2020 has been a tough and challenging year for everyone. The effects of covid on how we work, live and interact has been monumental. Many of us know of people that have lost loved ones to the virus and many have been struggling with mental and physical health conditions associated both directly and indirectly with it. However, 2020 has also brought about many positives both for erz and the design profession. Below is a summary of what erz have been up to in 2020 and looking ahead to 2021.

Like an excited child on Christmas morning, it seems only fitting to go straight for the biggest item, winning the ‘Excellence in Landscape Design’ at the Landscape Institute Awards 2020 for the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice. As a company that strives for design excellence in every project we work on, this really is the highest honour, and the team is thoroughly delighted. This has been a massive team effort since the project commenced in 2012. It has brought us great pleasure hearing all the positive comments about the landscape design from staff, patients, families and finally the Landscape Institute judges.

As a company that strives for design innovation in its work, 2020 has challenged us to review how we work and operate, finding creative new solutions to meet our needs. Whilst at times technically challenging and frustrating, 2020 has been refreshing as a test ground for ideas not only for ourselves but for the design profession and beyond. erz have developed a number of concept ideas including HALO (Heroes and Loved Ones) & HELO (Happy Education & Learning Outside). Both of these ideas look to create simple, affordable and innovative approaches to current societal challenges and needs. We are looking forward to developing these ideas into reality in 2021.

2020 has seen a number of staff changes at erz. Emily & Jenna have both left to pursue new careers in the cultural arts & film production respectively. We would like to say a big thank you to both of them for their efforts at erz over the last few years and it was a delight to work with them both. Catherine has returned to university to complete her master’s in landscape architecture at the prestigious EMiLA course. She remains part of the erz team and we are excited to see and hear about her designs and what new skills and knowledge she will gain. David qualified as a ‘Building with Nature Assessor’. He is looking to utilise his and erz’s skills in green infrastructure design to help create quality and multi-functional greenspaces. We are also delighted to have three new members of staff join the team. Rachel joins the team as an Architectural assistant and has contributed to some fantastic drawings and visuals. Rowan has been assisting with digital media web content – check out our new content on Twitter and Instagram for the last few months to see what we’ve been up to. Finally, we’re looking forward to welcoming Nicole to the team in January 2021. Nicole graduated in 2017 and has been working in the landscape design profession since. 

2020 has also seen erz work on a number of exciting projects. From health care, education, housing, green infrastructure, public realm, public artwork, landscape planning & urban strategy, we have been kept busy with an interesting array of work. We are looking forward to sharing some of these projects with you in more detail in early 2021.

Finally, we would like to say a big thank you to all of our staff, clients and collaborators in 2020. In a difficult year, this has been a real pleasure. From everyone at erz, we wish you all a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2021.

Article by: David Hammett