On the morning of September 12, 2014, the inaugural meeting of the Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture Women Landscape Architects’ Branch was held in Shenyang Agricultural University. A large number of outstanding and beautiful female landscape architects, their male friends, enterprise representatives of the industry and students, nearly 200 people all together from all over the country attended the inaugural meeting, and witnessed the birth of the branch.
The former International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) president Diane Menzies gladly sent a congratulatory letter, when she learned that Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture Women Landscape Architects’ Branch would be established. She mentioned that “This is a wonderful opportunity for female landscape architects to communicate their practicable and innovative research, papers, and design experiments. More broadly, it is a great opportunity for children, communities, cities, nature and the landscape architectural profession.” Hexian Jin represented Diane to read out the congratulatory letter on the stage.
As an important aspect of Chinese tradition, Zhaozhen Meng, the academician of the China Engineering Academy, wrote two calligraphies for the establishment of the branch, namely “Half Sky of Chinese Landscape Architecture” and “China Women Landscape Architect”.
Xiuchen Liu, vice president of the Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture, gave a warm greeting as representative of the guests. He said that women are beautiful, exquisite, gentle, careful, and romantic. China being at an important historical period of the construction of ecological civilization, the establishment of China Women Landscape Architects’ Branch would unite the strength of women together, to contribute to such a historical period. He believed that male masculinity and female femininity and romance would stimulate new passions in Chinese landscape architecture.
The Conference unanimously choose Shulin Zhang as the President of Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture Women Landscape Architects’ Branch, Panyan Wang and eight other women as the vice presidents, and Hexian Jin the Secretary General. Xiaoli Chen and other five outstanding women were elected as the Honorary Presidents of the Branch.
The inaugural meeting received considerable attention and responses from the great majority of female landscape architects and their friends. With united wisdom and strength, they offered various assistance, and their enthusiasm was impressive.
Professor Xiangrong Wang spoke with strong emotion that the emerging of China Women Landscape Architects would be to repair the world destroyed by males, tying the scarf with the logo designed by himself. His wonderful opening speech met with bursts of applause. He said the inauguration of China Women Landscape Architects’ Branch was an example of natural selection. The female landscape architects would help to restore the ecosystem, to make our globe much more beautiful, harmonious, and full of humanity and enlightenment.
The director of the Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture Xiaoli Chen made an important speech during the meeting.
She sincerely rejoiced over the founding, and encouraged all of the female landscape architects to improve their literacy, aesthetic knowledge, professional skills, and creative ability through the platform. At the same time, she hoped everyone could communicate with each other, and keep on learning and progressing. Besides academic exchange and business communication, the platform also could be able to expect to pay attention to the physical and mental health of women, to the family happiness and unity of women, to overcome the weakness and develop the strength, to contribute women’s special effort to the prosperity of the field.
In the afternoon, the branch forum was presided by the friends of China Women Landscape Architects, namely the vice-chancellor Chi Gao from Huazhong Agricultural University and Professor Binyi Liu from Tongji University. The two “boyfriend’ hosts commented in such a humorous way that drew full bursts of applause. The scene was really packed and hot.
The Chairman of the Beijing Topsense Landscape Design Ltd Xin Tan and other six famous women landscape architects made some hot speeches from their research fields, which in total contained theory research, case studies and technology path.
In the landscape architecture industry, the proportion of women occupied is increasing and the contribution they make is also growing. Qing Lin, the professor from the college of landscape architecture in Beijing Forestry University, said that women were the earliest gardeners. Women’s life experiences and emotional experiences, keen observation and sensibility as well as love and attention to detail of life, can induce female landscape architects to save this broken world like Goddesses, he said.
Professor Feng Han, from Tongji University, believed that all Chinese world heritage has natural beauty first. She said that the evaluation of natural heritage, which can integrate western scientific values must also integrate eastern culture value. Professor Li Dong, from Beijing Forestry University told the forum that plant diversity contained genetic diversity, ecosystem diversity, landscape diversity and culture diversity. Diversity is the cause and effect of geographical features, because diverse landscape is the base of the diverse habitats of plants, she noted.
Xin Tan took the Fragrant Hill Hotel and Imperial Root Relics Park as examples to share her feelings about gardens. The deputy chief engineer of the ECOLAND Yanhong Tang, described the experiences of three musketeers Garrett AiKebo, James Ross and Dan Kelly who triggered the Harvard landscape architecture revolution. She believed that the source of design inspiration comes from our life.
In conjunction with the establishment of China Women Landscape Architects’ Branch, the committee organized an exhibition of outstanding female landscape architects, including several former chairwomen of IFLA, President of China Society of Landscape Architecture Xiaoli Chen, the winners of Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture Lifetime Achievement Award Xuke Cheng and the old generation of Laili Yang and Zhiruo Li and others. Their achievements were presented in the form of illustrations. They have been active at different stages of the landscape architecture industry and have made prominent contributions to the development of the field. They could be examples for young people for continuous learning.
By Hexian Jin
Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture