“Landscape is doing some serious environmental heavy lifting.”
–Adriaan Geuze, West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture
### architectmagazine.com October 6, 2010
Source: ARCHITECT October 2010
Systems, Not Icons: The unstoppable rise of landscape urbanism
By John Gendall
Not long ago, landscape architects were often dismissed as the consultants who put finishing touches on a building site—the broccoli around a steak. But with landscape architects increasingly taking lead positions on large-scale projects, winning urban design competitions around the world, and expanding the design market share, broccoli, clearly, is a thing of the past.
In many ways, the bellwether for these changes was James Corner’s career arc. As a young designer in Richard Rogers’ office, he grew frustrated by a lack of collaboration between disciplines on the postindustrial London Docklands project. Setting out on his own, he founded Field Operations, which has transformed itself from a boutique landscape practice turning out small projects and academic essays into a significant urban design firm with high-profile projects around the world. The critical step in that transition was when Corner won the competition to turn Freshkills, a huge former landfill in New York City, into a public park.
Underscoring this trend, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) is in the midst of expanding its landscape faculty by six professorships over two years, and its landscape student body by 50 percent. And landscape architecture’s academic expansion holds up with the most tried-and-true indicator: It’s following the money. Large corporate architecture firms are ramping up their urban design and landscape divisions, as AECOM notably did in 2005 when it acquired EDAW, then among the world’s largest landscape firms.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr