Common Lectures Series | Spring 2019

All Lectures in IFNH RM 101 @ 4:00 PM unless otherwise noted (*)
See a list of our past lectures

Jan 30, 2019
Tim Marshall & Theresa Hyslop, ETM Associates, L.L.C
It is a good time to be a Landscape Architect

Now is a good time to be a landscape architect!  Today many significant and impactful urban park projects are being led by landscape architecture firms.  These are complicated and complex projects with large multidisciplinary consultant teams.  The projects require a diverse set of professional skills in order to design them. Projects scales vary as do the overall project impacts.  These projects can have a broad economic, recreational, and use impact.  For many of these significant projects, landscape architecture firms are the lead professional firm and oversee a diverse multidisciplinary team of subconsultants.  Design along with broad economic, tourism, and local identification are important considerations in these projects.  Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) and Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) and many design competitions stipulate that these projects are to be led by LA firms.  There is a major shift underway in the profession with regards to the position of LA’s with regards to these, primarily, urban design projects.  It’s a good time to be an LA.        

Feb. 6, 2019
Mark Robison, Rutgers MLA canadiate 2020
Creating The National Forest

As a 2018 recipient of the Roy DeBoer Travel Prize, Mark Robison explored The National Forest, an ambitious 200 square mile landscape restoration project sited in the Midlands region of England. Spearheaded by the British Government, overseen by an NGO and supported by local governments, The National Forest is a decades-long effort transforming an ecologically damaged and economically challenged region. Through original photography, video content, personal interviews and highlights of academic literature, Robison will share insights into the history, policy and practice that have moved an idea to an invention and fostered a wholly new forest.

Mark Robison is a Master of Landscape Architecture Candidate at Rutgers University. He has led a career as a Creative Director at several NYC marketing agencies and developed an expertise in experiential and brand marketing. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Journalism from the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has completed certificates in both Horticulture and Landscape Design at New York Botanical Garden.

Feb. 13, 2019
No Lecture, NJASLA

Feb. 20, 2019
Update: MOVED TO RM 128 Blake HALL 3:30- Not Required for Students
Catherine Seavitt Nordenson
The Counselor: Roberto Burle Marx and Public Landscapes under Dictatorship

Catherine Seavitt Nordenson is an associate professor of landscape architecture at the City College of New York. A registered architect and landscape architect, she is a graduate of the Cooper Union and Princeton University, a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for research in Brazil. Her work explores adaptation to climate change in urban environments and the novel transformation of landscape restoration practices. She also examines the intersection of political power, environmental activism, and public health, particularly as seen through the design of public space and policy. Her books include Structures of Coastal Resilience (Island Press, 2018); Depositions: Roberto Burle Marx and Public Landscapes under Dictatorship (University of Texas Press, 2018); Waterproofing New York (UR Books, 2016); and On the Water: Palisade Bay (Hatje Cantz, 2010).

Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994) is internationally known as one of the preeminent modernist landscape architects. He designed renowned public landscapes in Brazil, beginning with small plazas in Recife in the 1930s and culminating with large public parks in the early 1960s, most significantly the Parque do Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro. Seavitt’s new book Depositions: Roberto Burle Marx and Public Landscapes under Dictatorship explores a pivotal moment in Burle Marx’s career—the years in which he served as a member of the Federal Cultural Council, created by the military dictatorship in the mid-1960s. Despite the inherent conflict and risk in working with the military regime, Burle Marx boldly used his position to advocate for the protection of the unique Brazilian landscape, becoming a prophetic voice of caution against the regime’s policies of rapid development and resource exploitation.

Depositions presents the first English translation of eighteen environmental position pieces that Burle Marx wrote for the journal Cultura, a publication of the Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture, from 1967 through 1974. Catherine Seavitt Nordenson introduces and contextualizes the depositions by analyzing their historical and political contexts, as well as by presenting pertinent examples of Burle Marx’s earlier public projects, which enables a comprehensive reading of the texts. Addressing deforestation, the establishment of national parks, the place of commemorative sculpture, and the unique history of the Brazilian cultural landscape, Depositions offers new insight into Burle Marx’s outstanding landscape oeuvre and elucidates his transition from prolific designer to prescient counselor.

Feb. 27 2019
Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn, Prof. Dr.
Commemorating the victims of National Socialism – The Landscape Design of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp Memorial

The presentation will discuss the history of the former Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen as a commemorative site, beginning in November 1945. After the liberation from the Nazi dictatorship the British gave instructions to the German authorities to turn the former concentration camp into a commemorative site. First plans to design the landscape as a commemorative one, were made by a German landscape architect, Wilhelm Hübotter. Hübotter had, ten years before during the time of National Socialism, in 1935, planned a commemorative place for Reich leader SS (Reichsführer SS) Heinrich Himmler, the so-called Grove of the Saxons.
Only in 2002 the State of Lower Saxony organized a competition among architects and landscape architects to redesign the commemorative landscape and to add a new documentation center to the site. The presentation will discuss Hübotter’s landscape design and its change in 2002 and following years.

