Common Lectures Series | Fall 2017

All Lectures in IFNH RM 101 @ 4:00 PM unless otherwise noted (*)

January 17
Emily Vogler, Department Chair of Landscape Architecture
Rhode Island School of Design
SCALE SHIFT: Infrastructural logic | Material logic

January 24
Anita Bakshi, Rutgers University, Instructor of Landscape
Architecture and Lecturer for CHAPS
Beyond Statue Removal and Additive History:
Story, Narrative, and Voice in Memorial Landscapes

January 31
Claire Agre, Principal in Charge and Senior Landscape Architect
West 8 New York
Waste Not: Recent West 8 Works

February 7
Janice Parker, Principal of Janice Parker Landscape Architects
Creating Landscapes – Vision & Process

February 14
Stephen Ervin, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Assistant Dean for Information Technology and Director of
Computer Resources
The Changing Digital Landscape: Ten New(ish) Things

February 21
William Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard
University and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary
Plants in a Designed World: The Civic and Scholarly Importance
of the Arnold Arboretum in the Twenty-First Century

February 28
Laura Lawson, Rutgers University, Dean of Agricultural and Urban
Programs and Professor of Landscape Architecture

Richard Alomar, Rutgers University, Assistant Professor of Landscape
Design as Democracy

March 7
Gernot Riether, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Director of the School of Architecture
Digital Design Built Studio

March 14 & March 21
No Lectures (Spring Recess & CELA)

March 28
Outstanding Alumni Award 2018 | Rutgers LA
John Donnelly, Technical Principal at SCAPE Landscape
Designing Resilient Edges in New York City

April 4
Trinidad Rico, Rutgers University, Director of CHAPS – Cultural
Heritage and Preservation Studies Program
Trees, Mosques, and Malls: The Heritage Landscapes of Qatar

April 11
The Margaret O. Cekada Memorial Lecture *
Christophe Girot, ETH Zurich, Professor of Landscape Architecture
The Course of Landscape Architecture
6:30 pm meet and greet, 7:00 pm lecture

April 18
Erik Dhont, Principal of Erik Dhont Landscape Architects
Reinventing the Existing: Creating a New Logic
in Historic Places


Fall 2017

September 6

The Steve Strom Lecture
“Computational Methodologies for Landscape Architecture”

We are currently at a crossroads where conventional approaches to landscape architecture do not serve justice to the increasing complexity of environmental issues, which require solutions that are both visionary and sustainable. In the era of progressive digitalization, landscape architects are greatly challenged to choose the most useful tools from the area of information technology for research, analysis, design and communication. Emerging concepts, such as geodesign and data-driven design are products of this powerful and influential development. Now is the time to carefully analyze what kind of impact these tools will have on the planning and design of our cities and landscapes. Do the aforementioned terms merely deal with the constant iterative development of professional practice? Or when will it be appropriate to talk of a ‘radically new paradigm’?

Pia Fricker is Adjunct Professor in Landscape Architecture at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, where she founded and directs the Digital Landscape Architecture Laboratory. From 2007 – 2016, she was Director of Graduate Studies in Landscape Architecture at ETH Zurich, Chair of Landscape Architecture, Prof. Girot. Here, she laid the foundation for her research on New Computational Methodologies for Dynamic Landscapes in the area of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. Pia Fricker is member of the editorial board of the Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture Magazine, as well as member of the scientific program committee of the DLA Conference (Digital Landscape Architecture) and member of the expert peer reviewing committee of ACADIA and eCAADe conference.

6:30 pm meet and greet and 7:00 pm lecture
Kathleen W Ludwig Global Village Learning Center

September 13

“After the bomb: Isotopes in the Landscape”

Thomas recently graduated with his masters degree in landscape architecture from the Graduate School of New Brunswick at Rutgers University. During his time there, Thomas focussed on narrative exploration and development through a multi-disciplinary approach. Combining his backgrounds in ecology, performance, and community development, Thomas hopes to engage users of spaces in learning about a place’s past and participating in the growth of its future.

““Climatic and humanitarian impacts of nuclear war”

A nuclear war between any two nations, such as India and Pakistan, with each country using 50 Hiroshima-sized atom bombs as airbursts on urban areas, would inject so much smoke from the resulting fires into the stratosphere that the resulting climate change would be unprecedented in recorded human history.
The environmental and humanitarian impacts of the use of even a small number of nuclear weapons must be considered in nuclear policy deliberations. As a result of international negotiations in the past several years, on July 7, 2017 the United Nations ratified an international treaty banning nuclear weapons, supported by more than 130 countries, but not the nine that currently have nuclear weapons. I will describe our new research project that will examine in detail a number of credible nuclear war scenarios, the emissions from the fires that would be generated, the climatic impacts, the impacts on agriculture, and the impacts on world food trade and availability. We hope that these new results will be useful in informing policymakers about the dangers of any use of nuclear weapons.

