Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Susannah Drake

Posted: May 05, 2021

Susannah C. Drake FASLA, FAIA is a recognized design leader in the practice and education of architecture and landscape architecture. She is currently Associate Professor in the ENVD program at The University of Colorado Boulder. Drake founded DLANDstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture in 2005 to explore her vision for integrating art, science, and ecology into marginalized urban communities. Drake lectures globally about resilient urban infrastructure, and her work and writings are cited frequently in academic publications. She was awarded the AIA Young Architects Award and was also recognized as a New York Architectural League Emerging Voice.

Her firm has received numerous city, state, and national AIA and ASLA awards for complex projects that require a synthesized, analytical, and research-based design approach. Many of her most catalytic projects were funded by grants that Susannah wrote in partnership with local community and environmental groups.  Susannah’s large-scale planning work engages many disciplines and systems to create ecologically and socially progressive projects that are strategically conceived, well-crafted, and beautiful. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. In 2020 she received the inaugural Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award for Climate Action.

Susannah’s writings include chapters for Nature and Cities, (2016) published by the Lincoln Land Institute and a recent publication on Coastal Urbanism,  co-authored with Rafi Segal in A Blueprint for Coastal Adaptation, (2021) published by Island Press.

Susannah has led design studios at Harvard University, Washington University in St. Louis, Syracuse University, Cooper Union, and City College of New York. Susannah held the Morgenstern Chair at the Illinois Institute of Technology and was Cejas Fellow at FIU. She served as President and Trustee of the New York ASLA and as a Trustee of the Van Alen Institute. She is currently on the boards of the Regional Plan Association and the Clyfford Still Museum. She received a BA in Art History and Fine Arts from Dartmouth College and MArch and MLA degrees from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

StatementA bit over a month from today, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander will celebrate her 100th Birthday. To commemorate the centennial of her remarkable life, I am honored to participate in making the Oberlander Prize a reality. Cornelia’s spirit, intellect, and inventiveness are an enduring inspiration to me and legions of landscape architects who aspire to follow in her footsteps. Her contributions as a professional woman are especially significant given the social norms at the time she started her career. Cornelia paved the way for me and other women to become leaders in the profession. I am grateful for her vision.

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