THE SKETCHUP FOR GARDEN DESIGN STORY
Thanks for your interest in what we're doing here at SketchUp for Garden Design. Understandably, students want to know a little more about us and so here's a potted history of the SU4GD story.
SketchUp for Garden Design was founded 2017 when we discovered that there was a real gap in the market for quality SketchUp training courses focused on the work of garden designers and landscape professionals.
My own journey into Garden Design began back in 2004 when I left the City of London and a career in finance to roll up my sleeves and enter the world of horticulture. Over the next ten years, I built a successful maintenance business, attended night school at Capel Manor, Enfield and through my studies discovered a love for garden design.
Changing careers once is hard enough and, while I wanted to make design my core activity, making that change again in a short space of time was a tough ask, so I stuck to designing informally while I concentrated on building my business and during that time, discovered and taught myself how to use Sketchup.
In 2014, a bad back injury meant that I was no longer able to carry out the day-to-day physical work that my business required and so I took a job working for a charity teaching disadvantaged young people how to operate in the world of work through grounds maintenance and horticulture. As part of my role, I coordinated the re-use scheme at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which reignited my passion for garden design. I decided to retrain formally in garden design, joined the Society of Garden Designers and started attending cluster group meetings where other designers started asking me about the SketchUp work that I was producing and how I was achieving the results that I was. The more groups I attended, the more apparent it became that although there was a real desire to use SketchUp amongst the garden design community, there was also a lack of quality training available. This sparked an idea I so wrote what has now developed into the SketchUp for Garden Design Foundation Course, and SketchUp for Garden Design was born.
My own design process now centres around the use of SketchUp and while I may draw some very basic shapes on paper right at the start of a new project, I use SketchUp and Layout for SketchUp Pro as my main tools throughout.
My experience means that I'm able to understand exactly what garden designers and landscapers want and need to know when using Sketchup and which parts of this huge piece of generic design software they don't need to worry about. I have over the years of using it, developed techniques which utilise extensions and other parts of Sketchup that aren't immediately obvious that enable garden designers to produce everything they need to from sketch plans to planting plans, techniques which I'm happy to pass on to my students, giving them the tools to develop their use of Sketchup and push their own design practices forward.
I look forward to meeting you soon!