University of Pennsylvania celebrates 100 years of landscape architecture

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The University of Pennyslvania celebrated 100 years of its landscape architecture program with a gathering of past alumni and friends in Boston last Friday night. The celebration not only looked to the past but providing a look into the future. The display included a graphic timeline that began with the current landscape program and then reached back into the past when the program begun.

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The event also include an empassioned speech by current Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, Richard Weller who discused the conntribution to the program of past chairs of the program, including James Corner, John Dixon Hunt, Anne Whiston Spirn and Ian McHarg. Weller’s speech gave a glimpse into the future of the landscape architecture program at Penn with a storng emphasis on Research Programs and creating new landscape architects who will be equipped for the ‘century of landscape architecture’.

Past chairs James Corner, John Dixon Hunt, Anne Whiston Spirn also gave interesting insights into the past and also made a passionate call to those in attedance to assist Penn in creating a program by building upon the current educational framework. Spirn discussed how pleased she was that so many had attended the event but also called upon those in attendance to have more involvement where possible with the program. John Dixon Hunt made a plea to the audience for landscape architects to write more about landscape architecture but requested that the published works where able to be read by those outside the profession of landscape architecture to understand the important role that landscape architects play in society. Corner, pushed those in attendance to bring landscape architecture to the next level as McHarg had undertaken previously raised the bar, it was now time to once again raise the level of landscape architecture.

The celebration was charged with energy and invigorated those in attendance to advance the profession of landscape architecture.

Images and Text by Damian Holmes who attended the event in Boston on Friday 15th November.

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