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By Design, a talk series at Sir John Soane’s Museum, in partnership with Luke Irwin, invites internationally renowned designers to discuss their practice through a single object. In this talk, Alice Rawsthorn talks to landscape designer Dan Pearson.
Inspired by Sir John Soane’s own extraordinary collection, and co-hosted by Will Gompertz, Arts Editor at the BBC, and Alice Rawsthorn, award-winning design critic and author, the series reflects on the power of objects – large or small, mundane or exceptional, aesthetic or utilitarian – to spark new ideas, and act as a spur for different forms of creativity.
Dan Pearson is a British landscape designer, horticulturalist, writer and gardener. His work is characterised by an innate sensitivity to place, an intuitive and light-handed approach to design, bold and painterly naturalistic plantings and deep-rooted horticultural knowledge.
Dan trained in horticulture at RHS Gardens’ Wisley, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He is a member of the Society of Garden Designers (MSGD), an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Hon FRIBA) and a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI). Since 2014 he has been a Garden Advisor to the National Trust at Sissinghurst Castle.
In 2013 Dan was the subject of an exhibition at The Garden Museum, London, Green Fuse: The Work of Dan Pearson.
Dan has designed a number of award-winning show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show. His 2015 show garden for Chatsworth and Laurent Perrier was awarded a Gold Medal and Best Show Garden.
Dan lectures and broadcasts regularly and has written a number of books including Spirit: Garden Inspiration and Home Ground: Sanctuary in the City. He is a Contributing Editor to Gardens Illustrated magazine. For over 20 years he wrote a weekly newspaper gardening column, most recently for The Observer. He now writes his own weekly blog, Dig Delve.
Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic and author whose latest book is the critically acclaimed Design as an Attitude. Her weekly design column for The New York Times was syndicated worldwide for over a decade. Alice has spoken at important events including TED and the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Born in Manchester and based in London, Alice is chair of trustees at The Hepworth Wakefield art gallery in Yorkshire and Chisenhale Gallery in London. A founding member of the Writers for Liberty campaign for human rights, Alice was awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts.
The talk will take place in the Museum's Library Dining Room. Doors will open at 6:30pm, with a chance to explore the museum by candlelight. The talk runs from 7pm to 8pm, followed by a drinks reception in the South Drawing Room.
We are in a Grade I listed, 19th-century building, so access is not always straightforward. If you require step-free access or extra assistance, please contact us in advance of your booking on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7405 2107.
Images: Dan Pearson by Paul Smith. Alice Rawsthorn by Michael Leckie.