“Tbilisi, unfolding”. Lecture by Sarah Cowles, moderator — Peter Culley, exhibition of Barrie Hullegie’s photographic works

“Tbilisi, unfolding”. Lecture by Sarah Cowles, moderator — Peter Culley, exhibition of Barrie Hullegie’s photographic works

The upcoming event in Ubani’s public program showcases Ruderal's projects in Tbilisi that create a fresh ecological vision amid rapid urban changes, operating in different scales and demonstrating a flexible way to understand nature in the city. The exhibition by Dutch photographer Barrie Hullegie further portrays this narrative in the context of the city.

Sarah Cowles, Director of Ruderal, will present two recent landscape architecture projects in Tbilisi: Arsenal Oasis and the Tbilisi Urban Forest. Tbilisi Urban Forest is a biodiverse palette of endemic and climate-adapted species to replace aging pine forests which is a crucial effort to preserve the landscape of the city. These works exemplify a new ecological unfolding in the context of this rapidly changing city. Fitted within the traces of previous urban and ecological regimes, Ruderal’s projects are templates that operate at multiple scales and dimensions, providing examples of a multivalent approach to urban ecology in Tbilisi. She will situate this work within the history of the city’s parks, gardens, green infrastructure, and the hazards and challenges of today's climate change and development pressures.

The Tbilisi Urban Forest by Ruderal is a nominee for the 2024 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Awards (EUmies Awards), a prize honoring the best works in the built environment.

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session with London-based architect Peter Culley, the founder of the Spatial Affairs Bureau.

The photo exhibition by Dutch photographer Barrie Hulligie's photography will be on display at an upcoming event. He has captured the essence of Tbilisi blooming urban forests. These young forests, planted just a few years ago, symbolise all that is youthful and forward-thinking within an ancient city.

During the springtime, Tbilisi transforms into a visual spectacle with fruit trees, almonds, wisteria, and magnolia trees in bloom.Its nature's beauty seamlessly merges with Tbilisi's urban landscape, creating a unique cultural experience. Initiatives like Ruderal are establishing a contemporary landscape architecture culture, preserving and enhancing Georgia's unique landscapes, while endeavors such as IERI Store embody the true spirit of Georgia, blending modernity with deep-rooted cultural traditions and the natural beauty celebrated by Georgian artisans.

Bio of the speaker

Sarah Cowles The founder and director of Ruderal is a thought leader in landscape architecture. With 20 years of experience, she addresses geopolitical realities to create relationships between ecology and culture. Recognized for her work in climate adaptation, she has worked on global projects including landscape planning, ecological rehabilitation, and master plans for cultural institutions and natural disaster sites. She is a member of ASLA and was named a US Fulbright Specialist in Urban Design and Landscape Architecture in 2019. Cowles received a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design. She’s taught at The Ohio State University, University of Southern California, and Sam Fox School of Art and Design.
Peter Culley The creative director and founder of Spatial Affairs Bureau, a design studio specializing in architecture, landscape, and general design, with projects in the UK and the US. He spent over a decade at Rick Mather Architects, working on significant cultural projects such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the South Bank Centre in London. He works with clients such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Crosstown Arts, Richmond Bridge Park, and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. He is a UK registered architect (ARB), a chartered member of the RIBA, international associate AIA member in the US, serves on the UK’s RIBA Visiting Board for Architecture School Accreditation, and is an external examiner for University of Westminster.

Bio of photographer

Barrie A Dutch photographer and creative director of Poster Boy Magazine, known for his sensitive approach to photography. In his personal work, Hullegie delves into the individual and their surroundings, capturing the versatility of human nature through intimate and authentic images that are rich in emotion. Whether photographing fashion, portraits, or landscapes, his work emanates a serene and calm atmosphere. His photographs often explore themes of identity, gender, and sexuality, frequently blurring the lines between masculinity and femininity. Hullegie received his BA from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague and currently divides his time between Paris and Amsterdam. He has applied his lens to projects for clients such as Calvin Klein, Adidas, Nike, Lois, Missoni, and Vogue, among others.


Ruderal Site engineering, landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm
IERI Concept store of Georgia infused fashion

Visitors info

Free entrance
The discussion will be held in English

Drone photo showing the cascading patches of Cedar Forest, Silver Forest, Flowering Thicket and Tbilisi Chapparal
Credit line: Ruderal