Landscapes of the Mind

AN rounds up the best landscape architecture lectures nationwide

Public Sediment: Unlock Alameda Creek (Courtesy SCAPE and the Public Sediment Team)

America’s top architecture and design schools are filling out their lecture series line-ups with leading thought leaders in landscape architecture and design. Coast-to-coast, AN has selected six of these can’t-miss lectures that delve into issues such as climate change, urban beautification, the ecology of memory, and more.

Check out the events below:

PRODUCTIVE RESURGENCES: the Garden of the XXI Century

Headshot of a woman

Teresa Galí-Izard, principal of Arquitectura Agronomia and associate professor at Harvard GSD, will be giving a lecture on October 28. (Courtesy Arquitectura Agronomia)

Speaker: Teresa Galí-Izard
Harvard GSD, Gund Hall 112
October 28, 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Teresa Galí-Izard is an associate professor at Harvard GSD as well as a landscape architect. Previously, she was the chair of the landscape architecture department at the University of Virginia and is currently the principal of the firm Arquitectura Agronomia. Her work explores the “hidden potential of places” and she seeks to “find a contemporary answer that includes non-humans and their life forms through exploring climate, geology, natural processes, dynamics, and management.” 

LAEP Lecture Series and Film Screening with Lynden B. Miller

People milling around a garden

Lynden B. Miller helped restore Central Park’s Conservatory Garden in 1982. She will be giving a talk at UC Berkeley on October 30. (Andrew Batram/Flickr)

Speaker: Lynden B. Miller
112 Wurster Hall, University of California Berkeley
October 30, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

In 1982, Lynden B. Miller rescued and restored The Conservatory Garden in Central Park. A public garden designer in New York City, she has contributed work to over 45 public projects in all five boroughs, such as Bryant Park, The New York Botanical Garden, and Madison Square Park. Her 2009 book, Parks, Plants, and People: Beautifying the Urban Landscape won the Horticultural Society 2010 National Book Award. This lecture will feature a screening of the new documentary Beatrix Farrand’s American Landscapes, which follows Lynden B. Miller as she explores the life of Beatrix Farrand, America’s first female landscape architect. 

New York Botanical Garden’s 21st Annual Landscape Design Portfolios Lecture Series

A park abutting the river with Manhattan in the background

Daniel Vasini’s firm West 8 was one of the partners in charge of the Governor’s Island Master Plan, which completed Phase 2 in 2016. (Simplethrill/Creative Commons)

Speakers: Kim Wilkie, Daniel Vasini, and Andrea Cochran
Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue, New York, NY
October 7 and 21, November 4, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

While the first lecture in this series has already passed, the second and third are coming up. On October 21st, Daniel Vasini will give a talk titled Landscape Transformations, highlighting innovative projects such as Governor’s Island, for which his firm West 8 won an international design competition to complete the 87-acre master plan. On November 4, Andrea Cochran will take the stage with a talk titled Immersive Landscapes, in which she will discuss how she blurs the lines between the built and natural environment in her work. 

Kate Orff: Unmaking the Landscape

Public Sediment: Unlock Alameda Creek (Courtesy SCAPE and the Public Sediment Team)

Speaker: Kate Orff
Scholastic’s Big Red Auditorium
120 Mercer Street, New York, NY
October 22, 7:00 p.m.

Kate Orff is the founder of SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design practice based in New York City and now New Orleans. She is also the director of the MSAUD program at Columbia’s GSAPP. In this series of lectures, The Architectural League of New York invites leading practitioners and educators to outline new ways of thinking and acting in the professions of architecture and landscape architecture in the wake of the climate emergency. 

Lewis J. Clarke Landscape Architecture Lecture: Sara Zewde

A green poster explains the topic of an upcoming lecture on landscape design at NC state university

Flyer for NC State University’s Lewis J. Clarke Landscape Architecture Lecture Series. (Courtesy NC State University College of Design)

Speaker: Sara Zewde
Burns Auditorium, North Carolina State University
Boney Dr, Raleigh, NC
October 16, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Sara Zewde is the founding principal of Studio Zewde, a design studio operating at the intersection of landscape, urbanism, and public art. Zewde holds a master’s of landscape architecture from Harvard GSD and a master’s of city planning from MIT. She will discuss how narratives embedded in the ecologies of memory offer opportunities for landscape architecture in today’s context of changing climate and political tensions. 

Green Infrastructure & Livable Cities

Speaker: Jack Leonard
Rutgers University
Room 112, 93 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ
October 16, 4:00 p.m.

Jack Leonard is an assistant professor of landscape architecture and director of the Sustainable Urban Communities Program at Morgan State University’s School of Architecture + Planning. He is also a principal of JGL Design Associates. This lecture will raise questions such as how we define “livability” in urban communities, as well as how we can focus on green infrastructure as playing a role in the social, cultural, and economic revitalization of urban communities.

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