Designer Profile: Bernard Trainor

Designer Profile: Bernard Trainor

April 1, 2011

Raised on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula, some 60 miles south of Melbourne, Bernard Trainor holds a design diploma from the English Gardening School at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London. Since 1995 he has practiced in Northern California, where his Pacific Grove office of six does largely residential work from Big Sur through the San Francisco Bay Area to Mendocino.

INFLUENCES “English environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy, English garden designer and writer Beth Chatto, and Australian architect Glenn Murcutt, who said, ‘I see simplicity not so much as a disregard for complexity but as the clarification of the significant.’”

OBSERVATIONS “To understand the fabric of California’s regional landscapes, we must first allow our eyes and our minds to perceive the historical processes that shaped the land over time. Some of the best ‘design’ occurred through necessity — in a California mission or on a ranch, for instance. This honest ingenuity is beautiful to me.”

PREOCCUPATIONS “The local vernacular and the opportunities to ground my work in a unique context. The built landscape is the conduit, and the light, wind or topography is the real awe-inspiring force that comes in for a visit and starts to play.”

INSPIRATIONS “Places where ocean meets land. Hiking in wild landscapes. Discovering new plants in local habitats and then using them in my way rather than trying to replicate nature.”