URI Landscape Architecture Lecture Series continues Nov. 17 with discussion of ‘transformation through design’

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 9, 2015 — The next speaker in the University of Rhode Island’s 2015-16 Landscape Architecture Lecture Series will be Kim Mathews, founding principal in the firm Mathews Nielsen, who will speak on “Contemporary Landscape Practice: Transformation Through Design.”

She will focus on waterfront design in both urban and cultural landscapes and talk about the culture of her 32-person firm, especially how the designers work together and what they value.

Her presentation will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19 in Weaver Auditorium in the Coastal Institute building on URI’s Kingston campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Mathews, the past-president of the New York State Council of Landscape Architects, is the recipient of more than two dozen design awards for such projects as the West Point Foundry Preserve, Governors Island Park and Public Spaces, and Buffalo’s Erie Canal Harbor project. Her work was recently featured prominently in Landscape Architecture magazine and in Architecture News.

She says that many of her firm’s award-winning projects are what she calls Cinderella projects. “They are stories of perseverance, adaptation, and sometimes just plain good luck,” Mathews said. “They are landscapes that have been working all their life, often forgotten or out of view of the general public, but given the opportunity to be re-imagined.”

Other speakers in the series include URI alumni Erin Muir of The Figure Ground Studio and Nicholas Healy of the CRJA/IBI Group, on “Covering Ground from Portland to Abu Dhabi: Young Practitioners Reflect on Water, Resilience and Design,” (Dec. 3); Toby Wolf, principal of Wolf Landscape Architecture, on “Just Enough Wildness: Designing Places that Connect People with the Natural World,” (Mar. 3); Chris Reed of STOSS Landscape Urbanism, on a topic to be determined, (Mar. 31); Emily McCoy of Andropogon Associates, on “Craft, Research and Practice: Performance-Based Design in Landscape Architecture,” (Apr. 14); and Catherine Seavitt, principal of the Catherine Seavitt Studio, on “Shifting Sands: Sedimentary cycles for Jamaica Bay,” (Apr. 28).

All talks are free, open to the public and begin at 7 p.m. in Weaver Auditorium of the URI Coastal Institute in Kingston.

The URI Landscape Architecture series is co-sponsored by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Bartlett Tree Experts and the URI College of Arts and Sciences. The Catherine Seavitt lecture is co-sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant. For more information about the series, contact the URI Department of Landscape Architecture at 874-2983 or Professor Will Green at wagre@uri.edu.