Landscape Architect ; Founder of Verda Botanic , Turkey

Hello Emel, thank you for having us and taking time! We are impressed about your company Verda Botanic and your one women show! It’s amazing how much beauty you bring to peoples home.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Emel Şanoğlu, a landscape architect. I’m 35; I have been in the industry for 14 years.

What did you study and what did you do after education?

I graduated from Istanbul University, Department of Landscape Architecture. I studied Interior Design.
I worked in a landscape design company for 12 years. For the last 2 years, I have established my own brand Verda Botanic . I design green spaces in interior decoration. We can say that I created a new taste in touch and style.

What is Verda Botanic?

It is a brand that provides indoor plant design and plant sales and after-sales plant care support.

How the name Verda Botanic came into your mind? How did you started?

During my mother’s illness, my only friend was green leafy plants. I was motivated by focusing on their care. I no longer had a place to locate a new plant in the house. Then I wanted to help people who has got my mother’s illness. I needed money. I created resources by starting to sell my plants. Then the brand Verda, which is my mother’s middle name, was born.

 What is your inspiration in creating space?

I believe in the golden ratio. Many issues such as windows openings in the place, access to the place, the purpose of use of the place, the identity of the user, the style of the existing furniture, ceiling height, the user’s openness to innovations; These are the details that guide me in creating the place. If I need to summarize with one sentence; I can say that my inspiration is the first feeling when I see the place.

How do you work with your clients? 

We reach each other on Instagram. We go to explore the place to be designed. We make a plan and  prepare illustrations based on sample images and photographs of the places. Sometimes we develop projects based on the plan. After presenting the prepared presentation and the budget proposal, we make the selection of plant pots and make the application in the place.

What was your most beautiful experience?

Watching my clients who say “I can never take care of plants” turn their homes into a botanical garden. By dividing them into different pots to grow the plants they bought and to see them give gifts to their friends.

What is the dynamic of your neighboorhood in Istanbul?

I was born and grew up in a calm environment that can offer a helping hand when necessary. The environment I live in is an old seaside town and I love the dynamic of the relationships here. Calmness and peace are my fine lines.

Istanbul, the city of so many different energies, is it an inspiration?

İstanbul is a cosmopolitan city. It‘s complexity is also has it‘s price. But you perceive every emotion, color, texture in this city. İstanbul is a city with very different cultures, with it‘s history, geographical location, philosophy it hosts, psychological perceptions it creates and management styles. It is an excellent source of inspiration if you start to discover the treasure it hides inside. It is not possible for a city not to be inspired by the answers it gives to questions such as how it came from the past to the present, what will its journey be like today.

How do you observe the city?

Today’s İstanbul makes me sad. For İstanbul to make you happy, you have to dream. Reading its history and trying to understand what happened in its streets can make you happy at that moment. The point it has reached today seems to offer an outdated approach to renewal. The city is being transformed with the fast produce and consume approach. There is a system that progresses without planning control. It’s like losing its integrity.

How do you think the future of landscape architecture should be?

It needs to get closer to nature. I expect a sustainable design approach that is far from formalism, close to nature. I wish there was a landscape perception that does not consume but provides resources. We are going through a process where we have to make a landscape definition by building concrete cities and planting 3 trees. And I wish this to stop now.

What would you suggest people who start to create & decorate their space?

I recommend them to get to know themselves, to have an idea about the scale of their space, to plan what they can make to be happy in how many square meters, and to determine what color, texture and material make them happy. They can create an inspirational visual book. I’m talking about collecting photos of their favorite places in a folder or a notebook. This notebook will be thick first. Over time, it will descend to the scale of space and find what they want. Afterwards, shopping, placement, living and determining the details. I suggest them to move forward without consuming them at once. After the backbone is established, it seems more correct to start over and evaluate the remaining spaces for sustainable space design.

What is your vision for the upcoming years?

To reach more people with green plants and landscape design setup, to establish my own greenhouse and to be able to produce at least 50% of imported plants today in my city .To dream is an endless sea.

What is your philosophy?

Don’t be afraid to face yourself .

What’s your biggest challenge as a designer ?

I say budgeting leaves a bitter smile.

How do you spend your days ?

I’m trying to keep certain habits. Morning sports, start-up coffee, observing the care needs of my plants, planning what to eat during the day are at the top of this list. Afterwards, my clients and projects create my work diary and I can say that I live what comes my way.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am a Muslim and I have my beliefs and rituals. Usually this information confuses people. I still don’t understand why they are surprised.

How do you define success?

For me, success is taking responsibility and finding solutions to problems. Before establishing the Verda Botanik brand, I worked in a project office for 12 years. I worked actively in every branch such as social media management, design department, application consultancy department. I have carried out many good projects both individually and as a team. For example, it was a success for me to work at such a busy pace by managing hundreds of projects in a single office for so many years.

What do you think people should be more aware of ? 

I think people have ignorance about  production-consumption. Like they should not consume without producing and change their belief that they can consume as much as they produce.

How do you think the world can be a better place?

We should aim to live without forgetting that protecting our world can be realized starting from our immediate environment. I think this is the way that will lead us to a better world. The simplest is to separate our garbage, to live without destroying nature. Like knowing our rights and limits in order to consume as much of our rights.

Follow Emel on Instagram.
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