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Terragrams is a podcast series providing a wide portal into the world of landscape architecture by the professionals who shape it. Running from 2006 to 2012, the podcast dispatched over 30 interviews. It is now being re-edited and re-broadcast. Learn more about Terragrams.

Dispatch 27: Claude Cormier

First published 26th Jun, 2009

Republished 21st Jun, 2022

Claude Cormier grew up on a farm and went on to study in agronomy and plant sciences at the University of Guelph. However, in search for a different perspective on nature, he entered the University of Toronto to study landscape architecture. After practicing for some time in Toronto and Montreal, he returned to school in the early 90’s to obtain a Master's in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

In 1995, he founded his office, Claude Cormier Landscape Architects. Claude has been described as belonging to "the second generation of landscape architects, known as conceptualists". Having emerged concurrent with postmodern architecture and on the heels of the conceptual art movement, the 'conceptualists' approach is distinguished by the predominance accorded the concept or governing idea that spurs a project and defines its every detail, from start to finish. This viewpoint differs radically from the functionalist imperatives of modernism. Within this camp, the practice of Cormier and his team is distinguished by his insistence to peel back the historic, economic, botanical, ecological and socio-cultural strata (whether hidden or manifest) that make up the sites on and with which they work.

Special thanks to Terje Ong for dispatch research and preparation.

Introducing Claude

Ch. 1


Coming to Landscape

Ch. 4


The Office's Evolution

Ch. 5


Constraints & Motivations

Ch. 8