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Midday Dialogues

The Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks hosts a series of Midday Dialogues with invited scholars and landscape practitioners.

Midday Dialogues are not open to the public, but all Dumbarton Oaks staff, fellows, and docents are welcome. No RSVP necessary. Unless otherwise noted, talks will take place at 11 a.m. in the Oaks Townhouse, 3104 R Street, NW.



Deurbanization and the Utopia of Dispersion

April 17, 2019 | Max Rohm

Piedras Blancas, Argentina, April, 2018 (photo: Max Rohm)

The talk will address the necessity of the design professions to assume their role in the presentation of alternatives to the urbanization processes that are among the causes of the current global environmental crisis. Focusing on the situation of Latin America and Argentina in particular, the talk will showcase the possibility of deurbanization through the revitalization and repopulation of small rural towns—a utopia of dispersion—facilitated by the new communication, transport, education, and work customs that are forecast for the coming decades.

Max Rohm is an educator, architect, and landscape architect. He is adjunct professor at the University of Buenos Aires and has been visiting professor at the Torcuato DiTella University School of Architecture and Urban Studies, the San Andrés University School of Education, the Harvard GSD, and the Roger Williams School of Architecture, Art, and Preservation in Rhode Island. From 2009 to 2017, he was mentor of the Complex City Region Lab exchange course between the University of Buenos Aires and the TUDelft. He is coauthor of Urban Interrelations: Work Methodology for the Insertion of Public Space in Informal Settlements, published in 2012 by PPT Editors. In 2005, he set up his practice in Buenos Aires, fostering an interdisciplinary approach that concentrates in the development of architecture, landscape, and urban design projects of various scales.

The Architecture of Leaves: Art and Atlas

March 13, 2019 | Douglas C. Daly and John D. Mitchell

Daly and Mitchell midday dialogue image
This Malaysian Cissampelos, in the Moonseed Family (Menispermaceae), is an example of a peltate leaf. Image courtesy Douglas C. Daly.

Except for the ones that change color in the fall, leaves are often relegated to the status of a mere appendage of the plant, there simply to provide food to where the real action is for both beauty and evolution, namely flowers and fruits. We became interested in the architecture of leaves because through something analogous to machine learning—essentially Gestalt—we consistently recognized patterns in leaf venation but had no idea how we recognized them. Thus began a long period of training our eyes and helping to craft terms for the patterns we saw. In the process, we were ever more awestruck by the beauty of these intricacies, and how much more we have to learn about them. Welcome to a world where form can be irrelevant, sex is kind of boring, redundancy is a virtue, and being connected is nothing to be ashamed of.

Douglas C. Daly, PhD, is Director of the Institute for Systematic Botany and B. A. Krukoff Curator of Amazonian Botany at The New York Botanical Garden. His research focuses on the systematics of the tropical tree family Burseraceae (which includes frankincense and myrrh) and the flora of Amazonia. For the latter, he is interested in strategies for identifying tropical trees, particularly in forest inventories.

John D. Mitchell is Adjunct Scientist at the New York Botanical Garden and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. He is the world authority on the systematics of the Anacardiaceae or cashew/poison ivy family, and he sits on the Board of a number of conservation organizations. He and Dr. Daly are both part of the Leaf Architecture Working Group.

Cotton Kingdom, Now

February 19, 2019 | Sara Zewde

Image for Zewde midday dialogue
Frederick Law Olmsted, A Map of the Cotton Kingdom and Its Dependencies in America, 1862, London, England. Courtesy of Cornell University–PJ Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography.

In 1852, the New York Times commissioned 31-year-old Frederick Law Olmsted to conduct an immersive research journey through the Southern Slave States. The country was headed for civil war, and the paper thought to dispatch young Olmsted for his unique ability to reveal the cultural and environmental qualities of landscape in narrative voice. Olmsted’s book—Journeys and Explorations in the Cotton Kingdom—would prove timely, published within weeks of the first shots fired at Fort Sumter.

Notably, Olmsted’s 1852 travels would coincide with his seminal Central Park design competition entry, a project that shaped the profession of landscape architecture and Olmsted's legacy. This research project, entitled Cotton Kingdom, Now, explores the relevance of Olmsted’s travels to the contemporary discipline of landscape architecture. The project positions Olmsted’s text as a methodological proposition, framing Olmsted’s modes of inquiry and literary devices as allegories for landscape architectural research and design process today.

Sara Zewde is a Spring 2019 Mellon Fellow and founding principal of Studio Zewde, a design firm practicing at the intersection of landscape architecture, urbanism, and public art.


Choreographing Topography

February 6, 2019 | Bradley Cantrell   (talk at 3:30 p.m.)

Bradley Cantrell midday dialogue image
Responsive Geomorphology Modeling Environment (EMRiver and Cantrell)

Approximately 40% of people across the globe are living within 100 kilometers of coastal and riverine environments. This means that three-quarters of the world’s mega-cities and critical infrastructure are situated next to the ocean and will be required to adapt to fluctuating sea levels over the next century.  This adaptation will be a monumental task, requiring huge adjustments in the physical location of cities and the construction of new forms of barriers and mediations through levees, sea walls, and control structures. The research outlined in this lecture posits that the energy, embodied in the hydrological systems that build coastal lands, can be choreographed to mitigate the effects of sea level rise. The research focuses on sediment transport, the suspension and movement of sediment within the water column and how small modifications to the water system can be used to construct new land. This body of research also connects global sensing systems and models to the construction of coastal environments, particularly how real-time sensing can be used to choreograph the real-time construction of coastal landscapes.

Bradley Cantrell is Chair and Professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.


Toward a History of the Bidonville/Karian as Urban Landscape

January 30, 2019 | Sheila Crane

Image for Crane midday dialogue
Nicolas Tikhomeroff, Mahieddine bidonville, Algiers, 1960 (PAR53931, Magnum Photos).

Although urban informality, from  Mumbai’s mega-slums to Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, has recently been the focus of sustained attention by designers, planners, and urban theorists, the historical development of these urban landscapes has been largely overlooked. Focusing on a significant terrain within this broader global history, this study traces the emergence of the bidonville/karian in the late 1920s in Casablanca and its subsequent transformations between the Maghreb and France through the 1970s. Rethinking the city from the vantage point of the bidonville/karian reveals the integral connection of these sites to landscapes of extraction forged during the Moroccan Protectorate and in French Algeria. At the same time, these areas were shaped by competing property systems and by Ottoman and French practices of cultivation.

Sheila Crane is a Spring 2019 Mellon Fellow and associate professor and chair of the Architectural History Department at the University of Virginia.


Agro-Urban Environments and Implications for Resilience in Medieval Cambodia

November 14, 2018 | Sarah Klassen

Sarah Klassen image
Lidar and satellite imagery from Angkor Wat, 2012. Image courtesy Damian Evans.

Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire (9th–14th centuries CE) and emerged as one of the largest low-density urban complexes in the preindustrial world after a millennium of gradual urbanization across Southeast Asia. Despite Angkor’s longevity, some scholars, beginning with Groslier (1979), argue that the collapse of an unsustainable hydraulic network and the extensification of the agro-urban periphery were major factors in the abandonment of medieval Angkor as the center of the Khmer state. However, all such studies focus on Angkor, specifically, without attention to its context within the framework of a regional urban network. New evidence suggests that Angkor was the central node in a complex urban network stretching across mainland Southeast Asia. In recent years, imagery from two lidar missions (2012 and 2015) have been used to map seven previously known but largely undocumented urban landscapes (Koh Ker, Phnom Kulen, Beng Mealea, Sambor Prei Kuk, Preah Khan Kompong Svay, Longvek, and Banteay Chhmar). The revelation of these urban areas suggests that a complex web of agricultural and occupation spaces linking more densely inhabited urban nuclei may have been a ubiquitous, defining feature of Khmer landscapes.

