Anette Freytag is an award-winning scholar, educator and critic and a Professor of the History and Theory of Landscape Architecture. Her research focuses on designed landscapes from the 19th century to the contemporary practice with a particular focus on topology, phenomenology, and walking. In 2019, she co-founded the AIR Collaborative (Arts Integration Research Collaborative) which prioritizes creative placemaking to foster spatial justice through projects that seek safe access to nature for all. Before joining the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers, Anette has taught undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students at ETH Zurich, the University of Basel, and both the Technical University and the University of Innsbruck. She has also lectured at KU Leuven and HSR Rapperswil.
Her latest book The Landscapes of Dieter Kienast published by gta Verlag Zurich in 2021 offers the first comprehensive critical examination of Kienast’s work and has been awarded a John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize. Dieter Kienast (1945–1998) is a key figure in European landscape architecture. Amidst a striking change in societal understandings of nature, he sought a synthesis between design and ecology in the 1970s. He designed spaces to make the dissolving opposition between city and countryside legible and to enable aesthetic experience to help cope with an increasingly complex everyday life. Kienast renewed the aesthetics for designing with nature in the city through his love for spontaneous vegetation and his doctorate in phytosociology. After the environmental movement of the 1970s and 1980s, Kienast reoriented the profession of landscape architecture with form driven designs while reinforcing plant knowledge. The German edition of the book Dieter Kienast. Stadt und Landschaft lesbar machen published by gta Verlag Zurich in 2016 has received the DAM Architectural Book Award, the German Garden Book Award / Best Book in Garden History and was selected as one of the “Most Beautiful Swiss Books” by the Swiss Confederation.
Anette is the editor and main author of The Gardens of La Gara. An 18th century estate in Geneva with gardens designed by Erik Dhont and a labyrinth by Markus Raetz published by Scheidegger & Spiess in English, German and French in 2018. It is a case study to explore, through the prism of one estate, all aspects of garden culture. It has received the European Garden Book Award 2019. Anette is the co-author of Pamphlet 15 Topology (Zurich: gta Verlag 2012) and co-editor of Landscript 3 Topology (Berlin: Jovis 2013).
Anette holds the ETH Medal Award for Outstanding Scientific Research and the Theodor Fischer Prize for Outstanding Research on the Architecture of the 19th and 20th Centuries, awarded by the Central Institute of Art History in Munich. Her work has been supported by the Volkswagen Foundation, the ETH Zurich, the Lucius and Annemarie Burckhardt Foundation, Rémy and Verena Best, the Federation of Swiss Landscape Architects (BSLA-FSAP), the Christoph Merian Foundation, ProHelvetia and the Rutgers Research Council. Apart from her work in academia, Anette founded the research bureau ville.jardin.paysage in 2001 and delivered a highly regarded study on the garden of Stoclet House (1905-11) created by Josef Hoffmann and the Wiener Werkstätte in Brussels. Her study resulted in the inscription of the garden as protected site in 2005 and contributed to the inscription of the architectural ensemble on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
List of publications and lectures