The Fuller Center supports an annual lecture at the University of Oregon in Eugene. The lecture expands upon the annual theme and provides a public forum for the community on the topic.
2019: Kotchakorn Voraakhom
Founder and CEO: Porous City Network
Kotchakorn never thought her childhood playtime favorites–boat paddling with friends in the floodwaters in front of her house–would later become a catastrophic disaster: a sinking city. On a mission to save her hometown from climate change, Voraakhom has founded landscape architecture design firm Landprocess and Porous City Network, a social enterprise working to solve urban environmental problems and increase urban resilience across Southeast Asia by aiding, engaging and educating climate-vulnerable communities about productive landscape design.
Building a park may sound easy, but not in Bangkok, where Voraakhom and her team has turned an invaluable commercial property in the heart of the city, into a flood-proof, water-retention public green space, the Chulalongkorn Centenary Park. Alongside, she is also a design consultant for a major redevelopment project for Bangkok’s 250th anniversary. Voraakhom is a TED Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow, Atlantic Fellow, and Asia Foundation Development Fellow. She received her master’s in landscape architecture from Harvard University.
2018: Gina Ford, FASLA
Principal and Co-Founder: Agency Landscape + Planning
Gina Ford is a landscape architect, co-founder and principal of Agency Landscape + Planning. Underpinning her two decades of practice are a commitment to the design and planning of public places and the perpetuation of the value of landscape architecture via thought leadership, teaching, writing and lecturing. Her work has received awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects, among others. She is on the board of directors for the Cultural Landscape Foundation and was the recipient of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship and Wellesley College’s Shaw Fellowship.
2017: Claire Agre
West 8 in The New World
West 8 has led the vanguard of landscape design and urbanism for three decades. As landscape architects and urban designers, the West 8 team consistently finds optimistic and innovative ways to weave contemporary culture, narrative, and joy into forgotten urban places. Pragmatic re-utlization of resources and reimagined terrains becomes the foundation of 21st century iconic landscapes. Under the thematic topic, “Landscapes of Waste,” Agre will highlight some of West 8’s North American portfolio, from the renaissance of an abandoned urban island to the leveraging of waste to rebuild eroding coastlines.
Claire Agre is a Principal and Senior Landscape Architect at West 8 New York. With a background in field ecology and the fine arts, she brings a broad skill set and conceptual clarity to projects of all scales and typologies. As one of the founding designers of West 8’s New York office, Claire has led design for a diverse portfolio, including Miami Beach Soundscape, the Master Plan and Hills phase of Governors Island Park and Public Spaces, the 1000-acre, 40-year Master Plan for Longwood Gardens, and the winning entry for Changing Course—an interdisciplinary, international design competition seeking solutions for the disappearing Lower Mississippi Delta.
2016: Catherine Seavitt Nordenson
Seavitt is an associate professor at the City College of New York and principal of Catherine Seavitt Studio. Her research focuses on design adaptation to sea level rise in urban coastal environments and explores novel landscape restoration practices given the dynamics of climate change. Seavitt coauthored the book On the Water: Palisade Bay, a climate adaptation proposal for New York’s Upper Harbor; this study was the foundation of the 2010 exhibition “Rising Currents” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Seavitt is currently leading research at Jamaica Bay as part of Structures of Coastal Resilience, a project supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
“Shifting Sands” is a framework for enhancing coastal resiliency at Jamaica Bay, New York, a location highly affected by the 2012 landfall of Hurricane Sandy. The proposal includes novel design strategies for marsh island restoration and enhanced sediment delivery, and merging ecosystem restoration with coastal storm risk management strategies for the Rockaway Peninsula and the back-bay communities. Assessing social, environmental, and infrastructural vulnerabilities, the plan embraces the vast scale and fetch dimension of Jamaica Bay and explores the role of natural and nature-based features within the urban context of this estuarine embayment.
2015: Stacy Levy
Water is one of our favorite substances, yet we know very little about its ways. Stacy Levy is an artist who looks into the less visible aspects of water, from hard-to-see microorganisms living in bodies of water to the hard-to-comprehend watersheds of a region. Her work investigates hidden patterns of hydrology, drainage and microscopic life forms.
Along with other water issues, many of Stacy’s project deal with rain water and runoff. Rather than shunning its existence with pipes and culverts, her works look for ways to celebrate storm water and make it part of the designed landscape.
She has collaborated extensively with engineers and landscape architects. Presently Stacy is working with Nitsch Engineering and Urban Rain Design Ltd to create a green infrastructure project for DC Water in Washington DC. Stacy has worked with the Philadelphia Water Department and Pennsylvania Horticultural society on two stormwater projects in Philadelphia, and co-designed the Acid Mine Drainage and Art project in Vintondale PA which processes AMD from a mine in Southwestern PA. Stacy has done water-based projects around the US and in Japan and Scotland.
2014: Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry
LAGI aims to design and construct public art installations that have the added benefit of utility-scale clean energy generation.
LAGI presents the power plant as public artwork, simultaneously enhancing the environment, increasing livability, providing a venue for learning, and stimulating local economic development. By nature of their functional utility, LAGI designs combine overlapping disciplines from architecture and urban design to mechanical engineering and environmental science. This interdisciplinary result has the effect of both enhancing the level of innovation and broadening the audience for the work.
2013: Timothy Egan
The Big Burn
Timothy Egan is an American author who for 18 years was the Pacific Northwest correspondent and national enterprise reporter for the New York Times. He is a National Book Award winner for The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl and contributed to a series entitled “How Race is Lived in America” that won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. He has written seven books, including The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt & The Fire That Saved America. This historical account of the largest forest fire in recorded American history that burned a combined 3 million acres in just two days across eastern Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana also interweaves the related political actions and outcomes. Only five years after President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt had created the National Forest Service and National Forest Reserves, the massive 1910 fire ultimately reversed unfavorable public and legislative views of the fledgling agency and changed fire policy.
Egan examines not only the scope of the devastation during an evolving time in Western settlement life and culture, but also the overlaying governmental role in early timber- and forest-management policy. From the complications of evacuating myriad small towns to the difficulty of implementing unproven logistics and untrained crews to fight the fire, Egan takes readers through this pivotal event in America’s ecological policy history.
2012: Thomas Woltz, FASLA
Sustenance by Design
Thomas Woltz is a principal at the landscape architecture firm Nelson Byrd Woltz, where established the Conservation Agriculture Studio within the firm. This family of projects shares information and seeks to interweave sustainable agriculture with best management practices for conservation of wildlife, indigenous plants, soil and water. Currently the studio is dealing with more than 10,000 acres of cultivated land in Virginia, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Connecticut, New York, and New Zealand. Thomas serves on the Board of Directors of The Cultural Landscape Foundation and has been named to the ASLA Council of Fellows.
Woltz has led designs of a broad range of institutional, and corporate projects in the US and abroad including The Peggy Guggenheim Sculpture Garden in Venice, Italy, Luckstone Corporation, Richmond VA, Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, Round Hill, Jamaica, and The National Arboretum of New Zealand, Eastwoodhill Arboretum. Woltz has also led design work on private gardens and farmland in a dozen states and New Zealand over 20 years of practice.
Woltz holds Master’s degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia. Prior to graduate studies, he worked for five years in Venice, Italy where he developed an intense interest in architectural craft that continues to influence his design work.