Cantrell is currently an associate professor of Landscape Architectural Technology at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and director of their Master in Landscape Architecture Program.
The Architect’s Newspaper met with Cantrell in April of last year to discuss his groundbreaking work in the fields of landscape architecture, ecological analysis, technology, and artificial intelligence.
In that interview, Cantrell describes his work as “cyborg ecologies” that focus on blurring the lines between natural and man-made systems. “I think a lot of people have issues with the idea that we’re actually extending even more control over the landscape,” said Cantrell. “I think there is a fear of that we’re constantly in discussion about how we relinquish control. I think it’s an open question.”
He believes that the integration of technology and nature should be seen as a powerful and positive synthesis and something to be celebrated, as opposed to an “us versus them” duality between man and nature.
Cantrell discusses the power of technology that is not only designed to serve mankind, but can also be used to serve the natural environment. In our interview, he explained: “I think this idea that there are competing goals and that humanity might not always be at the center of all of those goals—that takes somewhat of an enlightened viewpoint, but it also is one that is necessary for us to have.”
Cantrell will step into his new role at the University of Virginia on June 25, 2017.