Study of landscape architecture, University of Hannover. Ph.D. Dr.-Ing, The Berlin University of the Fine Arts, Department of Architecture (1989). Director of Studies in Landscape Architecture, Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University (1991-96). Professor in the history of open space planning and landscape architecture, Institute of Landscape Architecture, Leibniz University of Hannover (since September 1996). Founding member of the Centre of Garden Art and Landscape Architecture, Leibniz University Hannover, chairman (since 2003). Member of the Expert Commission for the re-conceptualisation of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial (2000-2008). Member of the Expert Commission for the Design Competition “A Jewish Garden for the ‘Gardens of the World’, in Berlin-Marzahn”.

March 6, 2019
Sarah Nitchman, Recent graduate of RULA, OJB Landscape Architecture
After Blake: Reflections of a Young Alumna

The LA studio is a wild mix of fun, fury, inspiration and all-nighters. What happens when you walk out these doors after graduation? The journey may not always be linear, and often isn’t what you predict. Sarah returns to share her adventures, projects and lessons learned since 2011 as she practiced landscape architecture across 4 states and 3 time zones.

Sarah Nitchman Stangel is an Associate at OJB in Boston, and since graduating Rutgers in 2011 has worked at ETM Associates, Design Workshop and Reed Hilderbrand. She is passionate about creating beautiful places that connect people socially and with their context, and has engaged the design process from planning to construction. 

March 13, 2019
Michael Berkowitz

Michael joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013 to shape the new 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge.  Previously, he worked at Deutsche Bank as the deputy global head of Operational Risk Management, overseeing OR capital planning efforts, serving as a primary regulatory contact, and connecting ORM efforts group-wide.

Other positions held at DB included COO of Corporate Security, Business Continuity and ORM, responsible for budgeting, operations, and global coordination across six workstreams; head of the Protective Intelligence Unit; CSBC head in APAC; and additional DB management roles in Mumbai, India and New York.

Prior to Deutsche Bank, Michael was Deputy Commissioner at the Office of Emergency Management in New York City, where he led the creation of the Public-Private Emergency Planning Initiative and Ready New York citizen preparedness campaign and responded to incidents including the 1999 outbreak of West Nile Fever, Tropical Storm Floyd, the crashes of SwissAir 111 and American Airlines 587, and the World Trade Center disaster.

March 27, 2019
Jeanne Haffner, NY Historical Society
Halprin on the Anacostia

In 1966, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson invited landscape architect Lawrence Halprin to re-imagine the Anacostia riverfront in Washington, D.C. The work was part of a campaign to beautify the nation’s capital, “the seat of democracy,” and provide a model for the beautification of cities across the country. Mrs. Johnson’s vision was not merely aesthetic, however; it was also social, political, and ecological. By enhancing the environments in which urban inhabitants lived, Mrs. Johnson sought to increase the quality of life for all citizens, and make the city of Washington more equitable. Halprin’s own interests in the intersection of democratic ideas and landscape design made him particularly well-suited for this project. While his plans were never realized, they offer a window into a question that landscape architects continue to grapple with today: How can shifting ideas about democracy be translated into the spatial realm?

Jeanne Haffner is currently Associate Curator of Hudson Rising, an exhibition that explores the environmental history of the Hudson River, at the New-York Historical Society (March 1 - August 4, 2019). Previously, she was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, and has taught urban history and theory, environmental history, and the history of science and technology at Brown and Harvard Universities. She is the author of The View from Above: The Science of Social Space (MIT Press, 2013), an edited volume on landscape and housing (Routledge Press, forthcoming), a chapter in the Routledge Research Companion to Landscape Architecture (Routledge Press, 2018),and numerous articles on urbanism and landscape in publications such as Guardian Cities, Urban Omnibus, and Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Show: Halprin on the Anacostia: An Experiment in Design and Democracy
Associate Curator of Hudson Rising (March 1 – August 4, 2019)
New-York Historical Society

April 3 2019 @ 7:00 PM
Karyl Evans, Film Marker
Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand
This is the first documentary ever produced about the life and gardens of Beatrix Farrand, the most successful female landscape architect in early 20th century America and one of the founders of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

This compelling film chronicles the life of Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959), the niece of Edith Wharton, who grew up in the privileged world of the East Coast elite and fought through the challenges of working in a male-dominated profession to design over 200 landscape commissions during her remarkable 50-year career.
The documentary takes viewers on an inspiring journey across the country as we explore her personal story and many of her most spectacular gardens, including Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.; the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden; Garland Farm in Bar Harbor, Maine; the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Bar Harbor, Maine; and her California gardens.
The narrative is recounted through interviews with Farrand scholar Diana Balmori, landscape historian Judith Tankard, and landscape architect Shavaun Towers. Current photographs and footage of more than 50 Farrand-related sites along with archival images from the Beatrix Farrand Archives at the University of California Berkeley are woven together to bring to life Beatrix Farrand’s extraordinary story, reminding us why her awe-inspiring work is still relevant to this day.

