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Jacob Boswell

  • Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Chair, Landscape Architecture Section
271 Knowlton Hall

Jacob Boswell is Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Chair of the Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture Program. Jake’s research traces Social Imaginaries or what the philosopher Charles Taylor has called, “the ways in which people imagine their social existence, how they fit together with others, how things go on between them and their fellows, the expectations that are normally met, and the deeper normative notions and images that underlie these expectations” (Modern Social Imaginaries 106). Jake is interested in the way that social imaginaries produce landscapes and the built environment with a specific focus on the role of climate, both social and environmental, in shaping reactions to landscape. He comes to this interest through an education and training in landscape architecture, city planning and cultural anthropology and he pursues this work through a hybrid practice centered on historical inquiry and design speculation. His historical research has been published nationally and internationally and his speculative and applied design research has received recognition in a number of prestigious international design competitions. In 2016 Jake was honored along with Professors Mattijs van Maasakkers and Kristi Cheramie with the College of Engineering’s Lumley Interdisciplinary Research Award for their work on NOLEX and OHLEX, two applications of a pioneering collaborative planning and design framework for vacant land. Jake actively extends his research into his teaching, leading a large general elective course on the history and social imaginaries of the American landscape as well as graduate and undergraduate design studios. His student’s work has regularly been recognized in both scholarly and professional venues and his teaching has been recognized with an OSU Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2013.