Profile - Dennis Alan Winters
By way of introduction, I’m going to take a moment and tell you what I love about my work –
I seek stimulation in varied places and ways of living. Residing in Helsinki to study architecture and urban design, I found the riches of being in the woods. In Ithaca, New York, I discovered a spiritual home while documenting the intricate intimacies of the natural environment. In Kathmandu, Nepal to study the Himalayan mountain system, I made acquaintance with Buddhist philosophy. And in Kyoto, Japan to study Japanese gardens, leading to research in Western Tibet, I became captivated by the sublime powers of designed sacred landscapes. I’ve presented my research to UNESCO, Oxford University, the Japan Society, and the Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality, and organized teachings for the Dalai Lama. Engaged with the linkages between spiritual inquiry and the practice of designing gardens, I’ve been able to marry personal interests with professional work.
As a landscape architect with professional degrees in Landscape Architecture (M.L.A., Cornell) and Architecture (B.Arch., Florida), Urban Design studies (Teknillinen Korkeakoulu, Helsinki) and extended experience in Environmental Analysis and Regional Land Use Planning, I’ve been enriched by an expansive background crucial for comprehensive exploration and preparation of long-term design solutions. My work with sacred landscapes bestows depth to experience and expertise necessary for developing transformative and respectful ways to gracefully cohabit with a changing 21st century landscape.
I’m the author of Searching for the Heart of Sacred Space (The Sumeru Press, 2014), a book about the profound relationship among Landscape, Buddhism and Awakening, with focus on sacred sites in Kyoto and Western Tibet; and a contributing author for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality, edited by ACS colleagues (Ashgate Publishing, 2015).
Taken together, I discover that each time I design a landscape, move stones, soil and plant, investigate and make a presentation on the signs and qualities of sacred landscape, it becomes an opportunity to create a unique expression of a centre of cosmology – an expression of Heaven on Earth. This is what I love about my work.