Mario Schjetnan wins the IFLA – Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award

The International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), recently announced that Mario SCHJETNAN from Mexico has been selected as the winner of the 2015 premier award for Landscape Architecture, the IFLA – Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award.

The Award Jury composed of a Landscape Architect from each of the 5 IFLA regions, and the President of UIA (Union International of Architects) who served for the first time as a guest jury member, agreed with the Mexican Society of Landscape Architects (SAPM), who nominated him for the award, that “Mario Schjetnan is a truly outstanding figure in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA.” His contribution has been not only through the realisation of many important projects, but also as an academic, sharing his knowledge and passion for the profession with others.

The IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award was launched in 2004 on a quadrennial basis. Its inaugural recipient was Peter Walker (USA) in 2005. Prof. Bernard Lassus (France) was awarded in 2009, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander in 2011, Mihály Möcsényi in 2012, 2013 Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles and for 2014 Sun Xiao Xiang. Since 2011 the award has been bestowed annually.

The IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award is the highest honour that the International Federation of Landscape Architects can bestow upon a landscape architect. The IFLA President, Kathryn Moore, will make the announcement in the Award Ceremony on 12 June 2015, during the 2015 IFLA World Congress in St Petersburg.


Mario Schjetnan was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and studied architecture at the National University of Mexico, graduating in 1968. From 1968 to 1970, he studied Landscape Architecture with an emphasis in Urban Design at the prestigious Ivy League University of California, Berkeley. His mentors during this period were well known figures such as Garret Eckbo, Donald Appleyard and Robert Twiss, each respectively in the fields of Landscape Architecture, Urban studies, and Environmental studies.

In 1984, he received the Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. In 1995, the Univsersidad Autónoma de Nuevo Léon awarded him an Honorary PhD in Architecture.

In 1977 Mario Schjetnan founded the office Grupo de Diseño Urbano (GDU) in which he has been involved ever since. The office has undertaken a wide range of projects at several different scales, including parks, plazas, housing developments, museums and cultural centres, as well as environmental and urban plans in Mexico, USA, South America and the Middle East. His influence, therefore, spreads far beyond his country of origin.

Mario Schjetnan is a prominent Professor and Guest Speaker at many universities and other institutions in Mexico and around the world.

Mario’s work has been recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects, including two Presidential Awards. He has been awarded numerous prizes such as the Gran Premio Latino americano at the Architecture Biennial of Buenos Aires; and the Lorenzo Prize by UIA in Italy. In Mexico he has been recognised several times, winning a Gold Medal at the Biennial de Arquitectura Mexicana and numerous Silver Medals, as well as the main prize of the III Mexican Biennial of Landscape Architecture.

In addition to his professional and academic prowess, Mario has been actively involved in promoting the profession of Landscape Architecture. He was a founding member of The Mexican Society of Landscape Architects in 1972, and President in 1985-1986. He currently sits on the Honor Council. He is also a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and is one of four Illustrious Advisers to the Latin American Initiative (LALI).



Mario Schjetnan was selected out of a group of four finalists sent by the Nomination Committee to the Award Jury. Deliberation was long and difficult given the high quality of all the finalists.


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