Julie Moir MESSERVY, JMM Design Studio
October 7, 2011
My work is my DNA. It is the ground zero of my soul".
"Gardens tell a story. They combine poetry and narrative. The Garen of 10,000 Bridges represents the human life; the path of people's lifetime, which is a route of uncertainty and burden, but also of highlights and elation. The garden design takes you on this walk of life...." A. Geuze
Geuze is working on the master plan for Longwood Gardens. "Gardens are evolutionary. They take a generation." Geuze is looking for the DNA of Longwood. In researching the landscape surrounding the Longwood, he has come to the conclusion that The Brandywine Valley is the Tuscany of America. Like many outsiders, this Dutchman sees our American landscape in a different way than us natives. He is in the process of reframing the choreography of Longwood.
Julie Moir Messervy
Hearing the stream...with open eyes
PREACHER, THERAPIST, GARDEN DESIGNER
Julie Moir Messervy is a kind of high-priestess of New Age gardening. She has a very conceptual rap. With years of gardening and studying in Japan, her approach is part Zen, part hippie and part sage. She likes to build intellectual frameworks for her ideas. Beginning with the stroll journey and ending with the mind journey. The mind journey includes digital media: iphone, ipad, etc.
Have we become passive receivers?
Ultimately she asked the audience:
What we are going to do about it?
One of Messervy's answers to how to get people outside: An App. You can download it from her site www.jmmds.com. Home Outside Design is the name of the app and it allows you to become your own garden designer. You can make a drawing of your property, arrange plants and shrubs, create stone paths, move your patio furniture around, etc. You can bring your designs to a garden center, garden designer or contractor and supposedly have them realize your dream for a fraction of the cost of hiring Messervy.
Her theory is if you make garden design more accessible to "ordinary" people, more people will actually go outside, make a space they enjoy being in. I am not sure that an app can get anyone away from the screen, in fact, it seems to me it does exactly the opposite. You start investing more time looking and playing with device du jour. The world of nature becomes a game you can play on your iphone.
Messervy is very well-intentioned. She shared many projects with the audience, but admitted at the end of the talk, that she hadn't answered her own question:
McGonigal developed a game called SuperBetter to heal herself and hopefully others. It's not important here to go into how the game works. It is not on the market yet. McGonigal is doing a controlled study with volunteers plagued with a host of different diseases. What struck me is how a video game might solve a problem in REAL life. Not being a player of video games, it seemed unfathomable that a video game might impact a person's life in a positive way.
Listening Messervy I was trying to connect the dots and imagine whether a video game could reach beyond the screen and do as Messervy was urging, get people outside again. If SuperBetter can actually heal people, then maybe the digital world can re-energize our thirst for nature.