Jeppe Aagard Andersen: A Tribute
IFLA Immediate Past President, Professor Kathryn Moore
The first EFLA meeting I attended was in Brussels in 2004. It was like walking into the lion’s den. There were fierce debates and arguments. But at a certain point I noticed that I was being circled by big, tall, long-haired Scandinavian. I had no idea who this rather intimidating person was. But in amongst the turmoil, he offered advice, was wise and protective and not at all threatening, but definitely larger than life. This was Jeppe.
He was a breath of fresh air. He blew away institutional cobwebs. He was not interested in the way things should be done. He challenged. He questioned. He was politically very astute. He made his own path and he was incredibly funny.
He was steadfast. He described IFLA as a large family. He treated it as his family, invested time in it, looked after and cherished it. In 2005 for example, as Teresa Andersen and I clashed over the coming together of the IFLA Europe and the EFLA, Jeppe marched us both down to the bar and bought us gin and tonics at 3.30 in the afternoon to “smooth things over”. It worked. He continued to mould the organisation by encouraging, quietly and at a distance, sometimes very close to. He held the memory of these institutions and when he spoke, we listened. Over the next few years he was instrumental in shaping the current global organisation.
He was very impressive and he definitely liked to impress. In Minneapolis took a group of us everywhere in a stretch limo. He declared that far more landscape architects should aspire to drive Ferraris. He arrived at the IFLA meeting in Apppledorn, long hair flowing with an entourage of beautiful women around him from his office. Everybody looked up – it was like being on a film set.
We have seen that he was a brilliant designer. His skill in transforming abstract ideas into reality led me to invite him teach the international studio with me at at BCU – he came for several years. The students were slightly terrified of him, but we learned that chocolate at about 4.30 in the afternoon made him very amendable.
He was so observant and alert to the way we experience place, its nuances and details, its tone, texture and quality of light. Working to light a courtyard, he predicted that when the lights were turned on, flooding the square with blue moonlight, the first people to walk in would kiss. And they did.
IFLA has received messages from all over the world. One of the things that has become clear since his sad passing is that he created myths and legends within IFLA that will only grow with time.
I miss him. The IFLA family misses him. Our thoughts and wishes are with you Lone and your family, with his friends and colleagues from AHO, Norway and from those who had the opportunity to get to know him or work with him.
28th September, The 10th Biennale, Barcelona