Karyl Evans is a six-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. Ms. Evans, owner of Karyl Evans Productions LLC in North Haven, Connecticut has produced more than 50 historical documentary projects over her 30 year career. Karyl is on the National Speakers List for the Garden Club of America and is a Fellow at Yale University. 
To learn more about the work of Karyl Evans visit: 

April 10, 2019
Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah, Distinguished Professor and the Dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
Smart, socially just and sustainable transport

Some of the most critical challenges facing cities arise from significant digitalization of our everyday lives and with the massive automation of jobs. New sources of data are rapidly emerging as a result of technological and business innovations, and are stimulating hypotheses regarding urban patterns, as well as data-driven knowledge discovery about cities. They are also supporting bundles of technology such as smart cities, smart and connected transportation, data-driven public services, and other applications; however, much remains to be done to understand how such technology can be deployed in ways that are equitable, and truly improve our daily lives. This talk will explore the potential of analytics in understanding and acting on key social, economic and behavioral issues that arise due to such trends. Examples will be given using social media and other forms of Internet-based data as well as data from wearable sensors. The talk will survey the kinds of opportunities in going from a data-poor environment to a data-rich world, and will specifically raise questions about four challenges that arise: technological, methodological, theoretical/epistemological, and the emerging political economy of Big Data.

Piyushimita Thakuriah (Vonu) is the Dean of the Edward J Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and Distinguished Professor of Transportation and Urban Informatics. She is interested in smart, socially-just, and sustainable transportation, and in the analytics of emerging sources of data to understand complex urban problems. She is the author of “Transportation and Information: Trends in Technology and Policy” (2013) and “Seeing Cities with Big Data: Research, Methods and Applications in Urban Informatics” (2017).  Prior to her current position, she was Ch2M Endowed Chair Professor of Transport in the University of Glasgow and the founding director of the Urban Big Data Centre funded by UK Research and Innovation, which operated a UK-wide data service to inspire innovations in cities research in higher education, industry and government agencies with novel forms of data. Vonu is a co-chair of the Urban Data working group of the Research Data Alliance, a member of the scientific committee of the European Commission’s New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics, as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the UK Office of National Statistics Data Science Campus.

April 17, 2019
Kyle Beidler, PHD, RLA, AICP Project Manager with Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. (HRG)
A Tale of Two Boomtowns and the Need for Context-Sensitive Planning

Comprehensive plans have always attempted to confront such challenges by envisioning alternative futures.  However, traditional planning approaches and the requirements the PA Municipal Planning Code tend to generate disconnected policy goals that have limited impact on the lived-experience of residents.  In contrast, implementable planning calls for community leaders to focus on real and relevant issues from a bottom-up perspective.  If not carefully executed, this planning approach can become overly focused on a narrow vision that has limited potential to change the built environment.  Therefore, there is a need for a more blended planning approach based on a holistic perspective and incremental solutions. 

This talk advocates for a contextually-sensitive approach (CSA) to planning and design.  CSA is a physical planning approach focused on small incremental projects, contextual analysis, and integrated participatory feedback loops.  The goal of the approach is to identify potential community projects and document a project-based plan for incremental change in the form of a community playbook.  A review of projects completed using this method will highlight how a CSA approach is a pragmatic way to facilitate community reinvestment. 

Kyle is a Licensed Landscape Architect and Certified Planner with Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. (HRG). He has developed comprehensive zoning & SALDO ordinances, recreational master plans, and other land use amendments. His additional responsibilities include reviewing municipal land development applications, financial security estimates and post construction stormwater management reports.  This combined experience of administering planning regulations and creating new land use guidelines has allowed Mr. Beidler to develop pragmatic solutions tailored to the needs of our individual clients through a context-sensitive planning approach.

April 24, 2019
Holly Bergman (RU Bloustien), Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project; Nicole Cohen (RU SEBS), Forest Trajectories on a Post Industrial Site, and Lara Urban Roman (FS Philadelphia) Urban Forest trajectory in Philadelphia.
Growth, Development and Connections, three variations on Resiliency in the Landscape

See a list of our past lectures