School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Research and Design Seminars

Research and Design Seminars

To encourage a dynamic research environment the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape organise weekly research and design seminars where research students, staff, visitors and invited guests present their work.
The seminars are held on Wednesdays 1pm - 2pm in the Exhibition Area, Room 4.60 in the Daysh Building. Everyone is welcome - bring your lunch and see you there!

Seminar Details

29 May 2019 - Juliet Odgers

My talk will focus on the laboratory like aspects of two gardens devised by the famous seventeenth century diarist and author, John Evelyn (1620-1706). Both were devised during the 1650s:  the one is the imaginary ‘Royal Garden’, or ‘Elysium’ that Evelyn described and drew in his great unpublished , all-encompassing work on gardening  Elysium Britannicum or, The Royal Gardens; the other is the garden that he planted at his home, Sayes Court in Deptford (now destroyed, but known from drawings). As a founder member of the ‘Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge’, commonly known as the ‘Royal Society’, it is no surprise to find that Evelyn had an experimental agenda for his gardens. This we find described in the Elysium manuscript. What is more surprising, perhaps is the precise lineaments of that agenda and the extent to which it pervades the structures and spaces of his gardens.

Following an enquiry into these aspects of Evelyn garden design I explore two themes – the Alchemical derivation of Evelyn’s understanding of Nature, in which Nature is seen as a synonymous for Universal Spirit or World Soul, and the ways in which this animistic conception interacts with the prominent perspectival structuring of the garden spaces he designed.

Juliet Odgers seminar