Claire Symons

Associate Landscape Architect

Claire leads the design for a wide range of landscape projects from our Cardiff office, as well as producing tender documents and liaising with clients and consultants to ensure each project is going to plan.

What is the current big trend in landscape design?

Health and wellbeing. As a profession we need to design spaces which encourage people to get outdoors, get active and improve social interaction. It can be directly linked to the NHS crisis, where more people than ever are facing health problems, so we need to improve wellbeing.

If people enjoyed their landscape they’d be more inclined to go outside and get fit, taking the pressure off the NHS. It’s these challenges that filter into our design process.

What is your favourite project?

Every project where I’ve had the chance to work with the local community as you’re designing for the end user and giving them a sense of ownership. Each project is so different and it’s nice to go back to a scheme to see people using the spaces I have designed for them.

Pet hate?

Landscape design being thought of at the last minute of the project process. It should be considered at the start.

I get on board a lot quicker than I used to, but it’s about making people understand that yes, we can do garden design, but predominantly we design large scale landscapes for everyone to enjoy.

If you weren’t in this career what would you be?

Cake decorator or DJ. Baking is pretty much my second job, but I only do it as a hobby for friends and family. I bake and decorate a lot of celebration cakes.

DJ’ing comes from my love of music. I’d love to share my love for electronic, 80s and 70s music with other people.

What is your proudest moment?

I have lots of proud moments, but becoming a crew member for the RNLI is up there at the top.

Industry Bodies:
  • Honorary Secretary for the Landscape Institute Wales Branch
  • Pathway to Chartership Mentor and Landscape Ambassador for the Landscape Institute
  • HATCH Network Member for the Design Commission for Wales
  • Design Enabler for the Glasshouse Community Led Design
Awards:
  • Landscape Institute Awards Communication and Presentation Category 2017
  • Construction Excellence Wales Project of the Year 2017