Thomas Rainer 2.26.20. LAEP Lecture
ECOLOGICAL PLANTING REVOLUTION: CAN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MEET THE NEEDS OF A WORLD IN CRISIS?
In the era of climate change and species extinction, the need for functional ecological planting in cities has never been greater. Yet the profession best poised to deliver those solutions—landscape architecture—possesses a profound illiteracy when it comes to plants, vegetative systems, and ecological land management. If the promise of green cities cannot be delivered without plant systems, this prompts the question: should ecological planting design be a separate profession from landscape architecture? Or can a renewed focus on ecological plant systems rejuvenate landscape architecture?
Thomas Rainer is a landscape architect, teacher, and author living in Washington, D.C. Thomas is a leading voice in ecological landscape design and has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden, as well as over 100 gardens from Maine to Florida. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Landscape Architecture Magazine, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and Architectural Digest. He is a celebrated public speaker who has garnered acclaim for his passionate presentations to audiences across the U.S. and in Europe. Thomas serves as a Principal for the landscape architectural and consulting firm Phyto Studio, teaches planting design for George Washington University, and recently co-authored the award-winning book Planting in a Post-Wild World with Claudia West.