Sarah Klassen is a Fall 2018 Mellon Fellow and is the codirector of the Cambodian Archaeological Lidar Initiative (CALI).


To Feel at Home in the Wild: E. P. Meinecke’s Modern Autocampground

October 17, 2018 | Terence Young

Terence Young image
Yosemite National Park at Stoneman Meadow in 1927. Image courtesy The National Park Service.

n the afternoon of July 8, 1932, E.P. Meinecke sat at his typewriter in a Honolulu hotel room banging out a report to his supervisor.  A plant pathologist in the San Francisco office of the US Department of Agriculture, Meinecke had come to consult at Hawaii National Park, but now he was finished and awaiting his boat to California.  For several pages, he detailed his successful work in the park, but then the pathologist changed the subject.  “Have you any funds” for travel, he asked, “and if so, how much can I spend?”  The issue was on Meinecke’s mind because he was being badgered to appear at national parks across the country.  “The demands for advice and visits are coming fast and furious,” he moaned.  “The Yosemite is howling, the Sequoia Park bombards me with letters and the Mesa Verde is putting all its new 6-year camp ground plans off until I come to help them.  I almost wish I had never written that ‘Camp Ground Policy.’”  Despite Meinecke’s exasperation and momentary regret, he and his “Camp Ground Policy” sit at the center of this presentation.  An under-recognized pioneer at the frontier between American culture and nature, Meinecke had unwittingly been drawn into an emerging environmental discussion about landscape design, policy and practice in America’s most popular protected areas.  Nothing in his formal training suggests that he would play a central role in the ongoing tension between America’s modern and anti-modern tendencies, yet it was Meinecke who imagined and designed what became one of the nation’s most popular settings for engaging nature – the automobile campground.

Terrence Young is Professor Emeritus of Geography at California State Polytechnic University of Pomona. The Johns Hopkins University Press released his book, Building San Francisco's Parks, 1850-1930, in February 2004. It explores the links between concepts of nature, landscape design, and social order in the struggles over park making in San Francisco. Cornell University Press published his latest book, Heading Out: A History of American Camping, in June 2017. It explores how camping is linked to pilgrimage, modernization, and technology.


The Zayandehrud River Speaks: Reading the Riverine Landscapes of Seventeenth-Century Isfahan

October 10, 2018 | Sahar Hosseini

Sahar Hosseini image
This aerial photograph of Isfahan captured in 1924/5 offers a unique view of the city and its 17th-century monuments before they were dramatically altered during the later decades of the 20th century. The Zayandehrud River is visible in the background. The plan in the foreground shows the main structure of the city in relationship to the river in the closing decades of the 17th century. Photo by Walter Mittelholzer, ca. 1924/5, courtesy of EHT Zurich Library - Digital Archive.

One of the most vital urban centers of early-modern Eurasia, seventeenth-century Isfahan has attracted the attention of generations of art and architectural historians, who have traditionally addressed the city’s urban history in term of its built environment, featuring its streets, gardens, buildings, and fountains as individual designed elements. In her book project, Sahar Hosseini examines seventeenth-century Isfahan as a landscape, wherein the Zayandehrud River functioned both as a natural agent and a socio-cultural system.  Her work demonstrates the ways that as a multi-faceted entity and in its various manifestations—as a geographic feature, a natural resource, or a socio-cultural construct—the river interacted with the city in myriads of ways and across different scales. While the river and the network of hydraulic infrastructures associated with it facilitated the fabrication and sustenance of verdant suburbs of Isfahan, significance of the river far-surpassed the source of water. Rather Zayandehrud River and its associated infrastructures carved out new sites of royal display, public leisure, and social interaction among the cosmopolitan public of the city.

Sahar Hosseini is a Fall 2018 Mellon Fellow and a researcher and strategist at the Center for Migration and the Global City at Rutgers University–Newark.


Garden and Forest in Urban Space

September 19, 2018 | Toru Mitani

Toru Mitani
Spatial quality in urban space is created by the materiality of trees and light and shadow patterns. Shinagawa Central Garden, Tokyo, © Makoto Yoshida.

Toru Mitani will introduce several of his recent urban projects in Japan, at scales that range from the small site to the townscape, with a particular focus on ideas of “garden” and “forest.” Since Frederic Law Olmsted, landscape architects have been helping to plan and build the better physical environments in the city, while also trying to conserve biodiversity in the natural landscape. All these efforts are laudable; on the other hand, they have sometimes focused on quantity instead of quality. Gardens represent the realm where we discuss the aesthetics of space. Forests represent the place for wildlife instead of people. Both might be seen as ‘useless’ in terms of urban function or efficiency. However, they have uses that speak to the core qualities of landscape.

Toru Mitani is the 2018/19 Senior Practitioner Resident and a professor at the Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, and partner in the Tokyo landscape architecture firm 'studio on site.'



The Problem of Nature and Aesthetics in Planting Design

April 4, 2018 | Laurie Olin

Olin Midday Dialogue
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Completed 1997 by The Olin Studio. Photograph courtesy of Laurie Olin.

Laurie Olin is the 2017/18 Dumbarton Oaks Mellon Senior Practitioner Resident. Mr. Olin is a distinguished teacher, author, and one of the most renowned landscape architects practicing today. From vision to realization, he has guided many of Olin’s signature projects, which span the history of the studio from the Washington Monument Grounds in Washington, DC, to Bryant Park in New York City. His recent projects include the AIA award–winning Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Simon and Helen Director Park in Portland, Oregon. 

Mr. Olin studied civil engineering at the University of Alaska and pursued architecture at the University of Washington, where Richard Haag encouraged him to focus on landscape. He is currently Practice Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught for forty years, and is former chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University. Laurie is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and recipient of the 1998 Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the recipient of the 2012 National Medal of Arts, the highest lifetime achievement award for artists and designers bestowed by the National Endowment for the Arts and the President of the United States. He also holds the 2011 American Society of Landscape Architects Medal, the society’s highest award for a landscape architect. You may learn more about his practice at

Mr. Olin served as a Senior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks from 1983 to 1990.


Visions of an Unrealized Park: Chile’s Cerro San Cristóbal, 1915–1927

February 21, 2018 | Romy Hecht

Scouts patrols in Cerro San Cristóbal. In “Monumento al Scout,” “Revista Zig-Zag,” Vol.19:953 (May 26 1923.)
Scouts patrols in Cerro San Cristóbal. In “Monumento al Scout,” “Revista Zig-Zag” Vol.19:953 (26 May 1923.)

The years from 1915 to 1927 were a decisive period in the history of a prominent, 632-hectare Andean spur called Cerro San Cristóbal, located to the northeast of Santiago’s downtown area. Journalist Alberto Mackenna Subercaseaux, who became governor in 1921, promoted three plans for the transformation of the hill into a public park. Obsessed with the possibility of transforming this deposit of volcanic and subvolcanic rocks into a social catalyst for Santiago, Mackenna Subercaseaux’s rhetoric challenged the prevalent cultural attitudes, economic conditions, and political decision-making by transforming the hill into an emblem of new local and national awareness of the value of outdoor recreation amid the urban fabric.

Romy Hecht is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Universidad Católica de Chile (UC), where she gives courses and research seminars on historical narratives and design theories of nineteenth- and twentieth-century landscapes. Hecht has focused on constructing a comprehensive history of Chile’s landscape projects, particularly in post-independence Santiago. Her work describes how landscape strategies have been shaped by a dynamic relationship between botanical practices, political decisions and economic circumstances giving form to an arboreal culture that has transformed the city.

Cultivating Communism: Soviet City Greening and Beautification, 1930s–1960s

February 14, 2018 | Maria Taylor

Wall painting in the Kirov District Administration cafeteria, Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Photo by Maria Taylor.

