We interviewed Natalia Guillamet who is starting today, Thursday 1st September, a one-month Exchange programme in the Netherlands at Green M2 Ontwerp, owned by Nico Wissing.
Natalia, what is your background, how did you enter the landscaping industry and what did you specialise in ?
My previous background is related to arts and humanities. I studied two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in English Philology (Language and literature) and another in Art History, plus a Master’s Degree in Cultural Management. I have always been involved in these fields personally and professionally, working as the Deputy Head of Press and Media Dept. at the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, running my workshop of antique furniture restoration, organising art exhibitions and for a private art collector’s foundation as an art historian, or managing my own holiday rental cottage in the Girona region in Spain for over 10 years.
It was particularly this experience of running my business of a holiday home in a unique natural environment that provided me with infinite possibilities to widen my knowledge about gardening, wildlife and nature observation and preservation, biodiversity, sustainability.
After all this experience, I decided to study an official technical degree in Landscaping and rural environment to generate this career change towards landscape and garden design in 2019.
My special focus is in garden and landscape design.
What is your specific goal and learning target for this Exchange programme ?
My main goals are to grow professionally in the fields of garden design, landscaping, on the one hand, to follow up all the development and construction process as well. On the other hand, another goal is to learn from more experienced European professionals in the green sector, especially those that work with innovative solutions in Urban Greening.
How important is this Exchange programme for you and your career goals ?
It will open up the possibility to learn from Nico Wissing and his team of experienced professionals’ approach to garden design and Urban Greening.
Why did you choose the Netherlands ?
Since I studied and read about garden & landscape design, I admired the work of several Dutch garden designers and landscapers. Collaborating with Dutch colleagues at the Erasmus+ project EPLUG (European Platform for Urban Greening) provided more knowledge of their work and projects going in the Netherlands. Therefore, I am looking forward to learning!
What are the similarities of topics in the landscape industry between Netherlands and Spain ? Water management ? How do you think you will benefit from each other in discussing common issues during this Exchange programme ?
Water management is definitely a big challenge for the Mediterranean climate regions, of course. I know the Mediterranean climate well and am aware of the changes we are already facing in terms of water scarcity, higher temperatures. Since Urban Greening in the Netherlands is more developed than it is in Spain, I am confident to learn and be able to share sustainable solutions that are friendlier for our cities and green areas.
How much do you know about the company you will visit and why did you choose this one in particular ? Did you already have contacts with this company ?
I attended a conference by Nico Wissing’s through ELCA’s online activities and was impressed by his approach. It was an honest and kind suggestion by ELCA to apply for Nico Wissing’s studio when I enquired about the exchange program.
Thank you very much Natalia. We sincerely wish you a very successful and fruitful Exchange programme !