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Kate Cullity on abstracted landscapes and the ‘distillation’ of place

November 2017

There’s something different about the work of the South Australia-based landscape architecture practice, T.C.L. The name is an acronym for Taylor Cullity Lethlean – the surnames of the practice’s three founders, Kate Cullity, Perry Lethlean and the late Kevin Taylor – and this shortening seems appropriate in light on their work.

Since its inception in the early 1990s, T.C.L.’s work has become notable for a certain quality of distillation. This isn’t to say there’s anything missing from their projects, but neither is there anything ostentatious; nothing showy for the sake of it.

These same traits seem evident in Kate Cullity herself, who I am talking to about T.C.L.’s success after its recent win in the Landscape Architecture Category of the 2017 Sustainability Awards. The founding director is nothing but humble about the fact that her practice has won a National Award every year since 1994, and who continues to emphasise the importance of the practice’s many and cross-disciplinary collaborators.

“It’s really important to note,” she concludes at the end of each project description. “That’s what forms our practice, our collaborations. It’s at the heart of what we do and our work is so much richer for it.”

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