In contrast to their reputed disregard for environmental concerns, Soviet architect-planners identified city greening and beautification as a distinctively socialist answer to problems familiar to design professionals and municipal authorities worldwide. Taylor explores Soviet urbanists’ pursuit through urban greening (ozelenenie gorodov) of “cultured, hygienic, and convenient” cities during both the Stalin and Khrushchev periods.

Maria Taylor is a historian of modern cities and landscape design, specifically Russian and Soviet urbanism. Her research and teaching contribute to an expanded history of modern urban environmental design, in which the Soviet Union was an active locus of evolving ideas of environmental infrastructures. She holds an MA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Stanford University, an MLA from the University of Washington, and a BA from Bryn Mawr College in the Growth and Structure of Cities. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in the architecture program at the University of Michigan.

The Tropical Body

February 7, 2018 | Jacob Boswell

Dr. Louis Agassiz’s “sketch” of the types of mankind from Josiah Nott and George Gliddon, Types of Mankind. (Philadelphia, JB Lippincott and Co., 1860).

Late nineteenth-century medical theory, particularly the newly minted science of tropical medicine, understood the European body as subject to change if exposed to improper climatic conditions. The white body, whether displaced in the tropics or exposed to the contaminating environmental influence of the industrial city, was thought to be particularly susceptible to devolution in the face of climatic stress. Would the European race be overrun if such a large part of it were to descend into a congenitally subhuman evolutionary state? This talk traces the evolution of this environmental narrative and the transfer of medical rhetoric between colonial authorities in the tropics and fin-de-siècle urban reformers in the industrial cities of Europe and America.   

Jake Boswell is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Ohio State's Knowlton School. Jake’s work traces the effect of social and scientific imaginaries on the production of designed and vernacular landscapes, forwarding speculative environmental futures that stem from historical and contemporary discourses around medicine, climate, and the body. His writing and creative scholarship have been published and displayed nationally and internationally.

Today’s American Urban Spaces: New Roles and New Restrictions

January 31, 2018 | John King

Public space at the LinkedIn tower in San Francisco. Photo by John King.

Cities across the country have created parks and plazas that test the boundaries of what such territories can be, from gardens atop infrastructure to reclaimed parking spaces. At the same time, security concerns and an increased reliance on private management often impose new limits on behavior and access, implicitly changing the definition of "public" space.

John King is the Urban Design Critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, a post that takes in planning and public spaces as well as buildings, and an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. His time at Dumbarton Oaks will be spent exploring the changing nature of the nation’s urban spaces and the tensions within them.

The Emergence, Ecology and Future of Anthropogenic Biomes

An ancient anthropogenic biome landscape in Morocco. Photo by Erle Ellis.
An ancient anthropogenic biome landscape in Morocco. Photo by Erle Ellis.
November 29, 2017 | Erle Ellis

Erle Ellis is Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems and Director of the Laboratory for Anthropogenic Landscape Ecology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research investigates the ecology of human landscapes at local to global scales with the aim of informing sustainable stewardship of the biosphere in the Anthropocene. 

Recent projects include the global mapping of human ecology and its changes over the long-term (anthromes), online tools for global synthesis of local knowledge (GLOBE) and inexpensive user-deployed tools for mapping landscapes in 3D (Ecosynth). He has also studied long-term ecological changes in ancient village landscapes across China and developed tools for mapping and measuring ecological changes in densely populated anthropogenic landscapes.  Courses he has taught include Environmental Science & Conservation, Landscape Ecology, Applied Landscape Ecology, Biogeochemical Cycles in the Global Environment and Field Methods in Geography: Environmental Mapping.

"What Would You Like to See on This Land?": Building Equality in the Civil Rights Movement

October 25, 2017 | Brian Goldstein

A red, black, and green flag flies over “Reclamation Site #1” in Harlem, New York, in the summer of 1969. Source: Harlem News, October 1969. Photo by Doug Harris, courtesy of Arthur L. Symes.

Brian Goldstein is a historian of the American built environment and an assistant professor at Swarthmore College. Previously, he was assistant professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico and an A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for the Humanities and the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 2013.

Goldstein’s research and teaching focus on the history of urbanism, architecture, and planning, especially in the United States in the twentieth century. Specifically, he examines the intersection of social movements, political ideology, and the built environment; the spatial implications of race and class; debates over design expertise; the history of architectural and planning education; and the history of community-based organizations. Broadly, his work explores how people of different races and ethnicities, economic classes, and levels of formal training have imagined and shaped the future of American places.

The Cultural Politics of Urban Green Spaces: The Production and Reorganization of Istanbul's Parks and Gardens

October 4, 2017 | Basak Durgun

Piyalepaşa Mosque and Bostan (Market Garden) surrounded by a wall waiting for reconstruction into hobby gardens, July 30, 2017. Photo by Basak Durgun.

Basak Durgun is a PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies Program at George Mason University. Her dissertation examines the cultural politics of urban green spaces in Istanbul and how these vulnerable landscapes are engulfed in the social, economic and political processes of urbanization. Building upon the premise that green landscapes have a key role in both urban redevelopment policies and the cultural imaginary, Basak’s dissertation analyzes how different social actors (such as the state, real estate developers, social movements and gardeners) invest in these sites, and reimagine Istanbul’s future through their engagement with urban nature. Committed to participatory research, she engages with diverse efforts to extend the lifetime of Istanbul’s historical market-gardens and community gardens. Basak holds a BA in sociology from Ohio State University and an MA in cultural studies from Istanbul Bilgi University. Her interdisciplinary training is rooted in globalization studies, with a particular focus on urbanization, political ecology, cultural politics, gender and sexuality studies, and social movements.

Confluences in Landscape Legibility 

September 27, 2017 | Todd Gilens

Todd Gilens Midday Dialogue Image, September 27, 2017
Installation of Sidewalks are Riverbeds, Reno, Nevada 2016. Photo by Konah Zebert.

Todd Gilens is a visual artist making site-integrated projects that combine familiarity and novelty for urban audiences. Projects develop around existing physical structures, which become metaphors for broader themes such as sunlight and shade, handwriting, or population dynamics. Concerned about the diminishing role of field work in the natural sciences, and of environmental literacy in general, he has engaged researchers through residencies at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and the University of California’s ecological field stations. Tributary streams in the Sierra Nevada of California have been the focus of Gilens’s recent work, as drivers of the massive, dispersed infrastructure systems that facilitate modern urban lifestyles in the region. While at Dumbarton Oaks he is studying the articulation of useful, polluted and sacred forms of water in ancient and modern times. Gilens holds a masters degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and teaches ecology classes at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

Urban Historic Preservation: The Imperative for Ethnic Diversity and Collective Stewardship

September 20, 2017 | Everett L. Fly

Gate Number 4 at the Buffalo Zoo in Buffalo, New York. Photo by Everett Fly, 2013.

Everett L. Fly, a native of San Antonio, has practiced as a licensed landscape architect and architect for thirty-six years. His national consultations include multidisciplinary planning, urban design and historic preservation projects. He is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA/1995). He chaired the board of Humanities Texas from 1993 to 1994. President Bill Clinton appointed Fly to two terms on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities from 1994 to 2001. President Barack Obama awarded him one of ten 2014 National Humanities Medals for his body of work preserving the integrity of African-American places and landmarks. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.



Places to Share Beauty and Fear

April 25, 2017 | Rebecca Krinke

Rebecca Krinke Midday Dialogue Image, April 25, 2017
Clockwise from top left: Dream Window (R. Krinke, photograph by R. Krinke); The Mapping of Joy and Pain (R. Krinke, photograph by R. Krinke); What Needs to Be Said? (R. Krinke, photograph by R. Krinke); Great Island Memorial Garden (R. Krinke and R. Imai, photograph by R. Krinke).

