It’s no secret that we love Claude Cormier’s work and are extremely excited for what he’ll bring to our Garrison Point community. He is one of Canada’s most talented landscape architects (if not the most talented) and his work is recognized in cities and neighbourhoods all over the world, including Berczy Park most recently. Cormier has spent a significant amount of his career bringing innovative landscape architecture to Toronto and Montreal in particular. His designs are both inspiring and beautiful, which is why we were excited to chat with him about how he got into the field, where he gets his design inspiration from, and learn more about his overall creative process.
What first sparked your interest in landscape architecture? I’ve been doing landscape architecture since I graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986. I grew up in the countryside which initially sparked my interest in the field of landscape, and I’ve always loved the idea of constructing something that was in relation to landscape. I didn’t really know exactly what I was getting into when I started at U of T, but I loved it right from the start. I fell in love with the idea of living in the city and that everything in a city is built, and I loved the idea of doing landscape architecture in urban centres. When I started doing it at school I realized that I was in the right place, and I never questioned it. Ever.
Where do you go for design inspiration? I go everywhere and I look at everything. Everything can be an inspiration. Travelling to different cities is a great way to gather inspiration. In cities I look at what they do with fashion, architecture, restaurants, in the streets, shops, advertising, and sculptures and paintings in museums. I’m also interested in people and how they interact. I love going places and questioning myself as to why I like a place, and I’m interested in beauty, aesthetics, and environment. Things that have personality, places that have personalities, and buildings that have personalities - my inspiration usually doesn’t come from landscape itself.
How do you go about converting your inspiration into a tangible piece or work of art? I guess that is experience. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and it’s not easy to transform an idea into reality. It has gotten easier, but it’s because I’ve learned to have a very clear idea of what I want to do.