Gwenyth Leigh was first drawn to the field of landscape architecture as a 13 year old. During her final year at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, she studied the Grand Canal in Mexico City, a central drainage artery 29 miles long which carries sewerage and rainwater out of the city – most of it above ground. Studying this giant piece of infrastructure and its effect on local residents opened Gwenyth’s eyes to the impact that design can have on people’s health, habits and, ultimately, quality of life. This ethos continues to underpin Gwenyth Leigh’s contribution to the field of Landscape Architecture and establishes her as a leader within our profession.
Gwenyth’s journey so far – practitioner, writer and curator – has broadened her perspective and helped her spread the essential message about good design and healthy places. The Bruce Mackenzie Leadership Award will support her efforts in promoting the public health benefits of our profession by turning the BLOOM Exhibition into a book which can explore, in more detail, the way people engage with our public spaces, and assess what the profession can learn from these examples to improve current standards of practice.