Rebecca Krinke is professor of landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota. She has a multidisciplinary practice that works across sculpture, installation, public art, site works, and social practice. In broad terms, her creative practice and research deals with issues related to place and emotion. Oftentimes, trauma, and responses to trauma is a focus—moving from body to space, from object to landscape—exploring trauma and healing as it moves from individuals to societies to ecosystems and back again. For her Dumbarton Oaks presentation, Krinke will discuss selected projects from her portfolio—including The Mapping of Joy and Pain, What Needs to Be Said?, the Great Island Memorial Garden, and Dream Window—which highlight a trauma-healing dialectic/continuum.

Krinke is a leader in three international artist-academic networks: Healing Place, an indigenous led collaborative focused on the Mississippi River as a place of healing and a place in need of healing; Mapping Spectral Traces, which investigates unseen and unacknowledged difficult pasts in our landscapes that continue to structure present-day social relations; and the Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum which was founded to enlarge the dialogue in academia on sacred/spiritual space. Her published works include: Transcending Architecture; Contemporary Views on Sacred Space, (chapter) Contemporary Landscapes of Contemplation (editor, contributor) and chapters in Manufactured Sites: Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape.

Krinke is currently the Artist-in-Residence at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.

Rus in Urbe: The Urban Landscape of Rome in the Age of the Grand Tour

April 18, 2017 | John Pinto

John Pinto Midday Dialogue Image, April 18, 2017
Giovanni Battista Piranesi, View of the Temple of Jupiter Tonans

John Pinto is the Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Professor of Art and Archaeology (Emeritus) at Princeton University. A fellow of the American Academy in Rome, Pinto also received fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Dumbarton Oaks, the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte), and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Pinto’s research interests center on architecture, urbanism, and landscape in Rome, especially in the eighteenth century. Other interests include the reception of classical antiquity and the image of Rome, particularly in the work of Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

How a Bird's Eye View of the City Teaches Us about Urban Ecology

April 12, 2017 | Amanda Rodewald

Amanda Rodewald Midday Dialogue Image, April 12, 2017
Northern Cardinal Nest. Photo by Amanda Rodewald

Amanda Rodewald is the Garvin Professor of Ornithology and Director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and in the Department of Natural Resources. Rodewald received a BS in wildlife biology from University of Montana, an MS in zoology from University of Arkansas, and a PhD in ecology from Pennsylvania State University. From 2000 until joining the Lab in 2013, she was a professor of wildlife ecology in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University. Rodewald is a fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union, the Public Voices program, and the CIC Academic Leadership Program. Her leadership roles have included serving on the Science Advisory Board of US Environmental Protection Agency, the Scientific Review Committee of the National Socio-environmental Synthesis Center, council of the AOU, editorial boards of scientific journals, and the Faculty Advisory Board for the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. She has published >110 scientific papers, >50 nontechnical articles for broad audiences, and several book chapters focused on ecology and conservation. 

Rodewald’s research program seeks to understand how human activities and global change influence ecological communities and then apply that understanding to conservation. Much of her current research focuses on socioecological dynamics and conservation in working landscapes of Latin America. She tightly integrates her research and outreach efforts to inform policy and management, as such, regularly interacts with government agencies, conservation organizations, and private landowners. Among her outreach activities, she is a regular contributor to The Hill, a news source for politicians and advisers on Capitol Hill.

Gardens for the Senses: The Influences of History and Family Values in My Gardens

March 28, 2017 | Javier Mariátegui

Javier Mariátegui Midday Dialogue Image, March 28, 2017
Santander, Spain. Photo by Javier Mariategui, August 2015.

For the last thirty years, Javier Mariátegui has been designing and building gardens across Spain and Europe. He comes from a family of gardeners and studied landscape gardening and design at Castillo de Batres Gardening School in Madrid. After working in England as a gardener he returned to Spain and created the Jardines de España (Spanish Gardens) nursery, which looks after, educates, and employs mentally handicapped children. He is the author of Gardens for the Senses and El Jardin de los Tapices (The Tapestry Garden), and has published numerous articles on landscape gardening topics in specialized magazines. His gardens, which are known for their creative use of water, were showcased in a series on Spanish television.

“A Great Functioning Whole”: Urban Design and Emergent Environmentalism in San Francisco’s Panhandle Freeway Debates, 1959–66

March 15, 2017 | Margot Lystra

Margot Lystra Midday Dialogue Image, March 15, 2017
Alternative G, San Francisco Panhandle Parkway and Crosstown Tunnel: Technical Report, California Division of Highways, March 1964, 39. San Francisco Public Library.

Margot Lystra is a PhD candidate in the history of architecture and urban development at Cornell University, and holds a master of landscape architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a bachelor of arts in biology from Swarthmore College. She has taught landscape architectural design, representation, and theory at California Polytechnic State University—San Luis Obispo and University of Detroit Mercy. Her work has been published in Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed LandscapesJournal of Design History, and The Next American City. As a designer she has worked for CMG Landscape Architecture, the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, and various San Francisco–based landscape architecture firms.

“It’s Like Scotland, Minus the Weather”: An Ethnographic Account of Landscape in Bahrain

March 7, 2017 | Gareth Doherty

Gareth Doherty Midday Dialogue Image, March 7, 2017
Advertisement for Riffa Views development by J. Walter Thompson (JWT), Bahrain, 2006

Gareth Doherty is an assistant professor of landscape architecture and senior research associate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Doherty’s research and teaching focus on the intersections between landscape architecture, urbanism, and anthropology. Doherty’s books include Ecological Urbanism, edited with Mohsen Mostafavi, and Is Landscape…? Essays on the Identity of Landscape, edited with Charles Waldheim. Doherty is a founding editor of New Geographies and editor-in-chief of New Geographies 3: Urbanisms of Color. His recent monograph, Paradoxes of Green: Landscapes of a City-State, is published by the University of California Press.

Middling Landscapes: Animating Life and Work on the Carquinez Strait

March 1, 2017 | Peter Ekman

Peter Ekman Midday Dialogue Image, March 1, 2017
From Contra Costa County, California: An Empire within a County, 1922

Peter Ekman is a cultural and historical geographer who received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2016. He maintains broad-based interests in urban form and urban life during America’s long twentieth century, in the intellectual histories of planning and urbanism, in theories of materiality and material culture, and in questions of ruination. Articles of his have appeared in the Journal of Urban History and the Journal of Planning History. His research has been supported by long-term fellowships from the Bancroft Library and the Huntington Library. At Dumbarton Oaks, as Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies, he will be adapting his dissertation manuscript, “Suburbs of Last Resort: Landscape, Life, and Ruin on the Edges of San Francisco Bay,” for publication as a book.

The Topography of Wellness: Health and the American Urban Landscape

February 8, 2017 | Sara Carr

Sara Carr Midday Dialogue Image, February 8, 2017
Top: David Johnson, “White Mountains from Conway, NH,” 1851 (MFA Boston); Bottom: Housing development outside Los Angeles, 1996 (from Treatises: Taking Measures across the American Landscape by James Corner. Photo by Alex Maclean)

Sara Jensen Carr is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the School of Architecture and Office of Public Health Studies at University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Her teaching and research focuses on the connections between landscape and wellness, urban ecology and design. Her current book project, The Topography of Wellness: Health and the American Urban Landscape, examines landscape responses to six historical urban epidemics and the implication for current and future practice.

Carr holds a master of architecture from Tulane University, and a master of landscape architecture and PhD in environmental planning from University of California Berkeley, where she was the co-founding editor of the ASLA Award-winning GROUND UP Journal. She is a licensed architect who has worked professionally in New Orleans and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her research and representational work has been exhibited at San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) gallery, the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

The Metropolitan Garden as a Sensorial Expression of Place in the Metropolitan Context

February 1, 2017 | Saskia de Wit

Saskia de Wit Midday Dialogue Image, February 1, 2017
Wasserkrater. Photograph by Sebastiaan Kaal, 2006.

