Marusa-project proposal

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GARDENS My project proposal goes along with the thesis hand in hand, so the two of them form each other. Who are my neighbours?

Keywords: neighbours, gardens, private, public space, nature

Gardens are a quick escape to nature and can help you to change an environment rapidly within the greyness of the city. In the country of Slovenia, where I come from, the garden is an important part of living space. Slovenian gardens strive for the fullness of greenery, they usually have space for an outdoor table for warmer days and a part of the garden that is intended for growing home-grown vegetables and fruits.

Me and my family have a big connection and engagement to our garden in Slovenia. Different seasons brings different activities and taking care of. In autumn we cut trees and bushes, in winter it becomes a snow city for the children, spring is a season when the whole family to harvest grown fruit and vegetable and in summer we take every opportunity to spend outside and have garden parties.

I moved to Rotterdam in September 2020. I live in a multi-apartment house in Oud-Charlois, of which the apartments face the central space. The apartments on the ground floor have their own gardens, as it is quite common for residential buildings in Dutch urbanism. We live in an apartment with no garden, but have a great view on some of them. As the garden is a very important part of my life, having no garden is a big cut of. Observing happenings on Dutch gardens and their characters, the comparison to Slovenian customs is quite different.

Gardens are a specific space of living environment and their state depends on weather, skills and engagement of the residents. I will be researching people's relation to gardens and the connection to nature in the Netherlands, for a deeper understanding of the culture, since before moving here I did not think I would feel a culture shock. The research will help me to get to know more people and make me feel more part of a community.


I will visit people’s homes and interview them about gardens. The questions will vary whether they have a garden or not. After the interview I will take photographs of the gardens and juxtapose them next to each other, so I will have a good overview of them all. With the analysis of the interviews and the overview and reading of photographs I will be able to make out a better understanding of how the spaces are being used.






For now, the outcome of the project will be a photobook with all the documentation I can get.

I have experience in architectural photography, of which knowledge I will apply into taking the photographs. I am expecting a different result as the situations and circumstances will be altered, due to time restriction and contrasted subject matter to my usual tidied up practice of newly built accommodations of interior and exterior.

Screen Shot 2021-11-15 at 20.54.19.jpg

There are 84 apartments, of which 42 are ground floors with gardens.

I don’t count on everyone to participate.

If they have a garden:

What does a garden mean to you?

What are you using it for?

How often do you use it?

When you use your garden, do you feel being watched? How does that infect you?

What would your ideal garden look like?

Do you use a shed?

When buying an apartment, did you specifically look for an apartment with a garden?

What do you think about the idea of a common space / garden?

Do you know your neighbors?

How often do you go out of the city with a purpose of visiting nature?

If they do not have a garden:

What does a garden mean to you?

Would you like to have it?

What would you use it for?

Do you use a shed?

What would your ideal garden look like?

What do you think about these gardens?

If you could, would you change anything?

Do you use a balcony and for what?

What do you think about the idea of a common space / garden?

Do you know your neighbors?

How often do you go out of the city with a purpose of visiting nature?

I want to talk to people and remind them the importance of gardens, and how can that specific space affect persons life. In order to make my life feel more like home in a home with no garden, the solution would be to have a view on gardens, filled with plants and green. Not that I am expecting that the talks will make a significant change, but I am interested in other peoples perspective.

Using visual evidence


At least 30 interviews until the end of november -

Analysis of the interviews and reads of photographs that i will have

Further investigation - communal gardens, Christmas street decorating

More interviews following month

In January i am going to Slovenia for a week, try to get as much interviews and photographs as possible

Comparisson of both
-further investigation

May – choosing the ending series, making a photobook design

July – finished photobook