Landscape architectural practice in the Caribbean has been moving very fast from mainly aesthetic and visual considerations to a more nuanced interest in the ecological and social functioning of outdoor human spaces. This is part of a global trend in the profession, but also a response to citizens’ environmental activism since the 1960’s. José Juan Terrasa-Soler’s background both in environmental science and landscape architecture helps to bring these concerns into focus through a variety of conceptual explorations and landscape architectural projects.
José Juan Terrasa-Soler, a native of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is a registered and CLARB Certified landscape architect, environmental consultant, and university professor with over 20 years of professional experience. He has held numerous leadership positions in corporate, governmental, and nonprofit organizations. José Juan earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, and philosophy from Mount Saint Mary’s College (in Maryland), and advanced degrees in Ecology, Environmental Studies, and Landscape Architecture from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Yale University, and Harvard University, respectively. He was Manager of the Environmental Business Unit of CSA Architects & Engineers, the largest consulting firm in the Caribbean, where he led a team of 30 scientists and engineers and offered the full spectrum of services related to environment and development. After finishing his degree at Harvard, he founded EnviroDesign Studio, an environmental design and consulting firm, and later worked in government as Deputy Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, in charge of Planning and Development. José Juan is also a founding faculty member in the Master of Landscape Architecture program at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, where he teaches design studios, environmental systems, and landscape architectural theory since 2007. He is currently Partner at Marvel Architects & Landscape Architects (in San Juan, New York, Richmond, and Barcelona) and member of the Board of Directors of the nonprofits Resilient Power Puerto Rico and Scuba Dogs Society. His professional practice, research, writing, and teaching focus on the intersection of ecology and design, including green infrastructure, landscape resilience, and sustainable urban design. José Juan also enjoys hiking (urban or wildland), amateur astronomy, and cooking for his daughter, Sara Lauren.