The Cultural Landscape Foundation announces jury for second Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize

Decisions Ahead

The Cultural Landscape Foundation announces jury for second Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize

The 2023 Oberlander Prize Jury, clockwise from top left: Elizabeth Mossop, Christian Benimana, Consuelo Bravo, Adriaan Geuze, Jane Wolff, Kotchakorn Voraakhom, Leonard Ng Keok Poh (Courtesy TCLF)

Today, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) announced the jury for its second Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize. Founded in 1998, TCLF is a non-profit organization that educates and engages the public to make our shared landscape heritage more visible, identify its value, and empower its stewards.

Launched in 2019, this international organization recognizes practitioners who elevate the art and profession of landscape architecture. The winner will receive a $100,000 award and participate in two years of public engagement. The effort’s namesake, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, was a highly decorated landscape architect who led her own practice in Canada.

Announced in 2021, the inaugural laureate was Julie Bargmann, an American landscape architect and educator. TCLF’s citation characterized Bargmann’s work as “hugely important as a catalyst for other, younger landscape architects” and shared that she “embodies an activist approach to practice, seeking out opportunities, challenges, even intractable problems.”

This year, the seven-member jury includes leading landscape architects, urban planners, architects, academics, and other experts from around the world.

The jury is led by Elizabeth Mossop, dean of the University of Technology Sydney School of Design, Architecture and Building. When asked about the priorities for making this selection in 2023, she told AN that “the jury will be working very hard to understand landscape architecture as a global discipline and to find those groups or individuals whose practice is most influential in progressing the discipline. I believe it is urgent for us to recognize outstanding practice that speaks to the issues of the climate crisis and the growing inequalities in our cities.”

John Beardsley, curator of the Oberlander Prize, told AN that a big part of his job is “to create an environment for the jurors that stimulates their discussions and debates, reinforces their global knowledge of the profession, and allows them the luxury to deeply examine its current impact and its potential to create a more equitable and resilient future.” He continued:  “Landscape architects are challenged to address complex social, cultural, and environmental concerns. It’s both exciting and inspiring to discover talented and entrepreneurial practitioners around the world whose work successfully meets those challenges. It’s my hope that the Oberlander Prize helps elevate the discourse about and understanding of landscape architecture and its leading role in addressing global issues and problems.”

Beyond Mossop, jury members include:

  • Christian Benimana, co-executive director and senior principal at MASS Design Group in Kigali, Rwanda
  • Consuelo Bravo, owner of Panorama in Santiago, Chile
  • Adriaan Geuze, founder of West 8 in Rotterdam
  • Leonard Ng Keok Poh, Ramboll Studio, in Singapore
  • Kotchakorn Voraakhom, CEO and founder of Landprocess and Porous City Network, in Bangkok
  • Jane Wolff, professor at the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, in Toronto

In press materials, jury members shared their enthusiasm about the task ahead of them. “I am honored to join the jury to provide insight into how invaluable this aspect is for healthier environments, not only from a developed world perspective,” Benimana stated.

Geuze offered that “Landscape Architecture recently became a discipline with global resonance, it includes three mature domains: Science, ecology, and resilience; the practitioners, scientists, and execution; as well as reflection, journalism, and academia. This Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize is the landmark of this momentum – elevating and heightening the profession further. I’m honoured to be a part of this year’s jury.”

Voraakhom identified the influence that prizes like this can have for a discipline: “This is not only about selecting a landscape architecture project, a person, or an action, it is also about defining the future direction of our profession.”

The jury will convene to select a winner (or winners) to be announced on October 17, 2023. AN will publish news about this prestigious award then.