Saskia de Wit is assistant professor at the University of Technology in Delft, where she helped establish a master track in landscape architecture and now teaches landscape architecture, planting design, landscape theory, and history. She also leads her own office, Saskia de Wit garden and landscape, with realized works in the Netherlands and Switzerland. Studying for her master’s degree in landscape architecture at Wageningen University—a life science university—she was introduced to the notion of landscape architecture as a transformation of the existing landscape. During an exchange year at Delft University, architecture—design of space—and an integral connection to urbanism were added. Her resulting interests in both the garden and the characteristics of landscape are expressed in several books, papers and articles, notably The Enclosed Garden (co-author R.A.A.J. Aben; 010 Publishers 1999), and Dutch Lowlands (SUN publishers 2009). Gradually her focus deepened on the garden—as the most condensed expression of landscape—as a core of the discipline of landscape architecture and in 2014 she finished her PhD research Hidden landscapes, the metropolitan garden and the genius loci.

Currently she is working on transforming her PhD research into a book narrative for a broader audience, and while at Dumbarton Oaks she’ll be working on two essays on the role of interstitial spaces in the metropolitan landscape, and on the sensorial properties of place. These notions come together in her understanding that interstitial spaces might hold keys for the opening up to, often hidden, landscape qualities “underneath” the metropolitan tissue, qualities that can be defined as “place,” if they can be perceived as such.

Shape the Earth: Landscape Architecture in the Anthropocene

November 29, 2016 | John Davis & Jeanne Haffner

John Davis and Jeanne Haffner Midday Dialogue Image, November 29, 2016
Territory for a New Economy. Andrea Branzi, Strijp Philips Masterplan, 1999

John Davis is a sixth-year PhD candidate at Harvard University and Tyler fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C. He studies the North American built environment and landscape, particularly the effects of technology and engineering systems on landscapes and ecological regions. His dissertation is a historical analysis of the U.S. government’s evolving relationship with nature, focusing on the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the construction of public works, and the technological communities that supported them, in the Reconstruction Era.

His ongoing research interests include early modern surveying and cartography, historical coastal reclamation practices, infrastructure design and construction in extreme environments, the effects of militarization of landscapes, nature and aesthetics in the early American republic, literature and constructed landscapes, and more generally, the relationship between design, construction, and environment in the modern Americas. In addition to his dissertation, he is currently working on a digital atlas of water infrastructure in the Potomac Valley, and a documentary film about marshlands in Massachusetts. He was born in New York City and holds a BS from the University of Virginia and a Master in Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University.

Jeanne Haffner is the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. A historian of urbanism and the environment, her work brings together environmental history, the history of science and technology, science and technology studies (STS), and urban planning history and theory. She is the author of The View from Above: The Science of Social Space (MIT Press, 2013), an exploration of how the military technique of aerial photography shaped the discourse surrounding the problem of housing and the suburbs in postwar France. The book was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and showcased in the exhibit New Work on Aerial Vision at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2013. Haffner’s writings on contemporary urbanism have appeared in The Guardian, BBC Radio 3, Next American City magazine, ArchitectureBoston, and Arch+ magazine, among other publications. She has been a visiting fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the ETH (Zürich), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin) and the Center for Metropolitan Studies (Berlin), and has taught at Brown and Harvard Universities.

Unsettled City: Migration, Race, and the Making of Seattle's Urban Landscape

November 22, 2016 | Megan Asaka

Megan Asaka Midday Dialogue Image, November 22, 2016
Lumber workers in Selleck, Washington, ca. 1920. Personal collection.

Megan Asaka is an assistant professor of history at the University of California, Riverside where she specializes in Asian American history, urban history, and public humanities. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar and public historian, her work seeks to develop new methodologies and frameworks of analysis for understanding the urban past and present. Her current project, “Unsettled City: Migration, Race, and the Making of Seattle’s Urban Landscape,” explores the role of mobile populations in shaping urban regions through a case study of early twentieth-century Seattle. It links the historical erasure of migrant sites and spaces, including lodging houses, labor camps, and shantytowns, to their absence in the contemporary memory of the city. The dissertation on which this project is based won awards from the American Historical Association (Pacific Coast Branch) and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. She received her PhD in American Studies from Yale in 2014.

Landscape Entanglements. Aesthetic Practices in a Networked World

November 8, 2016 | Elizabeth Meyer

Elizabeth Meyer Midday Dialogue Image, November 8, 2016
Australian Garden, Cranbourne, Victoria, Royal Botanical Garden

Professor Meyer is widely recognized for her theoretical writings about the intersection of modern conceptions and experiences of nature, environmental ethics, and contemporary landscape design. Her recent publications include “Sustaining Beauty. The Performance of Appearance,” “Slow Landscape. A New Erotics of Sustainability,” “Grafting, splicing, hybridizing: Strange beauties of the Australian Garden” and “Beyond Sustaining Beauty: Musings on a Manifesto.” During a 2016–17 sabbatical, she is completing a book manuscript, The Margins of Modernity. Theories and Practices of Landscape Architecture.

In 2015, Meyer founded the UVA Center for Cultural Landscapes, a transdisciplinary initiative. Since Meyer’s graduate studies in landscape architecture and historic preservation, she has been fascinated by the thick description of landscapes—places replete with cultural memories and biophysical processes. This perspective has afforded her opportunities to research, interpret, plan and design significant cultural landscapes such as the UVA Academical Village (EDAW 1980s), Bryant Park in NYC (Laurie Olin 1980s), the Wellesley College campus outside of Boston (MVVA 1990s), the St. Louis Gateway Arch Grounds, a modernist memorial landscape designed by Saarinen and Kiley (MVVA 2000s), and the White House Kitchen Garden (NPS 2016).

Meyer is a registered landscape architect who has worked for EDAW, Hanna/Olin, and Michael Vergason. She taught at Cornell University and Harvard GSD before joining the UVA faculty in 1993 where she teaches design studios and theory courses. She has served as the School of Architecture’s Dean as well as the Department of Landscape Architecture Chair. Meyer currently holds a Presidential appointment to the US Commission of Fine Arts, a seven member design review board responsible for Washington, DC’s  monumental core and significant public spaces.

Landed Internationals: Planning Cultures in the Cold War Middle East

October 26, 2016 | Burak Erdim

Burak Erdim Midday Dialogue Image, October 26, 2016
Commencement ceremony, METU, ca. 1963. Architectural Archives, METU

Burak Erdim is an assistant professor of architectural history and architecture in the College of Design at North Carolina State University, where he teaches lecture and seminar courses on the history of modern architecture and urbanism with a focus on the post–Second World War period. His current work explores the operations of transnational planning cultures and the conceptualization of architecture and community planning as the central component of social and economic development projects during this period. He has recently been awarded a Mellon Fellowship in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks (Fall 2016) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture at MIT (Spring 2017) in support of the work on his book manuscript. His book examines the establishment of the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey in 1956 as one of the most ambitious and comprehensive projects of postwar planning cultures. Dr. Erdim contributes regularly to publications and symposia on Transnational Modernisms and his recent essay on METU appeared in, Mid-Century Modernism in Turkey: Architecture Across Cultures in the 1950s and 1960s, edited by Meltem Ö. Gürel (Routledge, 2015). He received his PhD in December 2012 in the History of Art and Architecture from the University of Virginia where he also completed a master’s degree in Architecture.

Street Tree Stories: On the Politics of Nature in the City

October 19, 2016 | Sonja Dümpelmann

Sonja Dümpelmann Midday Dialogue Image, October 19, 2016
Street Tree Pruning in the Bronx, New York City, ca 1913. New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

Sonja Dümpelmann is a landscape historian and associate professor of landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her publications include Flights of Imagination: Aviation, Landscape, Design (University of Virginia Press, 2014), A Cultural History of Gardens in the Age of Empire (Bloomsbury Publishers, 2013), Women, Modernity, and Landscape Architecture (with John Beardsley; Routledge, 2015), Greening the City: Urban Landscapes in the Twentieth Century (with Dorothee Brantz; University of Virginia Press, 2011), and a book on the Italian landscape architect Maria Teresa Parpagliolo and landscape architecture in twentieth-century Italy (VDG Weimar, 2004). She is currently writing a book on the history of street tree planting and urban forestry.