Dr. Alan Robock is a Distinguished Professor of climate science in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. Prof. Robock has published more than 390 articles on his research in the area of climate change, including more than 235 peer-reviewed papers. His areas of expertise include geoengineering, climatic effects of nuclear war, effects of volcanic eruptions on climate, and soil moisture. He serves as Editor of Reviews of Geophysics, the most highly-cited journal in the Earth Sciences. Prof. Robock was a Lead Author of the 2013 Working Group 1 Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007).

September 20

“James Rose: A Voice Offstage”

Dean Cardasis will present his biography of James Rose (1913-1991) that examines the work of one of the most radical figures in the history of mid-century landscape design. A landscape architect who was as skilled with words as he was with plants and Fiberglas, Rose condemned the environmental destruction of post-war suburbia with incisive critiques and imaginative satire, while creating alternative designs, “Space-sculptures” he called them, that incorporated a conservation ethic into a modern design aesthetic.

DEAN CARDASIS, FASLA, is professor emeritus of landscape architecture at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, partner of Cave Hill Landscape Architects in Leverett, Massachusetts and director of the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

September 27

Co-designing the City of Tomorrow. A Look into the Socio-Spatial Conditions of Transient Human Settlements

Considering today’s social, political and environmental crises, we can wonder: Will the city of the future look like a refugee camp? How can design — in theory and through a diversity of practices — influence future urban forms and processes? In her talk, Caroline Dionne discusses the urban landscapes of a few selection of camps and other transient, often informal human settlements, with attention to their wider socio-political scopes, and with focus on the spatial conditions and types of human interactions they inhibit or foster. By looking closely at such processes of co-design, the aim is to question and redefine our role — as designers, as makers or thinkers, as artists, as citizens and as refugees — in collectively and collaboratively giving shape to the city of tomorrow.

Caroline Dionne is Assistant Professor in the History and Theory of Design Practice and Curatorial Studies at the School of Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons School of Design, The New School. She holds a PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture from McGill University, Montreal. Her current research examines the relationships between language theories and collective design discourses and practices. She investigates the conditions of collective action (praxis), with focus on the notion of usage understood as a customary practice grounded in specific spatial configurations and as a means of assessing spatial experiences through language. An architectural critic and curator, she co-founded TILT, an independent contemporary art space based in Renens, Switzerland.

October 4

Plant Life, Field Methods and Living Collection

Confronting the reality of environmental degradation requires more than remote sensing, statistical analysis or institutional restructuring. As images of the changing planet become emblematic of our time, designers are responding with a scrutiny towards amplified scales and extreme events. This has given rise to a growing interest in the materials or elements of this transformation, and in the category of evidence that can only be collected through first hand engagement. All research, from the molecular to the continental requires a scale of study and these scales are most often refined in the field. The lecture examines plant evolution, landscape trends, visualization and aims to bridge the discrepancy between geographic data and local fieldwork.

Rosetta Sarah Elkin is Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and an Associate at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. Her teaching and research focus on an expanded consideration of plant life. The work derives from a conviction that plants can reestablish a central position in a landscape architectural discourse. As co-director of Master in design Studies in Risk and Resilience, her work exposes the biological complexity of global greening projects, implicit in recovery, retreat and preemptive environmental programs.

October 11

Student Presentations:
Esther Lim in UK; Mark Hoopers in Vancouver; Diana Randjelovic in Serbia

Student works of professor Wolfram Hoefer

October 18

Parks, Politics, and People: Developing a Park System Master Plan for Bergen County, New Jersey

Wolfram Hoefer is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He also serves as Co-Director of the Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability. He holds a doctoral degree from Technische Universtät München 2000 and is a licensed landscape architect in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. His research and teaching focus is the cultural interpretation of brownfields as potential elements of the public realm. Further he is interested in the role of urban plazas, neighborhood parks, or community gardens as places where people of diverse backgrounds can meet, interact, and possibly learn about each other.

