projects. This is their first book. They have shaped planning and design policies, curated exhibitions and events, and were the inaugural creative directors of the International Festival of Landscape Architecture. Sharon is a landscape architect and has been a presenter on Australia by Design: Landscapes on Channel TEN. She has designed many award-winning places, been a speaker at the World Architecture Festival and had her work exhibited in the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Diana is trained in architecture and urban design policy and is the host of podcast series Architecture Insights for the NSW Architects Registration Board. Both are passionate about design and well-designed places - especially where design makes space for people to eat, drink and be merry together. Photographer Christopher Frederick Jones is a designer turned award-winning architectural and landscape photographer based in Brisbane. His work is in high demand across Australia and internationally and is featured widely in magazines and books.