A screening and discussion of the documentary film “City of Trees” (Meridian Hill Pictures, 76 min., 2016) will be held for Dumbarton Oaks fellows, staff, and docents in the Oaks Room of the Fellowship House (1700 Wisconsin Avenue) from 5 to 7 p.m. that evening (October 19). The conversation will be led by directors Brandon Kramer and Lance Kramer, Sonja Dümpelmann, and Washington Parks & People Director Steve Coleman.

Dancing on the Grave of Industry: Wenders, Bausch & the Affective Re-performance of Environmental History

October 11, 2016 | Jeremy Foster

Jeremy Foster Midday Dialogue Image, October 11, 2016
Seasons March, scene from Pina (Wim Wenders, 2011)

As an architect and landscape architect with a PhD in humanistic geography, Jeremy Foster is interested in the opportunities built environments—simultaneously, assemblages of material processes and practices, spaces of representation, and vehicles of discourse—offer for transdisciplinary study. He has worked professionally as both architect and landscape architect, and taught at several universities. At Cornell, in addition to design studios addressing the social, environmental, and infrastructural challenges of contemporary cities, he has taught courses on the history and theory of landscape and urban design; on the interplay between cultural representations and material practices in the shaping of cities, landscapes, and territories; and most recently, on the temporal, performative and “more-than-representational” aspects of place. His research focuses on the diverse ways landscapes are imaginatively mobilized to project emergent ideas of culture, nature, and citizenship during periods of social and political transition. In addition to his book Washed with Sun: Landscape and the Making of White South Africa (Pittsburgh, 2008), Foster has published in Journal of Southern African Studies, Journal of Historical Geography, Cultural Geographies, Safundi, Gender Place and Culture, Journal of Landscape Architecture, and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. Forthcoming pieces will appear in volumes of Architecture and its Geographical Horizons  (ed. R. Quek), Women, Modernity and Landscape Architecture (ed. S. Duempelmann), and Cultural Landscape Heritage in Sub-Saharan Africa  (ed. J. Beardsley).

Making Post Rock: Material Research through Design

October 5, 2016 | Meredith Miller

Meredith Miller Midday Dialogue Image, October 5, 2016
Elevation of Erratics, a project by Meredith Miller and Thom Moran

Meredith L. Miller is an architect and assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where she entered as an A. Alfred Taubman Fellow in 2009–10. Through research, design, and writing, she explores architecture as both an ecological agent and as a representational project. Her project Bioplastics! And Architectures Many Natures recently received support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Her design work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Van Alen Institute, Storefront for Art + Architecture, and Boston Society of Architects. Her essays have been featured in Journal of Architectural Education, Avery Review, MONU, Pidgin, Thresholds, Scapegoat: Architecture, Landscape, and Political Economy, and ARPA Journal. Miller received her M.Arch from Princeton University and holds a BS in architecture from the University of Virginia. She is the principal of Mer-Mer, a partner in Dreamsz, and a member of T+E+A+M.



Producing Green Expertise: Place, Pedagogy and Sustainable Architecture in Mumbai

April 26, 2016 | Anne Rademacher

Anne Rademacher Midday Dialogue Image, April 26, 2016
Open Mumbai at the National Gallery of Modern Art , Mumbai, April 2012 Photo Anne Rademacher

Anne Rademacher is an associate professor in the Program in Environmental Studies and the Department of Anthropology at New York University. Trained in environmental studies and cultural anthropology (MES, PhD, Yale University), Rademacher studies the political and cultural dimensions of sustainability in cities. Her central interest is urban ecology: its scientific contours, its application across cultural and political contexts, and its interconnection with social change. She is the author of Reigning the River: Urban Ecologies and Political Transformation in Kathmandu (Duke University Press, 2011), and coeditor of Ecologies of Urbanism in India (Hong Kong University Press, 2013). She is also the author of articles on issues such as housing and migration, political stability, cultural conflict, and alternative forms of environmental knowledge. Her forthcoming book, coedited with K. Sivaramakrishnan, is Cities, Towns, and the Places of Nature (Columbia University Press, 2016). Her current book project explores the social life of green design through an ethnographic study of environmental architects in Mumbai.

The Rise of Innovation Districts: The Intersection of Innovation and Quality Places

April 19, 2016 | Jennifer Vey

Jennifer Vey Midday Dialogue Image, April 19, 2016
Brookings Institution 2016

Jennifer S. Vey is a fellow and codirector of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking at the Brookings Institution. Her work primarily focuses on the competitiveness and quality of life of cities and metros in the innovation economy. She is the author of “Building from Strength: Creating Opportunity in Greater Baltimore’s Next Economy,” “Restoring Prosperity: The State Role in Revitalizing America’s Older Industrial Cities,” “Organizing for Success: A Call to Action for the Kansas City Region,” and “Higher Education in Pennsylvania: A Competitive Asset for Communities.” She has co-authored numerous other Brookings publications, including “One Year After: Observations on the Rise of Innovation Districts,” as well as co-edited Retooling for Growth: Building a 21st Century Economy in America’s Older Industrial Areas, published by the American Assembly and Brookings Institution Press.

Prior to joining Brookings in June, 2001, Vey was a Community Planning and Development Specialist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She earned a master of planning degree from the University of Virginia, and holds a BA in geography from Bucknell University. She lives with her family in Baltimore. 

Vegetal City

April 5, 2016 | Gary Hilderbrand

Gary Hilderbrand Midday Dialogue Image, April 5, 2016
Central Wharf Plaza, Boston, 2010, courtesy Millicent Harvey

Gary Hilderbrand is a founding partner of Reed Hilderbrand. A committed practitioner, teacher, critic, and writer, Hilderbrand is professor in practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he has taught since 1990. His honors include Harvard University’s Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship, the Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture, the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices Award with Douglas Reed, and the 2013 American Society of Landscape Architects Firm of the Year award. Through three widely acclaimed books and two dozen essays, Hilderbrand has helped to position landscape architecture’s role in reconciling intellectual and cultural traditions with contemporary forces of urbanization and change. His essays have been featured in Landscape Architecture, Topos, Harvard Design Magazine, Architecture Boston, Clark Art Journal, Arnoldia, New England Journal of Garden History, and Land Forum.

In addition to his coauthorship in the firm’s 2012 monograph, Visible | Invisible, he produced two other monographs: Making a Landscape of Continuity: The Practice of Innocenti & Webel (1997), which was recognized by ASLA and AIGA (50 Best Books); and The Miller Garden: Icon of Modernism (1999). He has served on the editorial boards of Spacemaker Press, Harvard Design Magazine, and Landscape Architecture Magazine. As a competition juror, he has participated in Harvard’s Green Prize for Urban Design (2006 and 2013); I Premi Europeu de Paisatge Rosa Barba Barcelona (2000, 2002, and 2003); and “Suburbia Transformed” for the James Rose Center (2010). He chaired the ASLA National Awards Jury in 2005 and the ASLA Annual Student Awards Jury in 2006.

