31st Landscape Architecture Lecture Series to focus on resilience and remediation

KINGSTON, R.I. – Oct. 5, 2023 – The University of Rhode Island’s Landscape Architecture Lecture Series returns this fall for its 31st year with four professionals in landscape architecture and urban design focusing on issues of resilience and remediation.

“In this lecture series, our guest speakers will discuss and present projects illustrating how new approaches to complex issues in urban and residential settings can remediate disturbed and brown field sites and lead to greater resiliency,” said Professor Emeritus William Green, founder and organizer of the series.

Lectures will be held Thursdays at 7 p.m. in Room 105 of the Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences. The series is free and open to the public.

Kate Kennen

The series opens Oct. 12 with New York City-based architect and urban designer Gabriel Vergara, who will speak on “Spatial Practice: Working with/in the Social and Climate Crisis.”

In his work, Vergara uses a multidisciplinary approach, bringing alternative knowledge to the field of architecture and urban design. Vergara, a graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, is an urban designer with Asia Initiatives, where he leads participatory design in New York and coordinates community-based projects in Chile.

On Nov. 16, Kate Kennen, founder of Offshoots Inc., a Boston-based landscape and horticultural installation practice, will focus on “Scaling up! Landscapes of Productive Planting Exploration.”

Alexis Stanhope

Kennen, a professor at Northeastern University and co-author of “PHYTO: Principles and Resources for Site Remediation and Landscape Design,” will talk about her work at Offshoots to alleviate and minimize use of fertilizer, water and time, and create productive landscapes that use the power of plants to mitigate pollution. She will also discuss her work from residential to infrastructural, in which small projects have been used as testing grounds to scale up performative planting concepts that mitigate climate change and urban pollution.  

On Nov. 30, the series closes the semester with alumni Alexis Stanhope, landscape designer with Hollander Design in New York City, and Josh Bourgery, an associate with Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design, a Boston firm with offices in Maine and Stoneham, Massachusetts . They will discuss “Redefining the Boundaries of Residential Design.”

Josh Bourgery

Stanhope, who graduated from URI with a degree in landscape architecture in 2019, specializes in coastal estate projects in the Hamptons, managing all phases of the project from initial design sketches to onsite meetings with contractors. Bourgery, who joined Cunningham Landscape Design in 2016 after graduating from URI, manages residential landscape projects in New Hampshire, Boston and Rhode Island, from small urban courtyards to multi-acre estates.

The lecture series is co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Rhode Island ASLA and the Faella, Gaetano and Pasqualina Memorial Endowment.