As part of its series “The Pioneers of American Landscape Design Project,” the Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has launched its tenth illustrated “Oral History” set of videos online, this time featuring American landscape architect Laurie Olin. This set contains 29 segments, 90 minutes each, during which Olin discusses his life, influences and philosophy.
“Laurie Olin is a towering and enormously influential figure in the landscape architecture profession and one of its most esteemed practitioners—an erudite thought leader, a terrific designer, and a compelling speaker,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF founder and president. “When Laurie discusses his work and influences we all go on an extraordinary and revelatory voyage that touches on fascinating moments in history, literature, art, music and design—there’s no one quite like him.”
Olin’s event-filled life and influential work as a practitioner, educator, author and draftsman over the past 40 years is revealed during interviews at the OLIN studio in Philadelphia and on location at his projects at Battery Park City, Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle in New York City; the University of Pennsylvania campus landscape, Independence National Historical Park and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia; and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and the Washington Monument grounds in Washington, DC.
The oral history includes his study and work at the University of Washington with Richard Haag, fellowships and travel in England and Italy, his professorship at the University of Pennsylvania and other significant milestones, and includes interviews with OLIN partners, among them Dennis McGlade, Lucinda Sanders and Susan Weiler.
The series currently includes oral histories with Shlomo Aronson, Edward Daugherty, Stuart Dawson, M. Paul Friedberg, Lawrence Halprin, Carol Johnson, Cornelia Oberlander, James van Sweden and Joseph Yamada. Currently in production are oral histories with Nicholas Quennell and Richard Haag.
Collectively, these histories document and preserve the unique, first-hand perspectives of renowned landscape practitioners and make them available free of charge to present and future generations of stewards, designers, researchers and others interested in the field.
The Pioneers Oral History series is twice the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts grant. The American Society of Landscape Architects is an official education partner for the series with outreach to more than 36,000 landscape architects nationwide.