November 1

One Planet – One Future

Anne de Carbuccia is an environmental artist traveling the world and documenting the impact of mankind on the environment through on-site Time Shrines installations, fine art photography, and short films. Her work aims to powerfully depict what we have and what we may lose. In 2015 she founded the non-profit Time Shrine Foundation to raise awareness and protect vulnerable environments and cultures.
Video on her work:

Anne de Carbuccia was born in New York and grew up in Paris. She attended Columbia University in New York City where she studied anthropology and art history, specializing in 17th- and 18th-century art. (for more information see

November 8

“The Rule of Logistics: Walmart and the Transformation of the American Landscape”

In his book The Rule of Logistics: Walmart and the Architecture of Fulfillment (University of Minnesota Press 2016), Jesse LeCavalier shows how the world’s largest retailer is redefining architecture by organizing flows of merchandise and information across space and time. Jesse analyzes Walmart’s stores, distribution centers, databases, and inventory practices to make sense of its spatial and architectural ramifications. A major new contribution to architectural history and theory the research helps us understand how retailing today is changing our bodies, brains, buildings, cities and landscapes.

Jesse LeCavalier´s research and design work focuses on questions of architecture, form, and politics as they relate to logistics & infrastructure. With sponsorship from the New York State Council for the Arts, he is currently looking at the relationship between infrastructure and public space in the New Jersey Meadowlands. In 2015, LeCavalier was the recipient of the New Faculty Teaching Award from the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). He was the 2010–11 Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan, a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, and researcher at the Singapore-ETH Future Cities Laboratory.

November 15

Changes in the standards of research and preservation of historic gardens

In the 18th century the idea of considering court gardens as a monument was new. Early reconstruction and restoration projects are dated 100 years later. In the early 20th century the solution 'preserve, not restore ' established a modern concept and effected as well as environment protection the preservation of historic gardens. Some questions are still relevant to date, such as how to deal with the transience of material. From the 1930s a conjectural dealing with cultural heritage sought to correct supposed defects of historical designs. The destruction of substance was criticized in the sequence and a scientific approach was recognized as a benchmark from the 1970s. Since the 1990s, the preservation of different layers and the question of authentic plant material have regained greater attention.

Hartmut Troll, landscape architect, previously studied Landscape Ecology and Design at Vienna University, and then worked as a freelance landscape architect for a few years. Afterwards he worked at Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences as a staff researcher in open space planning, and received his PhD from the University of Kassel. Currently he is responsible for the preservation of historic gardens at State Castles and Gardens Baden-Württemberg. He has lectured at Kassel University, Karlsruhe University and Heidelberg University, where he is currently an honorary professor at the Department for European Art History. 2017 he was spring fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University, Washington D.C. He is member of International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ICOMOS-IFLA).

November 29

“Urban Partnership: A case study on reconnecting an urban community to nature.”

Amber Betances´ case study on the lack of exposure to nature in underrepresented populations and the ways in which the federal government can influence these relations broadly seeks to understand the history of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the impact it has had on the conservation of American landscapes while distinguishing the political forces that have caused the disassociation of minorities from these landscapes. The case of this research is derived from the historical narrative of an urban community in Philadelphia, Eastwick, revealing layers of environmental racism and injustice. The use of archival research and residential interviews helped in identifying the strengthens and barriers of this community and its relationship to the Urban Wildlife Refuge adjacent to it.

Amber Betances´ passion for environmental justice began during a conference she attended in her junior year for Landscape Architecture. The keynote presentation was done by Robert Bullard. That lecture helped inform her decision on continuing to focus her career on community based design and investigating how all people can have access to green spaces. Her optimism runs deep in the capacity designers have to help cultivate a greater consciousness for more vibrant and healthy communities that provide access to all members of society.

Masters of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers Class of 2017
"A Garden in Flatbush: Impacts and Perceptions of Open Space in Nature and Cities."

December 6

“Resilience as a way of life: What can we learn from the Dutch approach to urban design?”

The Netherlands is one of the most densely developed countries on the planet. It is also built largely on wetlands and an enormous alluvial plain. The Dutch have been actively managing this waterlogged landscape for a millennia, while simultaneously creating some of the world’s most famously livable communities. Since Superstorm Sandy struck the northeastern US coast in 2012, a popular refrain has urged planners, designers and recovery officials to “think like the Dutch” as the region seeks to rebuild and develop more resiliently. But what, exactly, does that mean in practice and what are the opportunities and challenges in adopting a Dutch approach to landscape design and urban planning in the United States?

Dr. Donovan Finn is an urban planner and an Assistant Professor in the Sustainability Studies Program and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on the areas of disaster recovery policy, urban resilience, climate adaptation, community-based planning and placemaking.

See a list of our past lectures