Christiane von Burkersroda
Christiane von Burkersroda was student of the year for the Open Learning Diploma Garden Design 2009. She completed the course from Germany and we caught up with her to hear about her growing career.
What were you doing before KLC and why did you decide to do a KLC course?
I trained as mechanical engineer and for almost 15 years I worked for international companies in consumer goods, consultancy and semiconductor business. My assignments as project manager, business consultant and solution architect were production and supply chain related with close links to IT.
Why did you decide to do a KLC course?
Once I had decided to change my career and to start my own business as garden designer I figured that KLC offered the kind of training I was looking for: focus on a professional career. In addition the course syllabus and the initial support were convincing.
Can you identify some of the highlights of your studying with KLC?
Sending off the first package to KLC was very exciting, as was, receiving a call from KLC - after I had already graduated - nominating me for Open Learning Student of The Year 2009. As it was so unexpected, it was great.
How did you find studying in a second language?
English as a second language was easy as I used to work for international companies before. Of course I had to learn terms and terminology specific to garden design, gardening and construction work. But luckily all the plant names are Latin.
How has your career evolved since KLC?
While I was studying at KLC I started up my own design studio. My clients back then knew I had no specific qualification at that point in time but they did not mind. Ever since my graduation from KLC I have worked full-time as a self-employed garden designer.
What are some of your recent projects?
One commission is the design of a new garden (approx. 2.000 sqm) in a tiny rural village in upper Bavaria, some 30 minutes south of Munich. It will be a modern style garden with a rural touch. It comprises terraces, a kitchen garden and an orchard. The latter I am giving a contemporary feel by placing fields of ornamental grasses between the trees.
Another commission is a 1000 sqm residential garden in a Munich suburb. Its key feature is a large swimming pool surrounded by a wooden deck. The garden is designed on several levels. Its style is contemporary using materials such as concrete, hard wood and ornamental grasses. The atmosphere I want to create is relaxed but straight and uncluttered. My commission covers all project stages. The construction work starts just now before the beginning of the winter 2013/2014 and will mainly be conducted during spring 2014.
You can see more of Christiane's work on her website.