Laura Solano (BSLA ‘83) will be the 2019 Trott Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Knowlton School during Spring Semester. Hosted by the school’s Landscape Architecture Section, Solano will lead several workshops that develop ideas about topography and discover principles that transcend scale, time and aesthetics.
Students enrolled in the workshops will use topographic design principles (perception, spatial boundaries, views, physical comfort) and earthwork technologies (disturbance, stability, conveyance, collection) to make a landscape that is not only experientially powerful but also hardworking in its support of landscape systems and processes. The workshop culminates with a final presentation that demonstrates the poetic and prosaic contributions of topographic design, ultimately answering the question, Why does topography matter in landscape architecture?
Laura Solano is a principal for planning and design projects at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) and oversees the technical aspects of all MVVA landscapes from the conceptual phase to implementation. Her recent work includes the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Don River Park in Toronto, and Penn Park in Philadelphia.
She is widely regarded as an expert in the field of landscape technology and sustainability. Her expertise ranges from inventive approaches to stormwater, the use of sustainable soils, and the resourceful use of landscape materials. She has lectured widely and is an associate professor in practice in landscape architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design where she advocates for the creative overlap between landscape technology and design. In 2010, she received the Boston Society of Architects’ Women in Design Award of Excellence and was featured in the film “Leaders in the Field: Women in Landscape Architecture.”
The Trott Distinguished Visiting Professorship Program brings internationally acclaimed architects, landscape architects and planners to the Knowlton School each year. Trott Professors teach design studios, conduct seminars and lecture courses, and interact with faculty and students.