“The day that I dedicated myself to call myself D.I.R.T., that was the day that I just stuck my flag in the ground, albeit being toxic ground, and I just said, you know, this is my life’s work ... And I think of Cornelia [Oberlander], and I think about her planting her flag in the ground. And how persistent she was in this kind of … dogged way. I’m maybe not a savior, but I like to think maybe I’m an avenger. And I am leading a charge. But to have more colleagues plant their flag in the ground and go, really go, and unrelentingly, just believe in what you’re doing. Don’t get all distracted and fulfill the program of projects. You know? Have at it.”
The second Oberlander Prize Forum – “Landscape Activism” – explores the depth, complexity, and entrepreneurship of activist practices throughout the country. Julie Bargmann, inaugural laureate of the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize, is known for an activist approach to practice. Like Cornelia Oberlander before her, and like Ian McHarg and Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. before them, she has worked to transform both the public landscape and the nature of landscape architecture itself.
On October 28, 2022, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) will convene a group of notable design professionals, historians, and critics to consider the ambitions and directions of activist practices today. Such practices range widely, encompassing individual designers and design firms, non-governmental organizations, and academic research; representatives of all these groups will be included. Like Julie Bargmann, some individuals, such as Jane Edmonds and April De Simone, take an entrepreneurial approach to social and environmental problems, doing their own research and proposing transformative solutions.
Design firms like OLIN, SWA, and Design Workshop are increasingly creating research arms or pro bono departments, enabling staff members to conduct research and develop new design responses. Other organizations, like KDI (the Kounkuey Design Initiative) or Blacks In Green, are exploring more collaborative and community-based approaches to urban and environmental regeneration. Meanwhile, academic research and student projects are generating substantive new perspectives. Given the scale of contemporary challenges, from climate change and biodiversity loss to racial and social equity, the need for activist approaches to design is greater than ever. This Oberlander Prize Forum will showcase the ways that landscape architecture is often taking the lead in these efforts.
Jane Edmonds, Founding Partner, Jane’s Way, Oak Bluffs, MA
Gina Ford, FASLA, Principal and Co-Founder, Agency Landscape + Planning, Cambridge, MA
Maura Rockcastle, ASLA, Principal and Co-Founder, TEN x TEN, Minneapolis, MN
Sierra Bainbridge, RLA, Senior Principal and Managing Director, MASS Design Group, Boston, MA
Naomi Davis, Founder and CEO, Blacks In Green, Chicago, IL
Lee Pivnik, Founder, Institute of Queer Ecology, Miami, FL
Chelina Odbert, CEO and Founding Principal, Kounkuey Design Initiative, Los Angeles, CA
Marc Miller, ASLA, President, Black Landscape Architects Network, State College, PA/Ithaca, NY
April De Simone, Designing For Democracy, New York, NY
Danielle Toronyi, Research Development and Knowledge Manager, OLIN, Philadelphia, PA
Max Dickson, Landscape Designer, OLIN, Philadelphia, PA
Angela Kyle, Urbanist and kin-keeper, Pensacola, FL
Dakota Keene, Mithun, Seattle, WA
Robin Little Wing Sigo, Suquamish Research & Strategic Development Department, Suquamish, WA
On Thursday evening, October 27, (from 5:30-7:30pm) a reception will be held at the Turtle Creek Water Works ("Pump House"), a one-acre site with an abandoned historic pump house and large reservoirs that has been transformed by Oberlander Prize laureate Julie Bargmann into a magical deconstructed residential garden (click here for a short video about the site). This is a separately ticketed event and space is limited.
Header Image: Protest at Franklin Park, Boston - Photo by Claire Fellman, Reed Hilderbrand, courtesy Agency Landscape and Planning.
5.0 LA CES™ professional development hours will be available to attendees.
Refund Policy Cancellations and Refunds will be granted according to the following schedule: Up to two (2) weeks in advance: 90% (Deduction represents administrative processing fees) Less than two (2) weeks in advance but up to seven (7) days prior: 70% No refunds will be made for cancellations seven (7) days prior to event No refunds will be made for “No Shows” (a person who registers for a program but who does not cancel registration or attend the program). Refunds will be processed as they are received or after the conclusion of the program, depending on the program date and when cancellation occurs. Refunds may take five (5) to seven (7) business days to process.