Hilderbrand has developed an abiding commitment to promoting a heightened focus on urban forestry practices through the firm’s work in cities and through design studios and sponsored research projects at Harvard. In addition, his constructed drawings of Roman topography and his personal photocollage work have been exhibited at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, Sotheby’s New York, Harvard University, and the Boston University Art Gallery. You may learn more about his practice at

Inventing Informality in Algiers and Casablanca

March 29, 2016 | Sheila Crane

Sheila Crane Midday Dialogue Image, March 29, 2016
Mahieddine bidonville, Algiers, from the CIAM-Alger grid, 1953; Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris

Sheila Crane has a long-standing interest in the history and theory of modern architecture and cities, particularly in Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean region.  She is the author of Mediterranean Crossroads: Marseille and Modern Architecture, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2011 with the support of a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.  Her book received the 2013 Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians.  Since September 2011, she has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education, and she co-edited the “Design+” special issue, to be published in April 2014, with Marc Neveu and Amy Kulper.  Her current research explores how urban landscapes in France and Algeria were transformed during the long struggle for independence and its continuing aftermath. Recent publications include “Rewriting the Battle of Algiers: Ephemeral Tactics in the City at War,” forthcoming in Space and Culture; “Material Occupations,” in Otherwise Occupied: Bashir Makhoul, Aissa Deebi, an exhibition catalogue accompanying the Palestinian art exhibition at the 2013 Venice Biennale; "The Shantytown of Algiers and the Colonization of Everyday Life," in Use Matters: An Alternative History of Architecture (Routledge, 2013); “On the Edge: The Internal Frontiers of Architecture in Algiers/Marseille,” published in the Journal of Architecture in December 2011. Previous publications have examined the dynamics of memory and forgetting in postwar and postcolonial contexts, new conceptions of historic preservation that emerged during the rebuilding of cities after the Second World War, the movements of architects and translations of built forms between Marseille and Algiers, and how everyday processes of occupying and appropriating space have shaped cities and their inhabitants.

Crane has held fellowships at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal (2006), the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University (2004–5), and the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France (1998). She has also been a recipient of a Research Grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Association, a Chateaubriand Fellowship from the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France and a Samuel H. Kress Travel Fellowship in the History of Art.  In spring 2015, she will be a fellow in residence at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where she will be working on her current book project, Inventing Informality, which reconsiders the bidonville (shantytown)—as urban form, subject of visual representation, site of knowledge production, and object of social and spatial reengineering.

Awarded a University Teaching Fellowship for the academic year 2008–9, Crane regularly teaches the history of architecture and urbanism from the fifteenth century to the present as well as the history of modern architecture and theories & methods in architectural history.  Recent seminar offerings include Mediterranean Cities, Memory & Architecture, The Spaces of the Modern City, Transnational Modernisms, and 1968 – Architecture, Urban Space, and the Politics of Everyday Life. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Virginia in 2007, Crane taught in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Informal by Design: From Amerindian “Garden Cities” to Olympic Urbanism in Brazil

March 16, 2016 | Bruno Carvalho

Bruno Carvalho Midday Dialogue Image, March 16, 2016
Vila Autódromo / Olympic Park (Rio de Janeiro), 2015. Photo by Ava Hoffman

Bruno Carvalho’s research and teaching interests range from the early modern period to the present, and include literature, culture, and the built environment in Latin American and Iberian contexts, with emphasis on Brazil. He has published widely on topics related to poetry, film, architecture, cartography, city planning, race and racism in publications like Spaces and Flows, Luso-Brazilian Review, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Piseagrama, revista piauí, Daylight & Architecture, and others. His teaching and research increasingly focus on relationships between urban and natural environments.

Carvalho’s Porous City: A Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro (2013) won the Brazilian Studies Association Roberto Reis Book Award in 2014. He also collaborated on a new museum of the city of Rio de Janeiro, and co-organized a critical edition in Portuguese of the earliest versions of United States constitutional documents, which circulated in eigtheenth-century Brazil and played a role in independence movements (O Livro de Tiradentes, 2013). Currently, he is working on two books. The first is tentatively titled Partial Enlightenments: Race, Cities, and Nature in the Luso-Brazilian Eighteenth Century. The second, The Future Revisited, examines how urban futures were imagined in the past.

At Princeton, Bruno Carvalho codirects the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities, is affiliated to the Center for African American Studies, and associated faculty in the Center for Architecture, Urbanism, and Infrastructure, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Princeton Environmental Institute, the Program in Latin American Studies, the Program in Urban Studies, and the School of Architecture. He is also a member of the Committee for Film Studies, and of the Climate Futures Initiative. He received his PhD from Harvard University.


The Nature of Urban Coastal Resiliency: Twentieth-Century Governance, Environmental Management, and Design

February 24, 2016 | Kara Schlichting

Kara Schlichting Midday Dialogue Image, February 24, 2016
Map and Descriptions of Lands appropriated for the Hudson and Harlem River Canal, 1865. Westchester County Archives

Kara Schlichting is an assistant professor of history at Queens College, CUNY. She earned her PhD from Rutgers University in 2014. Her work on late-nineteenth and twentieth-century American history sits at the intersection of urban, environmental, and political history, with a particular focus on property regimes and regional planning in greater New York City. She is currently working on a project on tideland property development to investigate how legal theory, coastal resiliency planning, and land politics shape American waterfronts. 

Talaab, Ghat & Canal Waterworks on the Indian Urban Landscape

February 24, 2016 | Alpa Nawre

Alpa Nawre Midday Dialogue Image, February 24, 2016
Nawre, Alpa. 2012. City-works on the Landscape Flatbed. Source map: Google Earth. Rajnandgaon, India. 21d05’40.80”N 81d07’37.01”E. Accessed 5 May 2012

Alpa Nawre is a Spring 2016 Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. Issues pertinent to the design of urban water infrastructure, and resource challenges in the context of rapidly urbanizing developing countries inform her research, teaching, and practice. Her writings have been published as books chapters and in journals such as Landscape Journal, Journal of Landscape Architecture, India, and JoLA. At Dumbarton Oaks, Nawre’s research focuses on the land-water edges of ponds (or talaab in Hindi), rivers (ghat) and canals in India. The multifunctional use and adaptability of these culturally embedded landscape systems builds a compelling argument for rethinking the design of rigid, monofunctional, and culturally disconnected contemporary urban water infrastructure throughout the world.

Nawre holds a post-professional master’s degree in urban design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Louisiana State University, and a bachelor in architecture from NIT, Raipur, India. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) and on the Alumni Advisory Board of Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, LSU. Nawre is a licensed landscape architect in Kansas, a licensed architect in India, and a LEED AP, and has worked internationally in design offices in India, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning at Kansas State University and partner at her design practice, Alpa Nawre Design.

Beyond the City: Metropolitan Environments and Urban Identification

February 2, 2016 | Mariana Mogilevich

Mariana Mogilevich Midday Dialogue Image, February 2, 2016
Gateway National Recreation Area: A Proposal. Washington, DC: Department of the Interior, 1969.

Mariana Mogilevich is a historian of architecture and urbanism whose research focuses on the design and politics of the public realm. Her current work includes the forthcoming book The Invention of Public Space: Design and Politics in Lindsay’s New York and a study of the role of the production of waste in the production of space and vice versa. A project to revisit interpretation at Paterson Great Falls National Historic Site was winner of the Van Alen Institute and National Parks Service competition National Parks Now. Her writing has appeared in journals including Praxis and Future Anterior and the edited volumes Use Matters: An Alternative History of Architecture, and Summer in the City. Mogilevich has taught at Harvard, NYU, Princeton, and the Pratt Institute, and she was an inaugural Princeton-Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities at Princeton University. She received her PhD in architectural history from Harvard University in 2012.

