Exploring all facets of landscape architecture – Our Communities

Taylor LaRocque is a resident of Earl Grey, a hobby photographer, and you’ve likely seen her walking her Dalmatians through the surrounding neighbourhoods. Why is this important? Because it’s Manitoba Landscape Architecture Month, and landscape architecture, among many things, is about people and the communities that connect them.

Taylor is a graduate of the master of landscape architecture program at the University of Manitoba, which is celebrating 50 years this year. She is now an associate landscape architect and Indigenous design consultant with Public City Architecture, and she’s one of the many people in your community with a story to tell.

Originally from Regina, Taylor has called Winnipeg home for over 10 years and has been fully immersed in Winnipeg life — she is co-chair of the communications committee with the Associates of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and is on the editorial board of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architecture magazine, Landscapes|Paysages, which keeps her busy in her free time. If that wasn’t enough, she is often found walking her two dogs and exploring the many shops and restaurants in the area. Taylor is a photographer as well, catching and cataloguing images of your communities and her many travels.

Taylor LaRocque is an associate landscape architect and Indigenous design consultant with Public City Architecture.

Supplied photo

In school, Taylor had the opportunity to travel with other students for a whirlwind tour of European public spaces, including Paris, Amsterdam, and Genoa. Seeing these landscapes and studying them taught her much and inspired more trips to explore the world. Another formative experience for her was conducting her master’s thesis on the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota. It explored the controversial nature of the monument and the multi-faceted stories of all involved, teaching her about co-operation, perspective, and legacy.

“As designers, we need to always be aware of who we are really designing for, and the lasting impact of what our work might be,” she said.

Just like Taylor, Public City Architecture is a highly collaborative trans-disciplinary firm in the West End, with projects consisting of large-framework urban design plans down to small interventions. Taylor participates in multiple aspects of each project, but those that are playful and full of colour are her favourite. The project she is most focussed on is Thunderhead, the winning design for Canada’s national 2SLGBTQI+ monument.

“That’s a project that is really close to my heart. I still pinch myself because I can’t quite believe we get to work on something so impactful — it’s a responsibility we take very seriously,” she said.

During Manitoba Landscape Architecture month, designers, and architects such as Taylor work collaboratively with MALA (Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects) to host public events and encourage you to get lost in your own community. One such event is the Landscape Rocks! scavenger hunt highlighting the sometimes subtly designed spaces in your community. Follow MALA on social media to stay in the loop on more events.

Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects

Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects

The Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects organizes celebrates Manitoba Landscape Architecture Month every September.