Listening to the landscape and you

Our places and landscapes direct and influence what’s possible in a project. A key role WildLab brings is to listen to these places. That’s why we spend time walking and studying the land, to learn how they support habitat, biodiversity, production, and lifestyles. We also put people at the heart of each project, listening to the underlying values and vision that drives each project. WildLab’s work is to connect landscapes to people and people to landscapes, and the deep, enduring connections that result.

Collaboration and co-design

Our job is to understand your needs, and deliver a set of great design options for you to weigh up. In complex projects, a key part of our approach involves hosting co-design workshops and wānanga, that brings together all involved, including tamariki and students. This creates a richer range of possibilities, along with a closer sense of involvement and ownership.

A grounded approach

In all our projects we are looking to implement feasible, practical solutions. As well as images that envision a project’s future state, we work to the project’s scope and budget to ensure construction and tender-ready planting plans and build-ready details can be delivered. 

A grounded approach

In all our projects we are looking to implement feasible, practical solutions. As well as images that envision a project’s future state, we work to the project’s scope and budget to ensure construction and tender-ready planting plans and build-ready details can be delivered. 

Our team

Dr Mick Abbott founded WildLab and leads the team. Mick works closely with each project partner to ensure WildLab delivers the innovative (and implementation-ready) outcomes every project demands. Mick trained as an architect, with an extensive career in product design, being lead equipment designer for the Fairydown and Hallmark brands, and also Gondwana Creative Kits. He’s established businesses  in New Zealand and Australia, with his design portfolio also retailing in North America and Europe. Mick  has a Masters and PhD in landscape architecture, and is a former Head of the School of Landscape architecture at Lincoln University, where he is currently Professor (part-time). Mick is an accredited independent Hearings Commissioner, and very active in the outdoors, which includes him completing (half a life ago!) a 130 day solo traverse of the Southern Alps.

Woody Lee is an experienced landscape architect, undertaking restoration strategies, planting plans and master planning. He’s expert in all current digital technologies, and leads the development of our UX, web and landscape communication projects. He directs WildLab’s team of external digital experts to ensure our projects are seamlessly implemented in terms of time and budget. As a team we’re committed to bringing into each project cutting edge thinking coming out of the latest research. 

Cameron Boyle has degrees in Sociology and related environmental fields and drives WildLab’s commitment for research to underpin design and strategy decisions. 

We also have expert associates who can be brought into specific projects including Kennedy Warne, founding editor of New Zealand Geographic, and feature writer for National Geographic; Dr Lloyd Spencer Davis Professor in Science Communication and award-winning filmmaker, and Dr Wiebke Finkler who tests and develops strategic marketing communication for positive environmental and social change.

Words from our project partners

We love working with WildLab for their friendly, collaborative approach. We always feel like the team are invested in our projects and they have consistently delivered beyond expectations with high quality communication tools, excellent branding and website development.
Mick and his team have worked with Marian College on the landscaping design for our new school in Papanui, Christchurch. We have valued working with WildLab and their holistic and deep commitment to caring for the environment. The students are at the centre of their thinking and their design will teach them about sustainable practice by incorporating these values into their own school environment.
Mick and his team took time to understand us and our objectives. They worked collaboratively throughout the process and challenged our thinking. We’re thrilled with their work and the long term strategic plan they developed for us.

Here are some of the people we’ve worked with

Here are some of the people we’ve worked with

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