Design Matters! (Even at the EPA)

January 20, 2016 | Clark Wilson

Clark Wilson Midday Dialogue Image, January 20, 2016

Clark Wilson is the senior urban designer with EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities, which is responsible for the agency’s smart growth work. Wilson’s area of focus is ecologically sustainable development, with a specific concentration in advancing the transportation, livability, and environmental goals of smart growth in street design. At the EPA, he is the cocreator and comanager of the Agency’s popular “Greening America’s Capitals” program, which helps state capitals envision what “sustainability” can look like in their community. Prior to joining the EPA, Wilson was an urban design consultant in Oakland, California, focused on creating pedestrian-friendly and ecologically responsible neighborhoods and streets. He is the principal author of the Portland Metro Green Streets Handbook (2002), and the EPA-funded manual Stormwater Guidelines for Green, Dense Redevelopment (2005). He has been a speaker at over one hundred conferences nationwide, and for seven years he was a lecturer in the departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and City Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. Wilson has a degrees in fine arts from the University of Lethbridge, architecture from the University of British Columbia; and both landscape architecture and city planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

The Flood of Missed Opportunities: Florence, November 4, 1966

January 5, 2016 | Anatole Tchikine

Anatole Tchikine Midday Dialogue Image, January 5, 2016
Ponte Santa Trìnita and Lungarno Acciaioli on November 4, 1966

Anatole Tchikine is assistant director of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (Trustees for Harvard University) in Washington, DC, and a former fellow of Dumbarton Oaks and the Medici Archive Project in Florence. A historian of Italian Renaissance and Baroque architecture and landscape, he holds a PhD in art history from the University of Dublin, Trinity College (2004). His research focuses on the evolution of fountain design and its role in garden and urban settings, the history of botanical gardens and collecting in grand ducal Tuscany, and the reception and constructions of Tuscan countryside in art and literature. He is a co-editor of The Botany of Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century (2016).


Housing, Landscape, Environment

December 8, 2015 | Jeanne Haffner

Jeanne Haffner Midday Dialogue Image, December 8, 2015
Hufeisensiedlung, October 2015. Photo by Jeanne Haffner

Jeanne Haffner is the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. A historian with special interests in urban planning history and theory, the history of science and technology, cultural geography, and environmental history, her work explores the intersection of environmental, social, and technological discourse and practice in the making of twentieth-century cities. Her first book, The View from Above: The Science of Social Space (MIT Press, 2013), which was awarded a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, examined the role of aerial photography in urban planning theory and practice in France, from the First World War to the French New Left. Her articles on urban transformation in contemporary cities in Europe and the United States have been published in the BBC, The Guardian, ARCH+, ArchitectureBoston, and Next City, and she has done short-term projects for the International Institute for Urban Development, the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies, the Wohnforum-Center for Research on the Built Environment at the ETH in Zürich, and the Urban Land Institute. Currently, she has begun working on a history of “environment” and environmental planning in Europe and the United States from the turn of the twentieth century to the turn of the twenty-first.

Critical Work: Innovative Green Infrastructure Regulations Transforming DC

December 2, 2015 | David Wooden, Meredith Unchurch, and Rebecca Stack

David Wooden Midday Dialogue Image, December 2, 2015
Green roof by DC landscape architecture firm OCULUS

Mellon Urban Landscape Studies Fellow David Wooden is an environmental protection specialist at the District’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), where he manages green infrastructure grant programs for public and private properties and designs stormwater retrofits for District school sites. He also assists with implementation and plan reviews for the Green Area Ratio landscape regulation. Wooden received his master of landscape architecture from the University of Virginia. His graduate research focused on urban stormwater management and won the international 2010 Delta Cities design competition, as well as an Analysis and Planning award from the Virginia chapter of ASLA. Prior to joining the DOEE, Wooden worked with Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Ltd.

Meredith Unchurch, American Society for Landscape Architecture, is the Green Infrastructure Program Lead for the District Department of Transportation, Government of the District of Columbia.

Rebecca Stack, American Society of Civil Engineers, is a civil engineer and the Deputy Executive Director of the Low Impact Development Center.

Anticipating Future Urbanization in Nigeria’s Oil Sands Belt

November 10, 2015 | Christina Milos

Christina Milos Midday Dialogue Image, November 10, 2015
Participatory mapping in Nigeria, 2015. Photo by Christina Milos.

Christina Milos is currently pursuing a PhD in Landscape Architecture at the University of Hannover, Germany, where she managed research projects and taught undergraduate and graduate level classes from 2012–14. Prior to becoming a Mellon fellow, she spent a year in Nigeria on a Fulbright grant conducting field interviews and participatory mapping exercises as part of her PhD fieldwork. Milos received her master in landscape architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. At Harvard, her master’s thesis was completed with distinction and awarded several awards, including a national Honor Award in Analysis and Planning from the American Society of Landscape Architects. She has worked on regional planning and urbanization projects in several countries, including Nigeria, Sierra Leone, China, and Haiti. Recent consulting work includes developing regional policy recommendations for conflict-affected northern Nigeria for the World Bank and analyzing potential social and environmental impacts of oil sands development in Nigeria for the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Restoring Brown Places into Green Spaces Through Community Engagement: The Masonville Story

November 3, 2015 | Katrina Jones

Katrina Jones Midday Dialogue Image, November 3, 2015
Masonville Cove in 2013.

Katrina Jones is the outreach coordinator for the Maryland Port Administration’s dredging program, where she works with communities surrounding the Port of Baltimore to build diverse stakeholder engagement and maintain partnerships for enhancing the public’s knowledge and support of the State of Maryland’s dredged material management program (DMMP), with the purpose identifying potential dredged material disposal options and getting project approval.  She also co-chairs the Baltimore Port Alliance’s Education and Outreach Committee, which is a collaboration of public and private agencies in the maritime industry, educators, and representatives from government and civic organizations.

Jones coordinates directly with schools and organizations such Maryland Environmental Service, Living Classroom Foundation, Arlington Echo, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore to help facilitate meaningful field experiences at the Port facilities. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Maritime Industry Academy in Baltimore City, the International Trade, Tourism, and Transportation Signature Program at North County High School in Anne Arundel County and is president elect for the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, which certifies green schools for the State of Maryland. She is a graduate of Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, with a bachelor of fine arts degree in communications.

The Topography of Post-Industrial Gentrification: Toxic Identities and Flooded Realities in Gowanus, Brooklyn

October 14, 2015 | Juan-Andres Leon

Juan-Andres Leon Midday Dialogue Image, October 14, 2015
Charles F. Breitzke, An Investigation of the Sanitary Condition of the Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn, New York. In Contributions from the Sanitary Research Laboratory and Sewage Experiment Station, Vol. 5 (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1909), p. 254.

Juan-Andres Leon obtained his degree in history of science from Harvard University in 2013, while also working at Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments. His dissertation, “Citizens of the Chemical Complex: Industrial Expertise and Science Philanthropy in Imperial and Weimar Germany,” is a cultural and environmental history of the formation of Germany’s industrial elites. Leon is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry and at the Museum of the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. His three ongoing research projects focus on the cultural transformations brought by automation, calculation, and simulation in the mid-twentieth century (CHF); the postwar construction of German astronomical observatories in countries under political dictatorships (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science); and the longue-durée relationship between water, industry, and topography.

A History of Environmental Designs

September 29, 2015, at 10:45 a.m. in the Lower Level Refectory | Peder Anker

Peter Anker Midday Dialogue Image, September 29, 2015
New Alchemy Institute, 1976. Source:

Peder Anker’s teaching and research interests lie in the history of science, ecology, environmentalism and design, as well as environmental philosophy. He has received research fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the Dibner Institute, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and has been a visiting scholar at both Columbia University and University of Oslo. He is the co-author of Global Design: Elsewhere Envisioned (Prestel, 2014) together with Louise Harpman and Mitchell Joachim. He is also the author of From Bauhaus to Eco-House: A History of Ecological Design (Louisiana State University Press, 2010), which explores the intersection of architecture and ecological science, and Imperial Ecology: Environmental Order in the British Empire, 1895–1945 (Harvard University Press, 2001), which investigates how the promising new science of ecology flourished in the British Empire. Anker’s current book project explores the history of ecological debates in his country of birth, Norway.

Anker received his PhD in history of science from Harvard University in 1999. He is an associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.