Coming to U of T: Alan Berger

The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design is pleased to welcome Alan Berger — associate professor of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology — as the 2013 Michael Hough / Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) visiting critic at the University of Toronto. As part of his visit, Berger will present a public lecture on Mar. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Berger is the founder and director of P-REX (Project for Reclamation Excellence), a multidisciplinary research practice within MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. P-REX addresses the challenges that arise from landscapes altered by large-scale natural resource extraction through unique collaboration with engineers, economists, ecologists, geologists, and policy experts.

Using low-angle aerial photography, maps, and other graphic evidence, Berger reveals evidence and trends of landscape waste throughout the world — from public health hazards such as abandoned mine pits, mountains of slag, and pools of cyanide, to vacant landfills. His work emphasizes the link between our consumption of natural resources and the waste and destruction of landscape.

Berger is a prolific writer who has received a number of awards for his work. His book Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America, published in 2006, won I.D. Magazine’s 53rd Annual Design Review Silver Medal for Design Distinction, and was named a top 10 planning book of 2007 by Planetizen. His 2002 book Reclaiming the American West received the Research Award from the Environmental Design Research Association and Places journal, and was named a Colorado Book of the Year by the Center for the Book.

The Michael Hough / OALA Visiting Critic was made possible through an endowment established by the OALA and its membership to bring an international figure in contemporary urban landscape architecture to the Faculty annually. Past visiting critics have included William Morrish, Beth Meyer, Dirk Sijmons, Kongjian Yu, and Michael Van Valkenburg.

This year’s lecture is of particular significance due to the recent passing of Michael Hough, who founded the University of Toronto’s Landscape Architecture Program and pioneered an approach to landscape design that incorporated urban ecology, urban planning, and long-term development strategies. The Daniels Faculty is very pleased to be able to pay continuing tribute to Hough through OALA’s generous support of our programs and students

Date: Mar. 5,
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
Location: 230 College St., Room 103